Tag Archives: Tim Murray

Prosecutors and the Unrepentant

Yesterday Lt. Governor Tim Murray announced he would resign to take a $200,000 per year job with the Worcester Chamber of Commerce. This would suggest that Murray and the Chamber believe he is at little risk of being indicted by US Attorney Carmen Ortiz or Attorney General Martha Coakley for campaign finance violations he may have committed along with felon Michael McLaughlin, former head of the Chelsea Housing Authority.

McLaughlin in turn will walk or serve a very short sentence on his federal plea deal and is not likely to face any state time for campaign finance violations. Our score card would read: Prosecutors get publicity for corruption crusades, McLaughlin and Murray walk. Can that be right?

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Tim Murray to Resign

Multiple sources are saying that Lt. Governor Tim Murray will resign to take a job as president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. Strike while the iron is hot: the job reportedly pays $200,000, fits his skill set, is near his home, he has small children, and his political career was running out the string.

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The Charmed Mike McLaughlin

Sunday’s Boston Globe story on Michael McLaughlin reminds me again of the oddity of the proceedings against him. Usually prosecutors offer a soft deal to a lesser criminal figure so he’ll turn on a bigger fish. In McLaughlin’s case US Attorney Carmen Ortiz seems willing to go soft on the whale to reel in a few guppies.

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Prosecutions: High Profile, Low Return

I published an article The Crimes and Punishments of Michael McLaughlin in CommonWealth Magazine the other day that I hope you will read. Here are some key points and additions to it.

One aspect of the case I find very troubling is that the Office of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz traded a recommendation of no time or minimal time for McLaughlin because he is willing to offer evidence, apparently about illegal fund-raising practices involving Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray. That is pretty standard stuff for a prosecutor’s office, to trade a lighter sentence in exchange for a bigger fish. But here is my problem, as stated in The Crimes and Punishments of Michael McLaughlin:

When asked by US District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock what McLaughlin’s motive was, the assistant US attorney replied, “It was money.” Contrast the outcome here with what the late Aaron Swartz was facing from Ortiz’s office: six months in prison for making public academic papers. His motive was free access to information, not to score pelf. Apparently greed is good. Alas, Swartz had no pol to trade.

This is justice?

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Campaign Finance: the New Brown Paper Bag?

I’ve had a hypothesis for a while and not enough time to do the research to test it, but here goes anyway: whereas in times past the greatest danger of political corruption was the straight out bribe, these days it is the fattening of campaign finance accounts. Lt. Governor Tim Murray is the latest politician to run afoul. The campaign finance account is the new brown paper bag.

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Your Next Senator Will Be . . .

Your next senator will surely be (your guess here) and that will set things up for (who knows?) to be your next governor. There is a lot of speculation about how the next two years of politics will play out and it is this sort of expert attention that boosted the successes of Governor Tom Reilly and Senator Martha Coakley, as well as the inevitable re-election of the unbeatable Senator Scott Brown.

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The Political Power of Humor

It’s good politics to laugh at yourself and Tim Murray reminded Massachusetts politicos of that fact yesterday. The Lieutenant Governor’s appearance at Senator Jack Hart’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast earned Murray my first Massachustts Politics Second Hand Clothes Award.

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A Mayor in the Corner Office

Former New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang has sent out signals regarding a possible run for the Corner Office in 2014.  He’ll face a crowded field, including the former Mayor of Worcester and current Lt. Governor Tim Murray.  It’s been a long time since Massachusetts Democrats nominated a Mayor.

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Tuesday Political Potpourri

As we eagerly await the New Hampshire primary results I’ve been accumulating a few random thoughts on state and national politics, from “I like being able to fire people” to ‘lieutenant governor you’re gonna to drive me to drinkin’ if you don’t stop drivin’ that hot rod Lincoln.’

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On Workhorses and Reelection

The last two times there was an open Senate race in Massachusetts, 1984 and 2010, a member of Congress jumped into the race.  Ditto the last time (1978!) the Democrats overtook a Republican Senate incumbent.  Not so in 2012.

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