Democrat Martha Coakley is the voice of the “little people” the way Ted Kennedy was the voice of sobriety. If Massachusetts voters want another privileged liberal who talks a good “social justice” game while ignoring public corruption, pocketing gobs of money from Beltway fat cats and pandering to corporate special interests, Coakley’s the one.
Coakley, the Bay State’s attorney general, has campaigned to replace the late Sen. Kennedy on a law-and-order platform. But she has consistently turned a blind eye to both. When a top aide to Boston Mayor Tom Menino was caught deleting thousands of e-mails in violation of public records law last fall, Coakley punted. Democrat Menino was in the middle of a re-election bid; Coakley was wrapped up in her own senatorial bid.
Instead of expressing any concern about the City Hall information black hole, Coakley refused to investigate. She accused her critics of playing politics: “(W)e get lots of complaints from folks who are adversaries who have a particular agenda.”
But who’s got the agenda? After undertaking Herculean technical efforts to recover the trashed e-mails, Boston city officials discovered e-mail fragments related to an ongoing federal probe of former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson. Wilkerson attained national infamy as the lawmaker caught on film stuffing thousands of dollars of bribes from an FBI informant down her bra in exchange for her help securing a liquor license for a nightclub. She is currently awaiting federal trial.
Coakley cut an immunity deal with Wilkerson last year, protecting her from prosecution for campaign finance violations. But according to the Boston Herald, the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance reported last month that Wilkerson had failed to comply or only partially complied with 11 of 51 conditions. Coakley allowed Wilkerson to pay a measly $10,000 fine to avoid any legal action. She has failed to make those payments, failed to file ordered paperwork and failed to answer information requests from state campaign finance officials.
Coakley’s response? Meh. Instead, she used the power of her office to herald her new, taxpayer-funded $750,000 cybercrime lab initiative -- a picture-perfect, campaign-ready moment -- without an ironic pause, and has launched a crackdown on ladies’ gardening clubs for failing to file financial disclosure forms related to their dues and plant sales.
Perhaps if they were in the lingerie business, they might have gotten a pass. Or if they had volunteered for Coakley’s campaign.