That’s So Fall River [OPINION]
Fall River recalled its mayor last night and then re-elected him on the same ballot. Mayor Jasiel Correia II is under federal indictment and out on bail, too.
Lots of people in Fall River take that "innocent until proven guilty" to the maximum. Good for them! You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything, goes a country music song.
Correia was indicted last year by the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling for numerous financial crimes unrelated to his job as mayor. He is facing serious fines and jail time if he is convicted in federal court.
His indictment triggered a citizen revolt that resulted in a recall petition that succeeded in generating a special election. There were just two questions on the ballot. One question was to recall the indicted Mayor Correia from office. The second question was to vote for one of five candidates running for the job of mayor, should the first question succeed in removing the current mayor.
The people of Fall River removed the Democrat mayor and then re-elected him. Sixty-one percent of the voters (7,829) voted in favor of removing Correia from office. But 35 percent of the voters (4,808) voted for him on the second question, so he gets to keep his job until the next election later this year. In a five-way race, 35 percent is as good as 100 percent.
Weirdly, over 100 Fall Riverites voted against removing the mayor but then voted for someone else on the second question. What happened in their mind in the few seconds between question one and two will forever remain a mystery.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.