Welcome to what unintentionally became the (Almost) All-Congressional Edition of the column.
We start this week with State Senator Robert A. O’Leary (D – Barnstable), who has a couple of campaign events coming up. On Sunday he’ll be at the Flying Bridge in Falmouth for a reception with Vicki Donnelly, Mary L. (Pat) Flynn, William Zammer, and former state rep. Eric T. Turkington. That runs from 3 to 5 PM. That starts at 3 PM.
Then on Wednesday, June 30, Sen. O’Leary will be at the Roadhouse Café in Hyannis for a reception, which begins at 6 PM. Go to www.olearyforcongress.com/events for more information.
Sen. O’Leary recently scored a solid endorsement for his Congressional bid, from Paul G. Kirk Jr., the fellow who filled the late US Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s seat until January’s special election.
“I have spent much of my life in public service…I have observed many hard working and talented public servants, but none more responsive and dedicated to the people’s interests than Rob O’Leary,” Mr. Kirk said in a statement to the media.
Mr. Kirk extolled Sen. O’Leary’s work on projects ranging from the Cape Cod Land Bank (which gave birth to the Community Preservation Act) to the Cape Light Compact (yet, oddly, made no mention of his work on the Oceans Management Act). He called the senator “a man of vision and a proven problem solver.”
US Senator Scott P. Brown, who campaigned quite a bit on the Cape in his quest to succeed the late US Senator Edward M. Kennedy, returns tomorrow to host a fundraiser for his old State House colleague State Representative Jeffrey D. Perry (R – Sandwich), Republican candidate for Congress.
The general reception will be held at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis from 5:30 PM to 7 PM. Go to www.JeffPerryforCongress.com for more info (and brace yourself for some sticker shock if you want the deluxe meet-and-greet package).
On that note: last week while chatting with Congressman William D. Delahunt and State Representative Sarah K. Peake (D – Provincetown), I was asked my thoughts on the Congressional race. The conversation eventually turned to the hoo-hah surrounding Rep. Perry, and I thought I’d repeat some key points here.
Without naming names, there are one or two folks in the media who firmly believe that Rep. Perry’s Congressional campaign is falling apart under the weight of renewed scrutiny (renewed by the self-same people, I add) over the Scott Flanagan case.
My opinion? This is no more than wishful thinking on their part. Three campaign offices, $150,000 in campaign funds raised in the first quarter of 2010, a very active schedule of events and appearances, major endorsements from Sen. Brown and Mitt Romney – hardly the signs of an imploding campaign.
Joseph D. Malone is the true immediate threat to Rep. Perry’s campaign, not an old (and, really, inconclusive) controversy. The Malone machine has been humming along briskly, and he’s made a point to get down to the Cape on a regular basis to establish a presence and fight Rep. Perry’s home turf advantage, and that’s a much more tangible concern.
What I’m left wondering is whether the media will revisit with the same gleeful abandon the skeleton in Mr. Malone’s closet. Recall, if you will, that when Mr. Malone was our state treasurer in 1999 seven men, including his head campaign fundraiser and a deputy treasurer he appointed, stole $9.4 million from the treasury – the largest theft of state funds in Massachusetts history.
The embezzlement was discovered weeks after Mr. Malone left office, who was never implicated in the crimes.
So, to recap: the two leading GOP candidates are both under lingering suspicion of having knowledge of crimes committed by colleagues under their supervision at their former jobs, even though neither man was ever decisively or formally connected to the criminal acts in question and the only people who seem to really care are people with very old, dull axes to grind.
Make of all that what you will, but my humble advice, voters: let the real or imagined sins of the past be but one factor in your decision-making process when you hit the polls this year, and don’t let a biased smear campaign – against ANY candidate – make your minds up for you.
Having said all that, the Plymouth County Republican Committee last Friday released the results of an online straw poll on the Congressional race. I mention as a point of amusement that this poll included ALL the Congressional candidates, not just the Republicans — hell, they even listed Maryanne Lewis, who was never more than a rumored third-party candidate.
Guess who won?
Yep: Jeff Perry, by a very healthy margin.
Rep. Perry received 59 percent of the vote in that poll (540 votes out of 914 votes cast), with Joe Malone coming in second with 33 percent. Not surprisingly, the Democratic and unenrolled candidates were not even blips on the PCRC’s radar.
Speaking of unknown unenrolled Congressional candidates, Weymouth CPA Thomas A. Lawler is apparently bucking for a spot on the November ballot. His political experience seems to be limited to two terms as a Weymouth Town Meeting member. Reaching for that brass ring a little early, aren’t we?
His campaign website is at www.lawlerforcongress.com.
Now to break the pattern: Republican Thomas F. Keyes is holding a campaign event on Wednesday. Join Mr. Keyes at Grange Hall in Sandwich from 6 to 8 PM for the spaghetti supper fundraiser in support of his State Senate campaign. Go to www.votekeyes.com/events for more info.
Political news and announcements may be sent to Michael Bailey, Region editor and senior political reporter, at email@example.com