Rooting For The Underdog: 10 Facts About Francisco Sclafani

If you’re only half-assed paying attention to our ever-heating Mayoral Race of Doom (we don’t blame you, there’s good TV on these days), you may be unaware of some of the underdog candidates facing elimination from November’s ballot after today’s preliminary election. Since the Big Three – Sefatia, Paul, and Greg – are getting the vast majority of attention, we here at The Clam Media Limited wanted to give our loud and trustworthy voice over to the folks with a little less household recognition. Everybody gets a voice, right? DEMOCRACY IN ACTION!

Our Candidates. Notice the man in the white suit and corsage. He had not been, to our knowledge, to a prom or wedding earlier in the evening. (Photo Kim Smith/ GMG)

Our Candidates. Notice the man in the white suit and corsage. He had not been, to our knowledge, to a prom or wedding earlier in the evening. (Photo Kim Smith/ GMG)

That’s why we chose to write our piece today on little-known, but certainly, uh, exceptional, candidate Francisco Sclafani, of Middle Street, or possibly Lookout Street, no one’s really 100% sure. Gloucester, anyway. If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that Mr. Sclafani has had some time to come up with very and intricate plans for Gloucester’s future. His first run for mayor was in 1995

Mr. Sclafani, whose definition of business formal includes "this white suit forever"

Mr. Sclafani, whose definition of business formal includes “this white suit forever” (Photo: Salem News)


Here’s ten factoids about this unconventional candidate you may not know:


  1. He has some solid reasons he’s running for mayor of a large city: picking up chicks, returning a maternity ward to at Addison Gilbert Hospital, and fixing potholes.
  2. He wants to desalinate ocean water, bottle it, and sell it to raise cash for the City.
  3. He wants to freeze-dry sewage and export it to third world countries for, you guessed it, cash for the city.
  4. He does not campaign door to door because “he is not built for long distance or for heat.” However, he exclaims that he is in excellent condition for his age, in case we have any qualms about his physical fitness to serve as an official.
  5. He has been proposed to six times. It is unclear by how many women.
  6. During debates, he has accused former City Councilwoman Jackie Hardy, who passed last year of cancer, of bribery.
  7. He writes his speeches on a typewriter and does not have a computer, probably unironically.
  8. In past elections where he has lost, he has asserted that his fallback plan if he did not win the election was to be a partner in a disco.
  9. He has planned to write a salt-free cookbook.
  10. He has written a self-published book called Breach of Faith. The author’s description of the book’s riveting, totally logical and appropriate plot is such:

Five cowards named Peter Russo,Samuel Sanfilippo, David Stelluto,Tomas J. Mathews, and David Bader: all paid assasin’swho live in Gloucester Mass. These five cowards attempted twice in thesame night to gangbeat me, only to leave me for deadin a pool of my own blood. The double gangbeating was a hate crime which left me with numeroushuman bite marks on my face, hands, and inner thighs. The numerous blows to my head by Peter Russowould have killed an ordinary man, but would cripple me for over twenty years,living in a state of limbo. My two bloodbrother’s and their wives, Maureen “shiteater” redman and Helen “shiteater” Sclafani stole my legally notorizedshares in the family business, and forged their own names on them, all thewhile swindling me out of million’s of dollars worth of real estate, dividingthe money between themselves, and their money laundering children, businesspartners, and an endless list of golddiging whores.TRUE LOVE IS WHEN ANOTHER PERSON’S NEED’S AREMORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR OWN. LIVE EACHDAY AS IF IT WERE YOUR LAST. I can notbelieve my two brother’s who I loved at one time, would betray our love forpaper money. Tell my brother he did thefirst time he lied to me.

So as you head to the polls today, make sure you look inside yourself and think, “Maybe we really do need to freeze-dry our human waste.” You never know.


Go to the Affordable Housing Meeting. Seriously.

Remember when the collective of people who think the sky is falling in at the slightest whiff of change in the air totally shit their bermuda shorts at the thought of a windowless green building being erected in the spot where the putrid hulking corpse of Cameron’s is?

I’ve had a handful of people come up to me at various bars, sidewalk bazaars, and downtown block parties to say “those posts were great. I’m glad someone is calling people out on their concern trolling and NIMBYism.” This actually happened. I had thought since we were crazy busy with Snotbot and took some time off that people had perhaps forgotten your beloved the Clam existed, but I guess you people had longer attention spans than we thought. Weird. 

Well, tonight is the next community meeting about the space (spoiler alert: the building has fucking windows and won’t look like a sad space station). While there are reasonable people attending who have reasonable concerns and questions and want to be part of a collaborative conversation to move the project forward in a favorable manner, there are some who aren’t so reasonable. And you, as Clam readers, should show up to outnumber them. Why support this thing? Well, here:

  • Residences on Main Street aren’t a bad thing. There have been a lot of comments that housing should be kept off Main Street. I’m not sure why – while we have a great thriving Main Street, something other towns aren’t as lucky to have, we have more retail space than businesses wanting to fill it, and that problem is exacerbated with the recent closing of businesses like Palazola’s, Island Art and Hobby, La Trattoria, etc. When housing units are added to Main Street, businesses have more local clients, and local workers. There is already a good amount of housing stock on Main Street as it is – I have friends who live there, I almost rented an apartment above Stones (but felt my liver wouldn’t survive the year-long lease). We don’t have an excess of housing stock – in fact, it’s incredibly hard to find a reasonably priced apartment in this town, because so many places are summer rentals.
  • Thinly-veiled classism couched in faux-concern for residents is rampant already with this project. “How can kids live downtown without a yard?” Uh, ask every family in Manhattan or any other urban area of which our country has many. Turns out kids survive just fine if they have to undertake a short walk to the nearest playground, and the YMCA is around the corner. “How will they park?” Newsflash, middle-class hand-wringers: not everyone has a car, and the developers have made sure there’s parking for each unit.
  • There’s also just outright selfish judgement about the project. “People from scary Lynn could move here!” “It’s a tax on the school system!” “Low-income housing might lower my property values!” “Wow, a brand new downtown residence? How come I don’t get one and THOSE PEOPLE do?” And more I can’t even really repeat because it’s gross and I don’t feel like barfing right now. There are people who literally think these bullshit reasons should preclude other humans from having a needed downtown living space.

What downtown Gloucester will look like, apparently.


Low-income residents aren’t garbage people. They’re not. They’re our neighbors, sons, daughters, mothers, grandparents, best friends. We have to stop treating them like weird aliens that have come to destroy our idyllic city with their crime and their terrible work ethic. Newsfuckingflash: It’s hard to get low-income housing but incredibly easy to have a low income in 2015. Section 8 is a slog of a process with an interminably long waiting list during which time a lot of people lose whatever savings they had. Why are we making it harder for people to survive? Why is that the America some people want?

Go to the meeting. It’s at 6 PM at the Rose Baker Senior Center. Bring your questions and your reasonable brains.


Snotbot’s Final Frontier.

Today and tomorrow mark the last hours of our Snotbot project. And we still really need your help.



You should support this, and back us, for a ton of reasons. We’re awesome, this was a Clam project (that, up there, is your Clameditor Jim annoying Sir Patrick Stewart), and all that. And don’t worry, your The Clam will be back in full swing after this week. But beyond this local blog, this changes the world for the better. We take drone technology that was developed by the military and turn it to saving our oceans, whales, and the planet. We take 3d printing technology and do the same. We can solve mysteries like why the f*ck do whales keep getting stranded in Alaska and focus on why are we allowing f*cking Arctic drilling when the acoustics are almost guaranteed to be hurting whales and other animals.

Perrin Ireland from NRDC made this wonderful thing that explains it better than I can.

Perrin Ireland from NRDC made this wonderful thing that explains it better than I can.

And this is all happening in Gloucester, your Gloucester.  Without funding, this stuff doesn’t happen, and whales don’t get cool drones flying above them to test how stressed they are, whether they’re infected, pregnant, who they are, and so much more that’s really crucial to learning about how the changing ocean is affecting these animals.

I can’t explain enough how much we really need this fish.


I mean money.


God,  I have to stop watching Wicked Tuna.


(To donate, please click here.)


Here’s a deal for you.

If you donate to the Snotbot Kickstarter anytime this week (through Sunday) for any amount, I will videotape myself screaming your name at the angry,  unfeeling ocean.

Donate $100 or more, and I’ll yell anything you want at the ocean and record it.

Donate $250 and I’ll push Jim into the ocean fully clothed.

I haven’t even told him I’ll do that, I’m just GONNA.




Your The Clam Goes National

“There is a non-zero chance that Patrick Stewart could be involved in our Kickstarter,” I remember saying to Jim, quietly, while seated at Midori, while shoving a spicy tuna lunch combo into my facehole.

Turns out, the non-zero chance was all the chance we needed. Originally, we assumed the shoot would be in Brooklyn, where Sir Patrick and his lovely wife Sunny have a Park Slope residence. We’d take Jim’s minivan and my aging and now deceased Nissan Xterra with the roof box for all our gear. But four days before it was supposed to take place, we learned it was going to be in LA. Oh. Crap. But we pulled it together – borrowing lighting and gear from Marty DelVecchio (one of the best dudes you will ever meet), bringing our local gem of a filmmaker Stephanie Cornell with us, as well as my boss Iain and Jim’s business partner Eric, who is every bit as snarky as Jim but with a newer Subaru. We’ll get into the insane story at a later time, but we basically went in as a ragtag group of misfits and pulled off a pretty great looking film with no previous access to the location or talent. At one point, Jim was lying on the floor of the hotel room I shared with Stephanie, completely unable to process how we would pull this off – but we did. Nailed it!


Jim’s actually shitting his pants in this screengrab.

So here we are. After months of work, we finally launched last week at a pretty Clam-oriented party down at Maritime Gloucester. Last year, when the Market Basket story catapulted us into mid-level local notoriety, I thought we had made it big. I mean, hell, Esquire? Fuck yeah. But now we’re getting somewhere even crazier. And again, the story isn’t us – it’s about something bigger than us, better than us. But we wrote the script, we wrote the copy, we “acted”, we edited, re-edited, almost kicked each other square in our respective genitals – and we’re proud of how it’s going. We just got picked up by NBC News. We’re in the Globe. Popsci. Your beloved The Clam is making you proud – hopefully.

But, we need help still. We’re a long way away from our goal, and if you’re unfamiliar with how Kickstarter works, we only keep the money if we meet our goal of $225,000. It’s a terrifying position for us to be in, but we need to have faith that our project is worthwhile. We’re making a difference not only in marine research, but with a positive use of robotics amid a world where drones are still synonymous with military use or with those dipshits who fly them into crowds during holiday weekends.

Or this.

Or this.

And we’re here making a change for Gloucester. All the people who want the waterfront to stay marine-focused, clap yo’ hands! Hey, look what’s going on in the Paint Factory, right under your noses! This should be exactly what we want to stay in town – it provides jobs *coughminecough* and makes Gloucester look pretty damn innovative and awesome. But, in order for that to happen, everyone needs to step up and support it. The Paint Factory nearly became condos. Instead, Ocean Alliance took a huge risk and bought it. They’re bringing robotics and remote controlled flight projects to our kids – the weekly robotics club offers a chance to make your own foam RC Plane, or fly a drone without breaking the bank – providing any kid, regardless of ability to pay, with a way to interact in a fun STEM-based environment. They do cool stuff, man.

I won’t ask you too many more times (lies), but if you’ve been a fan of The Clam, please help us reach our goal. We need to go into the future with the best technology we can muster in order to save the oceans and save the damn planet. If you won’t help us reach our goal so we can go out and research – for Gloucester, for science, for whales, for humans – who will?