In the virtual holding cell of this blog there is a draft of a ridiculously long analysis of the Flanagan controversy haunting State Representative Jeffrey D. Perry (R – Sandwich). I’ve poked away at it over the past couple of weekends, intending it to be my exhaustive response to the news and faux news (read: blog) coverage of this story.
I look at it now and realize I rather wasted my time. I can sum that epic up much more succinctly, so I shall.
There are people out there, on both sides, who are trying to tell voters what is the truth. One side, led by a pair of anonymous bloggers, would have the public believe Rep. Perry’s culpability in the Scott Flanagan case is absolute and unquestionable. The other, Perry’s supporters, insist that Perry knew of nothing wrong and himself did nothing wrong in his capacity as Flanagan’s supervisor.
As is often the case, the truth is somewhere in-between these two extremes. In 2002, when I first read the court documents detailing the sordid Flanagan case, I came to the conclusion that there was no compelling proof one way or the other. There were dots that did not connect cleanly, but there was nothing that painted an incontestable picture of guilt on Perry’s part.
The Enterprise did not champion a position for or against Perry. We instead presented the evidence as best as we could — in a thorough and even-handed manner — so that the voters could make up their own minds. They did, and Rep. Perry won his 2002 legislative bid.
That is what voters need to do again as Rep. Perry runs for Congress: do the reading, weigh the facts, and make up their own minds, and not let agenda-driven bloggers presenting themselves as crusading journalists or self-interested politicians and their assorted hangers-on make it for them.
I’ve since re-read the court documents, as well as several other media accounts, and my position from 2002 is unchanged; I see nothing 100 percent exonerating or damning. If any reporter or blogger or campaign rep or Perry supporter or opponent tells you they know the “real truth” behind the story, they do not; they have established their own version of the truth and are trying to sell you on it. Don’t get suckered into that trap.
The bloggers have been for some time calling for Rep. Perry to drop out of the race over the Flanagan flap. Perry’s chief rival Joe Malone, who by all measures is trailing behind Perry in the race, is now calling for Perry to get out.
I say: stay in the race, Rep. Perry, and let the voters once again make the decision for themselves — and all parties should be prepared to live with the outcome, whatever that proves to be.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.