Political consultant Tony Cignoli was visiting a local senior center when he happened to hear a drive time AM radio talk show host ask the Governor about bullying. Cignoli was moved to e-mail fellow Patrick supporters about the governor’s remarkable response — and he has given me permission to excerpt it below.
As you may have already heard: Governor Patrick’s live interview on WHYN AM this morning was truly extraordinary.
In addition to addressing many issues of importance to us all here in Western Massachusetts; he told a personal story about a young child being bullied, [elsewhere in the state] who reached out to him directly in an e-mail appeal for help.
I was with a large group of seniors at a local community council this morning. The group always has both local radio and television on to catch the news and weather. When the Governor came on, some listened while carrying on with other things. As he continued to speak and as the topic turned to the issues of bullies in our schools, this group became quieter given the nature of the Governor’s tone and words.
Here, we all know the tragedy of the young girl in South Hadley who recently committed suicide due to aggressive bullying. The Governor mentioned that misfortune. More, he did not forget the young man in Springfield who took his life for the same reasons last year.
When the Governor told a story of the young boy who sent him the e-mail appeal for his help, the room became very quiet. About sixty sets of ears were glued to the radio.
I hope that I recall this correctly for you:
The Governor visited the young man’s school. He asked the principal if he could meet the boy. The principal reported back that the young man was afraid to meet the Governor in person given the attention it might bring to him.
The Governor made contact with the fellow in a large room of children, [it was an elementary school] recognizing the boy’s name during the event. The Governor asked if the bully was in the room with them. The boy answered yes.
The Governor asked if the boy would like him to talk with the other boy. The young man said no, again worried about the outcome.
So Governor Deval Patrick reassured the young man that he was not alone. Before the Governor left, he asked the principal for permission to address the entire school body over the public address system.
Governor Patrick made some farewell and positive remarks, concluding that he did not like bullying. That it was a serious thing and that “if he heard about any bullying issues in this school, and if they did not stop, he would come back to that school and deal with them personally.”
I hope that I am doing justice to this story. You can listen to it for yourself on WHYN.COM. If I got it right, spread it around to your networks and friends.
People often ask me as a political consultant what a candidate for Governor can do to get their message out and what they can do to help. This interview with this Governor shows what too often paid television and radio ads cannot. It shows the soul and heart of the Governor of Massachusetts. Folks should know.
Anthony L. Cignoli
A.L. Cignoli Company
Click here to hear the interview for yourself. The discussion of bullying is in the first few minutes. You’ll see that Tony’s account is pretty acccurate, and you’ll understand why that interview captivated Tony, me, a roomful of seniors and no doubt thousands of others — and why it embodies what leadership is all about.