Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wilkerson's Whirlpool...of the Month
Unless we hear differently — and Sen. Dianne Wilkerson seems to love surprising us — she'll try the quixotic sticker way to hold onto the Second Suffolk seat. Yet, even she must have re-evaluated her chances following the current of a long, long series of legal and financial scandals.
Unlike her strategist and friend Joyce Ferriabough's apology (in the classical definition) of her ills, this did not just plop into Wilkerson's lap. Actually, neither did the others unless you don't believe in cause and effect.
However, a lot of eyebrows pop up and foreheads wrinkle trying to evaluate both the source and timing of this one. The true believers over at the Bay State Banner have eagerly and often illogically dismissed the many criminal and civil counts against Wilkerson. Today's issue though has a very fair wrap-up of the complexity of the complaint against her filed with the state bar association.
This one is in some ways the most serious. She could lose her law license. I am very sure she'll come up way short in her sticker campaign in three weeks. She needs to practice law or get a good-paying position.
The complaint accuses her of lying under oath orally and in writing. Either could lead to disbarment.
However, the lead accusations come from two Boston detectives who seem to have ulterior motives. Because of Wilkerson's history of vigorous defense of poor, generally black, defendants, she is, shall we say, not the cops' favorite lawyer.
The timing is peculiar in several ways. It does come shortly before the general election. On top of all of Wilkerson's other screw-ups, this one may tip even some of her scandal-fatigued loyalists. Her previous endorsers are mostly sitting out the general or going for primary winner and Democratic nominee Sonia Chang--Díaz. The big fish, like the governor and senate president, have dropped Wilkerson. Four smaller fry have stuck with her.
Yet, if the aim was to sink her campaign, before the primary would have been the time, not afterward. From the outside, it looks as though the State Bar Counsel tried to help her by waiting until she had lost the primary and recount before filing the complaint.
The judge in the case in which Wilkerson allegedly lied repeatedly was surprisingly harsh at the time. She listened to the tape of the police questioning of the suspect and said Wilkerson's testimony was "irreconcilable" with the evidence, recording and detectives' testimony. She clearly didn't believe Wilkerson.
On the other hand, Boston police and in particular the BPD detectives don't have the best reputation for telling the truth in a crunch. There's quite a sordid history of protecting their own, planting evidence and even doing as Wilkerson is accused of in this case.
Now it falls to the Board of Bar Overseers to decide who's being honest. It would be great and much easier if both the cops and Wilkerson were clean, but each side has bad history. I don't envy them this task.
I have already predicted more than once that Wilkerson will lose the sticker contest...big. She should never have considered it. How many signs does she need to understand this is not her moment. She needs to withdraw and regroup, to step aback from the race in which she should have graciously accepted defeat.
She has another history, one as the rising star, a reformer, a harbinger of more legislators and other officials of color. She definitely lost her way and more than once or twice.
She has become hoist with her own petard. The casualties include many of her supporters in shell shock from seemingly endless explosions Wilkerson causes.
Wilkerson is like our once favorite aunt, always there to listen us and help us out of trouble. Then she came for a visit, which turned into an indefinite stay. She did everything wrong and more than wore out her welcome, our affection and our respect.
Surely there's still an honest and honorable Dianne Wilkerson inside that gigantic ego. She needs to go off and find herself.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, Senate, Second Suffolk, Wilkerson