Progressive-backed candidate acknowledges ‘stupid immature jokes’ on Facebook
“When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible,’’ George W. Bush said when he was running for president and faced questions over indiscretions as a younger man.
And now a 34-year-old candidate for mayor of Somerville — endorsed by local progressive activists and heading up their Our Revolution Somerville ticket — is pleading the same case.
Payton Corbett, a beer truck driver, is challenging liberal Mayor Joe Curtatone this year, and the newcomer has won the endorsement of the left-leaning Our Revolution this summer. Corbett is also having to explain some embarrassing Facebook posts in which he aired politically incorrect views, such as referring to women as “dumb broads,’’ suggesting Asians have a penchant for restaurant specials, and comparing Black History Month to a coffee chain’s “Chocolate Lovers Month.”
It was, he agrees now in his older age, something he did in his irresponsible youth — from 2009 through 2013.
“That dark sense of humor doesn’t necessarily reflect my political views,” he explains. He now describes the posts as “stupid immature jokes.”
Corbett, who says he has delivered beer to most every bar and saloon in Greater Boston, has argued Curtatone is too conservative and in bed with the special interests. Corbett won Our Revolution’s endorsement in July.
His postings, in which he holds back very little of his youthful observations, might not play well with the left-leaning, Bernie Sanders-supporting activists who, after the presidential election, created the nationwide, loosely organized Our Revolution movement.
“So this morning in Roxbury, two crackhead broads made off with a case of Corona while my back was turned,” he wrote in an August 2013 post. “My shouts . . . did not seem to stop them.”
Corbett said his opponents who collected the postings were trying to divert attention from the issues that he and other Our Revolution Somerville candidates are raising in their races.
“The people trying to smear me are people pushing insensitive policies,’’ Corbett said.
Matthew Miller, a member of the group’s steering committee, said he was not aware of Corbett’s posts. While he said the group obviously does not endorse such posts, he said Corbett, like other candidates, filled out questionnaires and appeared before their members.
Miller said Corbett earned the endorsement by his presentation and his positions on the issues, including his vows to fight the real estate developers. Years-old postings should not be a factor, he suggested.
“I was not aware of anything like this, but it is not surprising that others are bringing up old tweets and Facebook posting[s],’’ he said.