Listening to Bill Hudak talk about the new miracle cure he was peddling during a recent appearance on Beverly's cable access channel, two words immediately popped into this reporter's head — snake oil.
Shortly afterwards, the Republican congressional candidate from Boxford announced he had abandoned plans to run against incumbent U.S. Rep. John Tierney this year in order to concentrate on marketing a "unique health system based on Nobel Prize-winning science" that "reverses the aging process."
The jury may still be out on the benefits of the Qivana product line, but the marketing scheme has all the earmarks of one of those "network" sales operations in which the recruiting of new "team" members is as important as the product itself.
As an enlightening story by court reporter Julie Manganis revealed earlier this week, it's not Hudak's first foray into the field. In the 1990s, he was part of a company that recruited people to sell travel packages from their homes. It was apparently an old colleague there who introduced Hudak to the Qivana system and a Connecticut man, Albert Muir, who, Manganis learned, is currently serving a suspended, five-year sentence for promoting prostitution. He's listed along with Hudak as head of the "North Shore-Boston-based Qivana team."
Hudak says he was unaware of his colleague's legal problems and can argue they have no bearing on his new company or its product line. But having repeatedly demanded full transparency from Tierney regarding the Salem Democrat's knowledge of his wife's family's offshore gambling operation, shouldn't Hudak provide the same to potential customers?
After all, beneath the item referring viewers to a Qivana video on his campaign website's Twitter feed, is another promising he will be back running for Congress in 2014 "stronger than ever!"
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There are reports Beverly City Council President Paul Guanci is being recruited by Republican notables including Sen. Scott Brown to run for the 2nd Essex state Senate seat being vacated by Peabody's Fred Berry after this year. Guanci, a council veteran and well-known local businessman, would provide the GOP with a formidable presence in a race that at the moment appears wide open.
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Lots of communications from candidates for the Republican State Committee whose names will appear on the March 6 presidential primary ballot.
Marblehead's Amy Carnevale is seeking the 3rd Essex seat currently held by Joyce Lofmark.
In the 1st Essex and Middlesex District, which includes Hamilton, Wenham, and Ipswich, Christina Bain of Manchester is seeking her third term. Director of the Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, she has the support of House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones Jr. And in that same district, Gloucester's Lucas "Luke" Noble is seeking the male seat currently occupied by John Racho of Ipswich who is not seeking re-election.
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One of the people being mentioned as a possible Republican vice-presidential candidate, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, has a Peabody connection. His father, the late John F. "Jack" McDonnell, was born and raised in the Tanner City.
The governor, whom the Washington Post identified this week as one of "the three most-likely VP nominees" — the others being New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — still has many relatives and friends on the North Shore.