Looks like we have our first big controversy of the year.
Several news outlets last week picked up on allegations of misconduct against Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter, Democratic candidate for the Ninth Congressional District. Mr. Sutter allegedly released confidential records of phone conversations between murder suspect Jonathan Niemic and his attorney, Robert M. Griffin, and now Mr. Griffin is asking for the indictment against his client to be overturned.
This is the second such instance of alleged misconduct by Mr. Sutter. In 2003 murder charges against two suspects were dropped after a Massachusetts Superior Court judge found Mr. Sutter had displayed “a reckless disregard for the truth” by knowingly presenting an eyewitness who lied to a grand jury about the case.
Between this and the fact that incumbent Congressman William R. Keating (D) already has the backing of the state party, Mr. Sutter is facing a serious uphill battle in the primary.
In other Ninth District news, Plymouth Republican Christopher Sheldon will officially launch his Congressional campaign on Tuesday. He’ll make the announcement at the John Carver Inn and Spa on Summer Street in Plymouth.
Mr. Sheldon will hold a private reception at 6 PM, a public reception at 6:45 PM, and full festivities begin at 7:15 PM. If you want in on this, shoot an e-mail to Allan Knowles at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-591-0195.
Ronald K. Beaty Jr. of Barnstable, who all year has been making much ado about his candidacy for the Barnstable County Board of County Commissioners, on Saturday very suddenly suspended his campaign.
Mr. Beaty said in a follow-up to his e-mail announcement that a medical crisis was behind the decision. He said the suspension was indefinite and gave no hint whether he would return to the race once his medical issues are addressed.
I normally don’t pay much attention when people say, “Oh, I hear so-and-so is going to run for such-and-such this fall,” but this one has piqued my interest.
Over the past week I’ve received two calls from folks saying the word on the street is that Andrew V. Putnam of Falmouth is contemplating a run for the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates. Mr. Putnam is a Town Meeting member for precinct nine, chairman of the town’s equity/affirmative action committee, and son of Falmouth Selectman Brent Putnam.
When contacted this week, Mr. (Andrew) Putnam confirmed he is considering a run for the assembly. “My reason for considering running is simple,” he wrote in a brief statement. “I believe that I could give a new perspective on many of the issues that face Falmouth and the Cape and help those that have been ignored be brought to light (such as the importance of the Assembly of Delegates).”
Mr. Putnam is referring to a proposal to merge the assembly with the Barnstable County Board of County Commissioners – an idea that his possible opponent Julia C. Taylor, a 22-year member of the assembly, is open to exploring.
Still, I’m curious about the buzz that seems to be building over this tentative campaign. For starters: over a race for the assembly? The county body that few know about and fewer care about? Nothing personal against the delegates, but let’s call a spade a spade: I’ve been covering the assembly for 13-plus years now and people STILL ask me, “What’s the assembly of delegates?”
This occurs, I must note, despite the assembly’s traditional annual rallying cry of, “We need to increase the visibility of county government!” Which stands in contrast to the fact that many delegates show up to maybe one board of selectmen’s meeting per year to talk about what’s happening at the county level. But I digress…
It’s not unprecedented for candidates to start a “whisper campaign” in advance of a formal declaration of candidacy to build some name recognition, but my advice to Mr. Putnam is this: don’t whisper, dude. Shout. Loud. And a lot.
Finally, I present a slightly paraphrased version of one of Senate President Therese M. Murray’s (D – Plymouth) jokes from last weekend’s Barnstable Democratic Town Committee St. Patrick’s Day Brunch: a conservative, a moderate, and a liberal walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Hey, Mitt.”
Political news and announcements may be e-mailed to Michael Bailey, senior political reporter, at email@example.com.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.