I remember some strange things happening in politics, but never so many in such a short period of time as was the case this week. Consider:
Paul Loscocco, after spending the previous months of this year running for Lieutenant Governor as Independent candidate Tim Cahill’s running mate, jilted Cahill last Thursday, appeared at a press conference last Friday to endorse Republican candidate Charlie Baker, and that evening was called “a man of courage” by John McCain at a Baker fund raiser.
On Tuesday, the Globe reported that Republican State Treasurer candidate Karyn Polito faces an ethics complaint for her vote to fund the extension of a road from her hometown of Shrewsbury to a commuter rail station in neighboring Grafton. The complaint alleges that Polito and her family own a 60 acre tract near the route of the town that would increase in value with the construction of the road.
Yesterday, the Globe reported that Democratic candidate for State Auditor Suzanne Bump had claimed property tax exemptions on two properties she owns: one in Boston, the other in Great Barrington. The problem is that the exemption is only available on one’s principal residence. During the first week of Civil Procedure class in law school, I remember learning that you can only have one principal residence. That’s a completely different context, but it explains why Bump is in the news and explaining herself.
The Globe also reported yesterday that the spouse of Congressman John Tierney plead guilty in US District Court to four counts of “aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns for her brother, a federal fugitive who has been indicted on charges of illegal gambling and money laundering.” From the reports about Tierney’s in-laws, they sound ready for some kind of reality TV show.
And today you had the news that Independent candidate for governor Tim Cahill filed suit against a handful of his former advisers alleging that while on Cahill’s payroll, the advisers passed and are still attempting to pass confidential information about the Cahill campaign to his opponent Charlie Baker. A Superior Court judge yesterday issued Cahill a Temporary Restraining Order prohibiting the defendants from disclosing any information to Baker. Cahill possesses “smoking gun” evidence in this suit because the conspirators communicated by email that passed through the Cahill campaign’s web server which automatically archived copies which are now exhibits in the lawsuit.
Finally, you have Loscocco tonight alleging that Cahill has been conspiring with Deval Patrick to defeat Charlie Baker. Up until last week, Loscocco seemed like a fairly rational fellow who staked his political future on Tim Cahill’s long shot run for governor. When Loscocco stabbed Cahill in the back last week, he became to Massachusetts politics what Judas is to the bible and Benedict Arnold is to American history. Can’t get much worse than that, or so I thought. All I can say after Loscocco’s ravings today is that he’s to be pitied.
Thus ends a bizarre week in Massachusetts politics. There’s a school of thought that candidates for high office should first run at the local or state rep/state senate level; that such predecessor campaigns serve the dual purpose of seasoning and vetting the candidates. That theory gets tossed out the window this week since every one of the individuals named above has already held a significant elected office. What will the weekend bring?