FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 1, 2014
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BOSTON – Attorney General Martha Coakley faced a “political week from hell” last week and unfortunately for her, this week is already shaping up to be a repeat of the last.
“As Martha Coakley keeps finding herself tangled in bad news blunders, the public will continue to see that the Martha Coakley from 2010 is back,” said Kirsten Hughes MassGOP chairman. “Today’s bad news only adds to the litany of bad news that began earlier this year with violating campaign finance laws before suffering stinging defeats in the state’s Supreme Judicial Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Another black eye for Martha Coakley
The Boston Herald , By Chris Cassidy, July 1, 2014
A controversial antitrust deal Attorney General Martha Coakley reached with Partners Healthcare is already drawing fire from her Democratic gubernatorial rivals, as a final ruling on the pact could be delayed until September in order to hear criticisms from competing hospitals.
“This deal the AG inked allows Partners to keep their prices at a very high level when they should be coming down,” Democratic gubernatorial candidate Don Berwick told the Herald. “It essentially affirms the status quo, which is not serving us well. … I believe this is not a good agreement for the state. I’ll continue to say that (on the campaign trail) … I believe it was a mistake.”
The settlement, signed by Coakley’s office and Partners, allows the state’s largest hospital network to acquire South Shore, Lawrence Memorial and Melrose-Wakefield hospitals.
“Honestly, I would have hoped Martha Coakley had gotten the message by now that you can’t deny the people of Massachusetts … their right to weigh in on this critical issue that could affect virtually every resident of the state,” said state Treasurer Steve Grossman. Coakley has railed against Partners as a “Goliath” of health care, but both sides found themselves awkwardly on the same side, defending the agreement and pushing for a speedy ruling.
The Partners ruling adds to the recent string of bad-news legal decisions against Coakley, including her defeated attempt to block a casino repeal referendum, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s takedown of abortion clinic buffer zones.
Said Erin O’Brien of UMass Boston: “This is now the third decision that’s getting some press that didn’t necessarily go her way. … One of the strengths of her candidacy is an effective record as AG. As some of these decisions are overturned or … called into question, a strength becomes a weakness.”
Read the full article.
Peter Lucas: Ball’s definitely not in Martha Coakley’s court The Lowell Sun,
By Peter Lucas, July 1, 2014
Attorney General Martha Coakley ought to stay out of the courtroom.
At the rate she has been battered by the courts — both federal and state — in the past few days, she may have to seek a restraining order on herself to keep her out of the halls of justice.
Either that or she needs to hire new lawyers.
Right now the judicial scorecard reads: judges 16, Coakley 0. That score means that Coakley could not get one of the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court to side with her on the abortion-clinic buffer zone case, nor could she muster a single vote in her favor among the seven judges of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on the casino referendum question. That’s a lot of judges ruling against you.
It is not often that a lawyer, let alone the state’s chief law officer, has taken such a public and humiliating beating at the hands of judges. In fact the twofer has to be something of a record for Massachusetts attorneys general.
It makes you wonder just what Coakley has to do to win a case around here.
In the first case she was handed her head when the Massachusetts SJC ruled last week that Coakley made a mistake when she rejected the petition placing the anti-casino question on the ballot for voters to decide on.
Coakley, still the leading Democrat candidate in the polls, could be put on the defensive, not so much for her pro-casino position, but for her attempt to deny the public the right to vote on the matter. She would have been far better off simply allowing the matter to be placed on the ballot. But she showed more concern for the financial risk being taken by the casino investors than she did for the voting public.
She told a press conference, with all the sincerity she could muster, that she was “pleased” with the court decision, a decision that made her look like a first-year law student.
The fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down the 35-foot buffer zone law at abortion clinics, which Coakley also defended, is more complicated.
Some believe that Coakley is a better politician than she is an attorney general, while some believe the opposite. Still others believe she is not very good at either.
Read the full article.