ICYMI: Coakley, “The Bill Buckner Of State Politics,” Poised To Help GOP Take Guv’s Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 28, 2014

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245

Massachusetts Democrats Prepare To Help Republicans Retake Governor’s Office
FORBES
By Brett Arends
AUGUST 27, 2014

Massachusetts is one of the most politically liberal and Democratic states in America. But the Republicans may have a good shot at winning the governor’s mansion this November.

The reason has little to do with national politics, Obama, “Benghazi,” illegal immigration, or any of the other issues which conservatives think everyone cares about.

The reason is much simpler.

The Republicans, despite their tiny numbers in the state, are preparing to nominate as their candidate Charlie Baker, a popular and respected businessman and former state cabinet minister.

Meanwhile the state Democrats, despite their huge numbers, are preparing to field attorney-general Martha Coakley.

Who is Coakley?

She is the Bill Buckner of state politics – the candidate who blew one of the surest things in Massachusetts history.

Buckner was the Red Sox first baseman who bungled a simple ground ball in the 1986 World Series, helping cost the team the title

Coakley is the politician who was selected to hold on to Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat back in 2009 after Kennedy died – and who promptly blew it.

Coakley’s astonishing self-inflected defeat back then infuriated state Democrats, embarrassed President Obama and the national party, and imperilled the president’s signature Obamacare healthcare reform.

Coakley’s loss cost the Democrats their filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate, and forced them to pass Obamacare through the messy “budget reconciliation” process instead. That was a political windfall for Republicans, who used that to challenge Obamacare’s legitimacy.

David Paleologus, the polling guru at Boston-based Suffolk University, tells me that a couple of months before the January, 2010 vote the Democrats enjoyed a 31 percentage-point lead over the unknown Republican candidate, Scott Brown.

In the event Brown beat Coakley by 5 points, meaning that Coakley threw away 36 percentage points in a few months. That’s quite some feat.

Coakley’s defeat was entirely down to Coakley. She ran one of the worst political campaigns in history. Even President Obama couldn’t save her – he came to campaign for her a few days before the vote, and she still lost.

Coakley was already the state attorney general at the time. She had the full support of the state’s entire Democratic party machine, broad name recognition, and plenty of cash. She was running in the reflected glow of Kennedy’s memory.

You have to work hard to blow something that easy.

There were so many low points in Coakley’s campaign it seems to unfair to pick one out, but it became the stuff of legend when she tried to dismiss baseball player Curt Schilling (a Republican) as a New York “Yankees fan.”

This was the same Curt Schilling who was the hero of the Boston Red Sox’s 2004 World Series team – the one who pitched against the Yankees with his injured ankle restitched, leading to his famous “bloody sock” on the pitcher’s mound.

Imagine running for mayor of New York and calling Yogi Berra, say, a Red Sox fan and you get the idea. You couldn’t make it up.

Massachusetts is famous nationally for its Bad News Bears presidential candidates – Michael Dukakis, John Kerry and Mitt Romney all ran inept campaigns and lost elections they could have won. But even by their standards, Martha Coakley stands out.

I remember watching Coakley’s concession speech on TV the night she lost the race. Her speech showed that she had learned nothing. Instead of showing humility and apologizing to her supporters for the loss, she acted instead like she had been a valiant underdog who had fought the good fight. Don’t worry about me, she said, I’ll be fine.

The odd thing about the current governor’s race is that Massachusetts Democrats have the choice instead of nominating state treasurer Steve Grossman, who is widely respected across the political spectrum, and who won the endorsement of the state party convention earlier in the summer.

I have lived in this state for many years but I still don’t understand its politics. Unless you were born here and went to high school here it is a great mystery. Polls say Coakley is a strong front-runner for the primary, which takes place on September 9. Insiders tell me the nomination is generally about various urban “machines,” unions and so on.

Charlie Baker, and the Republicans, must have their fingers crossed.

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ICYMI: Dem AG Hopeful Disagrees With Coakley’s Decision To Fight Child Rights Advocates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 27, 2014

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245

BOSTON – Yesterday, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s poor judgement came up in the Democratic Attorney General debate when one Democratic hopeful disagreed with Coakley’s decision to fight child rights advocates in court.

“Martha Coakley was wrong to ‘wage a prolonged battle’ against child rights advocates as they tried to fix DCF and now even a fellow Democrat is coming out against her,” said Kirsten Hughes. “It doesn’t take a lawyer to know fighting against advocates for children as they tried to fix the horribly broken Department of Children and Families is wrong, but apparently it never occurred to Coakley.”

Democrat Warren Tolman wouldn’t fight child rights advocates in court as Coakley has. “Asked if they could imagine an instance when as attorney general they would decline to defend the state, Tolman said he would not have defended Massachusetts against a civil lawsuit brought by a Maryland child welfare group alleging deficiencies in the Department of Children and Families before troubles at that agency came to a head with the death of 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver. (Matt Murphy, “Massachusetts Attorney General candidates Warren Tolman, Maura Healey tangle in debate,” State House News Service, 8/26/14)

Background:

Martha Coakley was one of the few Attorneys General who “aggressively” sought to silence child advocates as they sought DCF reforms. “Children’s Rights says that Coakley and the Patrick administration were particularly aggressive in trying to repel the changes that the children’s advocacy group is seeking, which the group says would address the sort of breakdowns in the Oliver case.” (Frank Phillips, “Martha Coakley offers conflicting words on DCF,” The Boston Globe, 1/31/14)

Coakley waged a “prolonged battle” against children’s advocates who argue the state was failing to protect children. “Children’s Rights has filed at least 20 similar lawsuits against child welfare agencies across the country and has settled at least 15. Coakley and the governor are among the few who have chosen to wage aprolonged battle.” (Frank Phillips, “Martha Coakley offers conflicting words on DCF,” The Boston Globe, 1/31/14)

Martha Coakley took the extraordinary step of meddling in Texas courts to stop “top to bottom reforms” of DCF. “Coakley argued the court should throw out the lawsuit’s class-action status in Texas because it could spur burdensome “top-to-bottom” reviews. The suit was filed on behalf of foster kids.” (Matt Stout, “AG Martha Coakley opposed child welfare reform,” Boston Herald, 2/20/14)

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In Case You Missed It! Coakley ‘Under Attack’ As Support Dwindles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 26, 2014

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245

The Boston Globe: ‘the most bitter debate of the Democratic gubernatorial race so far’

BOSTON — Treasurer Steve Grossman and Don Berwick are stepping up their attacks on Attorney General Martha Coakley’s poor judgment and spotty record as AG, bringing up specters of 2010 when she dropped the ball in November. The fellow Democrats’ pummeling appears to be hitting home as Coakley’s support begins to fade.

“While the Democrats tear each other down, fighting over who is best suited to raise taxes and grant drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants, voters aren’t liking what they are seeing,” said Kirsten Hughes, MassGOP chairman. “Coakely’s integrity is under fire once again and the best she can do is take a cheap shot at her opponent over where his literature is printed. Clearly she is out of ideas.”

The Boston Globe: “In the most bitter debate of the Democratic gubernatorial race so far, Treasurer Steven Grossman sharply questioned the judgment of front-runner Martha Coakley, painting her a protector of the Beacon Hill establishment, as former Medicare and Medicaid chief Don Berwick attacked his two rivals for their support of casino gambling in the state and their years-long embrace of ‘politics as usual.’”

The Boston Herald: “Meanwhile, Coakley — under attack for her decision to settle with, rather than prosecute, a politically wired lobbyist and campaign contributor — once again defended her move by raising questions about money Grossman has taken from the industries he regulates.”

The Associated Press: “Steve Grossman sharpened his attack Monday against fellow Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Martha Coakley over her settlement of a case involving a prominent lobbyist.

“Grossman said Coakley has shown ‘a pattern of bad judgment’ as attorney general, including her recent decision to agree to a civil settlement with lobbyist John Brennan, a former state lawmaker.”

Fox 25: “Coakley’s Lead Dwindling.”

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MassGOP Calls On Coakley To Turn Over Teamsters’ $15,000 To Women’s Charities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 22, 2014

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245

BOSTON – Attorney General Martha Coakley called the Teamsters Local 25 actions “inappropriate”, but refused to return the $15,000 she took from the union that harassed women and hurled homophobic slurs at workers recently. To help Martha Coakley who recently formed a “Women’s Leadership Council” to fight against the “harassment or intimidation” of women, the MassGOP is offering some suggested charities to donate the money received by Teamsters Local 25 to: 

REACH Beyond Domestic Violence 

DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended)

New Hope


“Teamsters Local 25′s actions of harassing women and using homophobic slurs is disgraceful and just plain wrong,” said Kirsten Hughes, MassGOP Chairman. “As a woman, I sincerely hope Martha Coakley will give the money she received from this group which displayed despicable behavior towards woman to a charitiy committed to ending domestic violence.”

Background:

Coakley refused to return the Teamsters Local 25′s $15,000 contributed to her campaign. “Coakley’s spokeswoman did not reply when asked if she’d return the money, and according to the Local 25 website, members were doing a phone bank for her campaign last night.” (Gayle Fee, “Pols backed by Teamsters Local 25 decry ‘Top Chef’ slurs,” The Boston Herald, 8/22/2014)
Teamsters Local 25 harassed a female TV host and hurled homophobic slurs at workers in Milton recently. “The picketers lobbed sexist, racist and homophobic slurs at the rest of the cast and crew for most of the day, the website reported, and when production wrapped, the ‘Top Chef’ crew found that tires were slashed on 14 of their cars. Milton police confirmed that the union members were ‘threatening, heckling and harassing’ but said no arrests were made.” (Gayle Fee, “Padma Lakshmi and ‘Top Chef’ crew find Local flavor bitter,” The Boston Herald, 8/21/14)

Martha Coakley took $15,000 from Teamsters Local 25 on January 30, 2014. (Source: OCPF)

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ICYMI: Democrats Slam Coakley For Letting Lobbyists Off Easy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
August 22, 2014    

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245

Galvin Accuses Coakley of Hiding Deal, Launches Investigation To Clear Up “Questions” 

BOSTON –  Fellow Democrats, including Secretary of State Bill Galvin, are questioning Attorney General Martha Coakley’s integrity after she agreed to a lenient settlement with friendly lobbyists accused of charging illegal lobbying fees to a children’s hospital. Galvin, whose office regulates lobbyists, even alleged Coakley hid the sweetheart deal from him by announcing the slap-on-the-wrist deal with the lobbyists in a Friday bad news dump.

The Boston Herald: “A miffed Secretary of State William F. Galvin — calling his office ‘the primary regulator of lobbyists’ — said he was kept completely in the dark about Attorney General Martha Coakley’s controversial settlement with Beacon Hill lobbying firm The Brennan Group over possibly illegal fees to a children’s hospital.

‘“We found out at five minutes of five on Friday like everyone else,’ Galvin told the Herald yesterday, in a dig at the classic end-of-week news dump pols use to try to slip potentially damaging information by the public. ‘I was surprised — but I’ll stop there. … Usually we work together. I’ll stop at saying I was surprised.’”

State House News Service: “The two Democrats running to replace Attorney General Martha Coakley on Thursday raised questions about a civil settlement her office recently reached with a lobbying firm.

“Both prefaced criticism by saying it was based on what they had read in published reports about the settlement, with Maura Healey, a former prosecutor who worked for Coakley until late last year, stating Coakley didn’t go far enough in the case, and former Sen. Warren Tolman saying he had concerns ‘at first blush.’”

The Boston Globe: “Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin criticized Attorney General Martha Coakley’s handling of a case involving a prominent lobbyist Wednesday and launched his own inquiry into the lobbyist’s activities.

“The move added to a simmering controversy about Coakley’s settlement with lobbyist John Brennan, a former state representative and state senator, just weeks before Coakley faces Democratic primary voters in the gubernatorial election.

‘“The agreement raises more questions than it answers,’ said Galvin, in an interview.”

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