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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Look out below!

Stand back -- that falling object may well be the Mitt Romney candidacy.

Today's Herald reports on a monumental screw-up in the office of then Essex County prosecutor Kathe Tuttman -- six months before Myth nominated her to the bench. By failing to file paperwork on time, the Essex District Attorney’s Family Crimes and Sexual Assault Unit that she led allowed a convicted sex offender to walk.
Judge Kathe Tuttman, who has been criticized for releasing mom-killer Daniel Tavares, was the head of the Essex District Attorney’s Family Crimes and Sexual Assault Unit in November 2005, when the office missed two deadlines that led to the release of convicted rapist Daniel Parra. Prosecutors wanted Parra civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person, but slipups by Tuttman’s unit prompted the state’s highest court to throw out the case, records obtained by the Herald show.
The Tavares case -- in which Tuttman granted Tavares his freedom by overruling a lower court judge only to see him kill a couple in Washington state -- has been linked in recent days to the Dukakis administration decision to furlough convicted murderer Willie Horton. In that case, a couple was also slain.

To me, that link, while a nice slap at Romney, was a bit tenuous, even more so with today's Globe story that the Worcester County district attorney's office opted to save a few bucks by not extraditing Tavares from Washington state.

Instead, I thought the story was more a reflection of his lack of loyalty to anyone but himself rather than a hard-and-fast Dukakis moment.

But Romney, who is trying to outdo Dukakis by running on both ideology and competence, really has stepped into it here. This is not the actions of an appointee he threw under a bus. This is a major league mistake by a prosecutor who, six months later, he deemed worthy of a seat on the bench.

What happened to the vetting process our top-notch CEO is supposed to have put in place?

Rather than the business-like, PowerPoint-oriented, level-headed leader image Romney attempts to project, this looks more like the detached, "I'm the Decider" CEO image of Romney's fellow Harvard Business School alum George W. Bush.

It's certainly worth noting that when Tuttman was nominated in April 2006, Romney already had Massachusetts in his rearview mirror. He was logging many hours and spending lots of taxpayer dollars on his unannounced but thinly veiled presidential campaign.

By the time he walked down the Statehouse stairs In January, he had spent virtually two-thirds of the previous year on the road.

Dukakis often took heat for leaving the state -- particularly during a growing fiscal crisis. Because Romney's drop-ins consisted of having him stir up fires on campaign hot buttons like gay marriage, we were glad not to have him around.

But out of sight also meant out of touch. The Tuttman nomination is the price of that inattention to the job he was elected to do.

Somehow it seems fitting that Mr. Flip-Flop is poised to be done in by managerial incompetence. But you get what you pay for and thankfully, for taxpayers, Mitt donated his services.

And you can bet Rudy Giuliani will have his commercials up and running very, very soon.

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Blogger Suldog said...

Welcome aboard!

November 28, 2007 11:09 AM  

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