Welcome to the extra-scandalous edition of the column. You may want to shower afterwards, ’cause this ain’t pretty. I’ll start with the nastiest stuff and try to bring the tone up from there (good luck, me).
Things are getting seriously ugly between Democrat/Norfolk County DA William R. Keating and State Representative Jeffrey D. Perry (R – Sandwich), and that’s saying something considering the tone of this race from the get-go was far from cordial.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently unveiled an attack ad that strips down (and in the process, slightly sensationalizes) the Scott Flanagan/Wareham PD scandal. The Massachusetts Democratic party has also launched a “fact-based” anti-Perry website called “The Perry Files,” which links to a ton of media stories about Rep. Perry’s various controversies.
Meanwhile the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee launched a new website, “Bill Keating – Just the Facts,” a blog-style site that picks apart Keating’s political career, and boy, what timing! That launched just as news broke that Mr. Keating was accepting campaign donations from a defense attorney on the other side of a case Mr. Keating’s office is prosecuting.
Keating is dismissing this as no big deal, attorneys donate to him all the time, but the GOP is calling this a conflict of interests.
Then there is the startling new wrinkle in the form of a new endorsement for Rep. Perry from Thomas Joyce, who was the chief of the Wareham Police Department during the Flanagan scandal – a man who has completely avoided the media (and continues to do so) to discuss the matter.
Why he has emerged from hiding has not been revealed, but his endorsement has only served to embolden the converted and provide the Keating folks with more ammo; recent e-mails from the Keating campaign gleefully point out that the former chief was himself a co-defendant in the court cases resulting from the Flanagan incidents.
This is tiresome, guys. Really. This negativity is making both candidates look like a word I can’t print here in a family newspaper.
Now, here’s a surprising and related bit of news: last week the five Congressional candidates met in Plymouth and debated (read: Perry and Keating sniped at each other), and the candidate who came out on top in a subsequent straw poll was unenrolled candidate MaryAnne Lewis.
WATD, which sponsored the event, held the poll following a Friday rebroadcast of the debate, and Ms. Lewis – who, as you might have noticed, is profiled this week – came out on top with a whopping 76 percent support. Rep. Perry came in second (16 percent) and Mr. Keating (eight percent).
Ms. Lewis apparently scored major points when, at last Thursday’s debate, she remarked to the two party candidates that people were sick of listening to them slap each other around (I know I am). Whether she can successfully parlay voter irritation at both the current status quo and at Perry and Keating’s carping has yet to be seen, but she has become a much more interesting and potentially dangerous candidate.
Back to Scandalville and its growing population. Suzanne M. Bump, Democratic candidate for auditor, is defending (read: rationalizing) her decision to claim two big tax breaks in Great Barrington, which she calls home, and in Boston where she owns a condo.
Ms. Bump — a lawyer, mind you — insisted she was not doing anything illegal, but the Massachusetts Department of Revenue begged to differ: the DOR said residents cannot claim two primary residences in Massachusetts to get two sets of property tax breaks.
Despite her adamant belief she was getting the tax breaks legally, she last week ponied up $5,875 to reimburse the City of Boston for the taxes she didn’t pay. The city then reviewed the situation and confirmed that yes, she was not entitled to both perks.
And this is the woman who wants to be the person who ensures our tax money is used properly. Lovely.
From the world of weird endorsements: James A. Sheets, one of the three unenrolled candidates for Congress, recently announced that he’d received an endorsement from Peter Boylston Adams, a descendant of President John Quincy Adams.
And that’s all he’s got: he’s related to someone famous and influential in shaping the United States. Whoop-de-do.
And now, a nice endorsement: for Daniel A. Wolf, Democratic candidate for State Senator of the Cape and Islands District, from environmental groups the Sierra Club and Clean Water Action.
On Friday, October 29 starting at 6 PM, there will be a multi-candidate Republican rally at the Hemisphere Restaurant in Sandwich. On the roster of attendees: Rep. Perry; Thomas F. Keyes, Republican candidate for State Senator of the Plymouth and Barnstable District; F. Randal Hunt, Republican candidate for State Representative for the Fifth Barnstable District; Michael D. O’Keefe, the Cape and Islands’ district attorney (who is unopposed this year); and James Killion, who is running for the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates.
This week’s event reminders:
Rep. Perry is the guest of honor at a reception at the Flying Bridge in Falmouth on Sunday. That runs from 5 to 7 PM.
That same day Mr. Keyes will hold a fundraiser at the Aqua Grille in Sandwich beginning at 4 PM.
Next Friday, October 22, the Committee to Elect Therese Murray and Olive and Dave Chase will host a fundraiser for Senate President Therese M. Murray (D – Plymouth) at the Sandwich Glass Museum from 6 to 7:30 PM. Suggested donation for both events is $50 per person.
Mr. Hunt is holding his final campaign fundraiser on Saturday, October 23 at the East Sandwich Grange Hall. The Tony Lujan Quintet will perform.
Political news and announcements may be sent to Michael Bailey, Region editor and senior political reporter, at email@example.com