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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Walking on a thin line

Technically speaking, I'm sure the Healey campaign did not drop the dime that launched the slime involving Deval Patrick's sister. The term is plausible deniablity and Republicans, in particular, are quite adept at it.

But let's look beyond the precise wording of the retorts from Healey (who said she did not "consider this a campaign issue," adding that "I'm not using it in my campaign") and campaign manager Tim O'Brien, who self-righteously tried to turn the blame back onto Patrick.
"This campaign had nothing to do with the story. This is a wild accusation without any proof. To walk off without answering questions -- I don't know how that's acceptable."
Notice how careful parsed the denial is: "this campaign." That means someone actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the race. There's a whole legion of suspects out there who are not part of "this campaign."

Let's play detective. The questions they always ask are who had means, motive and opportunity. The answer to this is simple: someone who works at the Sex Offender Registry Board (under the jurisdiction of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Romney-Healey appointee Robert Haas) or in the court system has both the means and the opportunity.

Motive is simple: political survival. So that means either a disgruntled Democrat or someone within either of the state government system who is worried about his or her job.

We know Democrats are adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but this year no one seems so worked up to even offer a Loony Left slap the way Tom Finneran did in 1998.

Let's then look at method of operation (M/O as Lennie Brisco liked to say). Which candidate has been a fierce law and order type, running commercials reflecting outrage over the defense of a Florida cop killer, a convicted Massachusetts rapist and labeling the opponent as soft on crime.

So the circumstantial evidence leads to a Healey supporter, currently working in the Romney-Healey administration or elsewhere in the state government run by Republicans for 16 years.

That supporter could very well be working without the knowledge of the candidate or campaign. But O'Brien's protest offers other signals.
"We demand Deval Patrick come out of hiding, answer any and all questions from the press, and issue an immediate apology to Kerry Healey for making wild and baseless accusations."
Patrick's sister has been, in effect, been raped a second time by being dragged into the slime of a political campaign. Where is the concern for victim's that seems to be Healey's emphasis? Why not offer an apology to Rhonda Sigh, the true victim, rather than for Kerry Healey?

Why should Patrick be forced to prove the negative -- "answer any and all questions" about whether he slimed himself for political gain? Why should Kerry Healey escape the questions about what she knew and when she knew it.

It is correct that we will never likely find the culprit, so skillful was he or she was in leaving no fingerprints. There's not enough circumstantial evidence to ever bring this case to court, but it would be interesting to see what would happen if we were to follow the example set by a GOP candidate for another political office this year and bring the case to say, Judge Judy.

Up for that Timmy?

UPDATE: I may have been a bit confused on the origin of the leak, since the Sex Offender Registry Board claims to have acted only upon the Globe's initial inquiry. Assuming that is a true statement, the source could have been someone in the California court system with an interest in the campaign. We will never know the origins -- so it would not be actionable in a court of law. But if it walks like a Republican tactics and quacks like a Republican tactic....


Anonymous Lynne said...

Think of this: who in this race is doing extensive, feverish oppo research in this campaign?

Answer: the Healey camp. Pretty much only them, I'm guessing.

Question #2: What are the chances that this conviction would come up EXCEPT in a background check by Healey's people?

Answer: Pretty damn slim.

Totally circumstantial, not convictable right now in court of course, but certainly not looking good on Healey.

October 14, 2006 2:42 PM  

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