Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Smears for Reilly, Mihos, Patrick

So far, the gubernatorial candidates haven't had to stoop to flinging dung at each other, not when the local press is trying its feeble best. For example, the Boston finger pointing pair, Herald and Globe, are lifting up rocks -- to little effect so far.

For Patrick, in a March 8th article, Frank Phillips at the Globe implied imprudence for $27,000-a-month in mortgages on $6 million in property. That brought a comment from Patrick in his NECN interview that several letter-to-the-editor writers echoed. Okay, he and his wife are connected lawyers, who make a lot of money and don't have a problem meeting the nut. They are buying valuable homes.

For me, the question is does having large mortgages limit his flexibility in investing in his campaign? We have seen how much both political parties here -- and to a lesser extent the voters -- love rich candidates piling piles of chips on the baize for their contests. This can backfire, as it did for Maura Hennigan in her quixotic mayoral joust, but clearly Christy Mihos and Chris Gabrieli have gathered large amounts of undeserved respect just for opening their checkbooks. Hennigan didn't have it to spare and neither of those guys nor Kerry Healey would have to work for a living if they fail.

Now, will Patrick have to make a similar display or, if he dominates at the June party convention, will he attract enough external donations to go head-to-head, mano-a-mano, buck-for-buck against the idle rich in the race?

For Mihos, today's Herald thumps the hypocrisy drum. With little political on his grocery résumé, he has been touting himself as an anti-tolls highway guy. By implication, he'd be an anti-tax, pro-consumer governor.

The article dug up his votes and opinions that contradict those claims. It seems he favored tolls on Pike exits 1 through 6 out West, restoring the Newton exit-16 toll, and studying how to extract as much revenue as possible from drivers.

Of course, on his campaign Website, he stresses the post-change-of-heart positions of removing tolls.

Mihos has far more substantial problems than selective lying by omission. He's going against the two parties. He doesn't have the credentials or platform for the job. The Herald is going to have to do better than prove that a millionaire politician (gasp) didn't tell the whole truth.

For Reilly, today's Globe hit will leave some bruises. He claims, with little proof, that he was tough during the priest sex-abuse period, particularly on outlaw Cardinal Law.

The dates and actions show a very different piece of theatre. Reilly did little and acted late. Even today, he claims that the laws were not in place to permit him to do the right thing. Not only is that not credible, we need only look at Law slithering away free to the Vatican and the rest of the timeline in the article.

A real prosecutor, not to mention state attorney general, wouldn't look away. He managed to find laws to keep out-of-state gay couples from marrying here, but not to prosecute child molesters and those who protected them.

In a snarky sidebar, the Globe lets Reilly claim credit for several alleged accomplishments. Speaking to Dems Saturday in Newburyport, his bluster included:
There weren't many other people in politics that were willing to stand up to the Archdiocese of Boston in the sexual abuse of children. You're looking at someone who did, and changed things forever. It changed things forever. With the guts to send state troopers into that chancery. And two days later he was in Rome, and he never came back. He never came back. That's what a difference leadership can make.
That's a lot like a little kid, swaggering only when the bully gets bored and leaves the playground. "See, he left because he's afraid of me!"

Granted going after God's gang in a heavily Roman Catholic commonwealth would require real guts -- and leadership. On the other hand, Reilly has made a career of playing prosecutor, as DA and AG. His platform interjects such allusions everywhere.

There's a real argument that priests face both church and God's judgment. Those are not in Reilly's purview. Secular law enforcement is.

Voters and even DP functionaries will have to consider whether if he doesn't do the AG job right, how can he handle the much broader office?

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1 comment:

Bugsy said...

My wife and I have decided to ask Deval for our $50 back. The story of Deval's excessive lifestyle never ran on the Cape.

You can't pay $27,000 a month in mortgage payments on a $130,000 a year salary. Something has to give. Most likely it will be your ethics.