HomeOpinionRepublicans: Hopkinton Can Do Better

Republicans: Hopkinton Can Do Better

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Over the past four years, I have observed local town elections where multiple candidates have been personally attacked, shamed, ostracized and/or bullied on social media, website posts and/or in person. These are not one-time events. A candidate for Select Board had his children (adult) targeted, a candidate for School Committee felt the need to withdraw from the race, and of course, the latest School Committee candidate situation. The common thread is that they have not been part of a particular political persuasion. 

At the same time, in my conversations with local business owners and townspeople over the past year (since I have been Chair of the HRTC), I have been informed of threats of social media retaliation if people voice their opinions on town matters that are not part of the “mainstream” opinion. 

We need to ask ourselves: Is this the culture we want in our town? Is this the example we want to set for our children as our great school system teaches them not to bully their classmates? Do we want our local business owners to not be able to voice their opinion for fear of a boycott? 

Is this the legacy we want to be remembered by with regards to our children, grandchildren, and future generations?

We can do better! 

A year ago, the Hopkinton Republican Town Committee (HRTC) adopted a new Vision Statement. The third bullet in our core values reads:

“We believe in freedom for all people to believe in what they choose to believe in. We believe in freedom from being discriminated against or harassed based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender or gender identification, sexual orientation, or political beliefs.”

Where we can start…

I can speak for the HRTC which denounces all forms of bullying, shaming and political nastiness and will address our members that engage in that behavior. We ask that our Select Board and other town political committees publicly denounce this behavior as well. 

How can we all do better? I am not suggesting an end to political debate or thoughtful policy related questions to candidates. We should all be open to more thoughtful and respectful debate of diverse political opinions. Let’s remember, we all have the same goal…keep Hopkinton moving forward as a great town to live and raise a family! 

I encourage us all to take a step back and reflect on how we engage with our neighbors on a day-to-day basis and resist being pulled into “pack behavior” that ends in words and actions we are not necessarily proud of. But I believe we can all do a little better and be a little nicer every day, even if we don’t agree on the specifics of how to move our town forward.

As we teach our children, when you observe this type of behavior, don’t turn away…become an upstander! 

Together we can change the political environment in our small slice of America, encourage positive political debate and engagement, and be nicer neighbors!

Very sincerely,

Jim Mirabile, Chair, Hopkinton Republican Town Committee

Sunnyside Gardens

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  1. Thank you Jim. As republican party members ourselves, we have felt uncomfortable supporting our party especially for the last two presidential elections for fear of being stereotyped as a MAGA and be retaliated against. Our children have come home thinking their parents support extremism as some of the teachers in our schools clearly express their political stance in class. We don’t stand for any of the stereotypical hateful things that people associate for with our party and wish that people in this town would stop assuming so. I do hope our select board, town leaders, our school committee and the head of HDTC will also make statements denouncing the behavior we just saw in our town’s last election because no one should have to feel afraid to say they are Republican in this town.

    • I am also a moderate republican mom, but am afraid to admit being so publicly in this town. However, I am glad to hear there are others like me. I feel very isolated.
      I am sorry to hear that your kids have been told their parents are extremists. Sigh. My kids are younger but I’m worried about their experiences in school as they get older.

    • Enough is Enough. Hatred has no place in Hopkinton or this country. How do you think your activism betters the world as a whole as you alienate people for their culture,religion, and their general beliefs. Do you not see yourself dehumanizing others? What you continue to spew spreads more divineness and is not good for Hopkinton, the country or the world.

      I am sure most reasonable people would welcome uncomfortable conversations as it encourages enlightenment and empathy even though it may end in agreeing to disagree. You, however do not come off as a reasonable person.
      I am a first generation American and am proud and fortunate to live in a country that offers more opportunity than most other countries in the world. I want the to see the US prosper, but instead our country is self-imploding from people’s unwillingness to compromise. It saddens me to think if we continue this path what the future of our children would look like. It’s unfortunate that you label me and others “Fascist” for wanting better for our country.

  2. Way ahead of you, Jim. The Hopkinton Democratic Town Committee posted their statement two years ago. Since not everyone has Facebook, I’ll reprint it here.

    A statement from our members
    As members of the Hopkinton Democratic Town Committee (HDTC), we are proud of our slate of smart, caring, well qualified candidates. We are working diligently to help voters get to know them and to educate our residents about the elections process in general.

    The HDTC supports community engagement and fact-based open dialogue. We promote each of our endorsed candidates’ positive attributes. We encourage our candidates to run informative, transparent campaigns. We do not condone personal attacks on candidates, their families, or members of our community at large.

    We believe in working hard to have a positive impact on our town. We are proud of our work as well as our mission to foster and sustain an active, informed electorate; encourage citizen participation in government; and pursue freedom and justice for all people.

    Our meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month. Further details are available on our website at http://www.hopkintondemocrats.org. Newcomers are always welcome.

    We wish all candidates the best of luck on Monday, June 29th.

  3. “We believe in freedom for all people to believe in what they choose to believe in. We believe in freedom from being discriminated against or harassed based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender or gender identification, sexual orientation, or political beliefs.” Thank you for continuing to live by this mission statement, RTC. It’s unfortunate that it’s impossible to elect anyone with an R or an I party affiliation next to their name.

    DTC, are you listening? You believe in FACT BASED open dialogue? You do not condone personal attacks? Really? You all perpetuated the attacks, then doubled down on them. Your strategy to belittle and defame candidates with somewhat opposing opinions is your Magna Carta. Honestly, at this point it doesn’t matter because this strategy has worked out beautifully for all of your candidates that past few years.

  4. Jim, Thank you so much for taking the time to address this very important issue in our town. I was waiting to see if any local elected officials, political parties, or town employees would speak to this, and so far you are the only one to call out an injustice and condemn it. As in the past, everyone else has remained silent or looked the other way. This is a much needed dose of kindness and class for our town. I don’t know much about the HRTC, but I think this speaks volumes. Thank you.

  5. Thank you for posting. While I am not a republican, I do agree with everything you have written. Visions, mission statements, and values are meaningless if you are not living them.

    • Based on your school committee candidate’s last op Ed, where she publicly tried to shame and blame a number of individuals by name very publicly in town, I would say even though you might agree with all of this, your candidate does not. She who lashed out against what she called a “smear” campaign appeared to be trying to do the same to all kinds of people. And where was she publicly to call out bullying when people were putting down another SC candidate for being a “renter” in town. I don’t honestly think we can make any progress on this issue unless those yelling the loudest are ALL willing to accept responsibility for their part in this.

        • I know and I hear you saying you are not a Republican as well. Clearly going to say she was supported by the majority of republicans in town though since she slammed the democrats. I don’t know if anyone on the HRTC behaved badly during this election or not (I don’t honestly know other than the author here who is on what committee) but for people to try to claim it was all one sided in this election is simply untrue.

          I don’t know you so I’m going to assume that when you say you agree with this statement from the HRTC, that you are being sincere and that you didn’t try to publicly shame or bully people either. But I also don’t honestly know if you helped Ashley write her “rip people in Town to shreds” op Ed or not. My point is that your candidate’s behavior was not in line with this statement. I think we all need to get on board with both the HRTC and the HDTC statements in how we treat one another. And those who have been loudest should look introspectively to see what the impact is on our community as a whole. Is this the kind of place we all want to live? Or do we want to be the type of community that jumps to help and support one another? It’s hard to be both.

          • I did not help Ashley wrote a single thing but did support her and defend her because I didn’t agree the way she was treated by various groups

          • Hello Truth Grenade, While I did not help Ashley write any of her content, I absolutely chose to support her at the beginning of her campaign. Her last letter was her way of holding those that treated her unfairly accountable. A smear is when you twist the truth and spread misinformation. All the things in Ashley’s letter were true and it was written after many wrong doings. My support for her campaign turned into defending her and I would do it again in a heart beat.

      • Ashley didn’t smear anyone she called out the corruption and BS from the HDTC and others.

        Ashley was attacked without evidence.

        Susan IS a renter and a new resident. These were valid concerns in her candidacy. And also are TRUE.

        It isn’t Ashley’s job to search social media for “attacks” on the other candidates. I didn’t see Susan or Adam coming out either denouncing the attacks, especially the ones from their party chair.

      • To Kristin’s point, you called Mrs. Fogg the republican candidate, but she was and is very vocally independent. So get your “truth” straight.

        And Mrs. Fogg DID publicly shame several individuals… they were doing shameful things. But the difference is that she was telling the truth, and actually seems to be exposing things that are documented or witnessed. All of the accusations against her were, at least from what I’ve read and investigated, ENTIRELY false: she is not a homophobe, racist, book banner, or fascist, and no one has presented a shred of evidence to the contrary. The fact that you don’t see a difference between exposing truth and spreading lies is telling.

        Lastly, the FACT that Ms. Stephenson is a renter and recent arrival in Hopkinton is just that: a demonstrable fact, and one that is extremely relevant to whether someone might want to vote for her. People voicing an opinion that someone who isn’t even vested in our town as a taxpayer isn’t bullying… it’s just a point of view you disagree with.

        And for the record, an inability to tolerate other points of view sure sounds a lot like… fascism.

        • You can’t handle the truth
          There are two sides to every story, social media is a cesspool and the validity of selective screenshots, texts, deleting content and emojis do not reflect the full story of a situation.

        • No, actually I did not call her a republican, although her unwillingness to answer ideological questions led some people to believe her beliefs aligned with republican values. I called her Kristin D’Angelo’s candidate as Kristin has been a vocal supporter.

          As to the renter comment, it appears to discount hundreds of renters from stepping up for public service positions by discounting their commitment to the town. People rent for all kinds of reasons, including socioeconomic factors which make the comments appear elitist. With the dwindling number of people willing to step forward to run for public office in this climate, i sure hope people aren’t trying to bring us back to laws from the 17-1800s limiting participation in the electoral process to land owners.

          I agree with truth detectors comment entirely.

  6. Perhaps HopNews could do less to encourage this behavior from both sides instead of posting popcorn eating gifs on your FB page and enticing people to join in on the mud slinging. The post you just put up in Let’s Talk is doing the same thing. Do Better “Hop News Staff” and take a good hard look in the mirror.

    • Agree with all of this. Hopnews staff has put gasoline on the fire of all of this. This is worse than the old town talk.

    • I believe the editor enjoys watching the mud slinging. Says a lot about him.

      Bottom line is the voters have spoken and Adam and Susan won. All BS aside Ashley lost not only this election but also the last one. At which point does she take responsibility for her losses? If the people in this town actually wanted Ms. Fogg in this position they would have voted her in. That didn’t happen. In either election.

      People quickly forgot when this town was run almost entirely by the R party. The town has grown ‘bigglie’. Trump has turned neighbor against neighbor and our town is not exempt.

      • ME u are right. Fogg lost twice. Twice HopNews ran whining, opinion editorials from her that are just her OPINION. Fogg needs to realize she wasn’t the preferred candidate by 2/3’s of the voters. Advertisers you are paying for these click bait Blatts. HopNews do better.

  7. Everyone, Do Better. Local Republicans have been zealots in past history pushing a primarily Republican town. Local Democrats have been zealots recently doing the same. Even local unenrolled have shown far right or left wing beliefs. Everyone, come together and Do Better.

  8. From recent local elections, the HDTC has not swept all elections nor did they this year. HRTC seems to be re-energized, for a long time HRTC won far more elections than the HDTC and was more active in Hopkinton. This year the town elected unenrolled, democrats and a republican to local offices. Several years ago, Amman Haidri a Democrat lost to John Coutinho a Republican for Selectman. Shahidul Mannan a Democrat ran against Brendon Tedstone an Unenrolled a couple years ago, Shahidul Mannan lost that election and the voters in town reelected Brendon Tedstone as a Selectman. Shahidul Mannan did run for Selectman again last year and was elected on his second go around to be a Selectman. Each party or unparty, has wins and losses. All these people are volunteers who give their time for Hopkinton, appreciate them.

  9. Hopkinton allows hunting in the woods directly abutting residents homes and welcomes an abundance of noise pollution at its FOUR local gun clubs. I’d say Republicans in Hopkinton are thriving.

  10. The picture with the article about Officer Brennan and with the Selectmen, not a single Democrat in the picture. The good ol days of GOP rule and good ol boys club with a token woman. Those were the days.

    • I hope you are being facetious. I’m assuming so, but tone is not always easy to infer on here and I do believe there are many in the group who troll this site who believe that “one token female” is preferred to the number of strong women we have in leadership roles now.

      I find it shocking honestly that so many more people seem interested in the allegations a School Committee candidate made in an op Ed than allegations that have been made against police officers in our town (including indictments against at least one). I for one have long held that we have the best police force anywhere. This really rocks my faith in that. I’ve heard there may be more officers being put out on leave that have yet to be announced. This is devastating both to any victim/victims involved and to our town. It’s a violation of a sacred trust. This goes far and above level of tragedy to somebody who is mad just because people think she’s homophobic or doesn’t believe in evolution because she wouldn’t answer questions about her core values to their satisfaction. People make assumptions about each other all of the time based on what facts they see or don’t see… you can’t always control that. And at this point it comes across as “the lady doth protest too much, me thinks.”

      And, imagine in comparison the stress level of our police who were not involved in any of this? It has to be a lot watching this go down in their own department. And suddenly to have people casting suspicion on everyone in the department because of what I’m hoping was just a few bad apples. And I’m hoping when this all shakes out we have more than just a few police officers left. Hard not to think we will lose some in protest over unfolding events they wish to disassociate from and some who had even peripheral knowledge.

    • Do you remember when Mary Pratt and Muriel were on the SB? The boys club held a meeting without their female members in order to get something through. Ya that was a sneaky move.

      • Wow, that’s horrible of the deplorable Repeblican boys club. Hopefully they are more accepting now like their mission statement, but past actions don’t reflect it. The past republican chairs lacked transparency and had many closed doors meetings with the town manager to push developers’ agendas and spoke out at town meeting for Legacy to continue development. These folks also served on Planning Board, ZAC, and as Selectmen. Legacy North couldn’t even have a school bus stop because the road was pushed through too early, tons of environmental issues, concerns about LNG and school costs are out of control from allowing Legacy. An old past elephant remembers.

  11. The HRTC current and past members have been very involved in lots of areas in town. Remember to thank them for; the Starbucks parking lot, the downtown corridor fiasco, pushing for the Legacy Development, wanting multiple crossings on Hayden Row for the Upper Charles Trail, the town paying out for misappropriation of water sewer funds, spoke out against the expansion of our beautiful library and against continued investments in the schools. An old past elephant remembers.

  12. I read this with article with dismay. Having grown up in a place where voter disenfranchisement was practiced and voters were polarized I now live in Hopkinton and thought things would be better. I pay my taxes to the town and yet I see neither party trying to reach out to the many tax paying residents who do not have representation to show how they can be inclusive and do the best for the whole of Hopkinton and not just “their corner”. It’s time to realise we also pay for the town and it’s government and you as the party’s need to get over yourselves and do what’s right for everybody

  13. Soooo enjoy living now in Upton………….
    Come on West for Sanity and Civilized Living.
    It may not be perfect but it is Polite and Pleasant.

    My best,
    Andrea T. Graveline
    (former 29 year resident of Hopkinton)

  14. Why in the world does the town have a party system? It’s like Hopkinton just looks for ways to get themselves in the wrong headlines these days.


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