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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, May 15, 2010

Unwanted distraction

The facts are murky. But the facts are less important than the appearance that once again, Massachusetts Republicans have failed to do their homework.

The Globe reports today that Rep. Jeff Perry -- the Sandwich lawmaker considered a strong shot to fill the 10th District congressional seat being vacated by Bill Delahunt -- was involved in some questionable actions when he was a sergeant in the Wareham Police.

Perry was never charged in cases where an officer under his supervision conducted illegal strip searches of teenage girls. The officer pleaded guilty and served four years in prison.

But Perry named in two civil lawsuits, whose settlements are sealed. Which leaves the candidate in the uncomfortable place of declaring:
“I did not observe anything inappropriate.’’
Perry's problem is similar to that of his principal rival for the GOP nomination, former Treasurer Joe Malone. While personally clean, Malone must face the fact that several of his top aides and associates manipulated systems within the office of the state treasurer for seven years, stealing $9.4 million through various schemes.

In a time when Tea Partiers and Republicans are throwing the kitchen sink at incumbents over business as usual -- which includes abuses of power and turning a blind eye to reality -- it would seem the GOP would have vetted their candidates better.

We know the party apparatus is active in touring "the time is ours" meme. No less than the New York Times bought into the story that Rep. Niki Tsongas is facing a slew of challengers for her 5th District seat. Of course none of the seven Republicans or four independents have anywhere near the name recognition or resources of a Perry or Malone.

The GOP appears to be living on the national media's declaration of the "Scott Brown effect" -- even as voters on the ground in Brown's state have yet to figure out what the junior senator really stands for.

We don't know if Perry drives a pickup truck. But we do know he was a party to a civil lawsuit surrounding improper police conduct involving an officer under his command who served time for his offense.

Not exactly a poster boy for change.

Maybe the party should focus as much attention on checking out its own candidates as it does is in touting its chances.

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Blogger I'm Just Musing said...

I think the Massachusetts Republican party is so focused on the prospect of change that they do neglect to look at the "little" picture, i.e candidates backgrounds. Sometimes I beleive they think that they will win no matter what and that is the wrong attitude to have here in this state.

May 16, 2010 7:32 AM  

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