Political Circuit

And in this corner, something exciting

October 24, 2010

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State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, the independent candidate for governor, has gotten his share of attention this election cycle — when he left the Democratic Party last year, when he criticized the governor for meeting with Muslims, when his top campaign staff left him, when his running mate left him, when he filed suit after his top campaign staff and running mate left him.

But as Election Day draws near, the two front-runners, Governor Deval Patrick and Republican Charles D. Baker, are hogging most of the attention of the political press corps.

So what does a guy do to get back in the news? Pick a hot issue, of course, the kind that can build on all the buzz out there or generate its own. On Friday, Cahill gave it his best shot, calling a press conference on the State House steps to talk about a real sexy one: tort reform. Cahill said it was time to set up a new administrative health court for malpractice suits.

“That will be a cornerstone of health care reform under a Cahill administration,’’ he said.

Hey, it worked. There were at least four television cameras, a half-dozen scribes, and enough radio reporters to form a crowd around his podium. Only, the press seemed to be hoping for something a little splashier than tort reform.

Cahill, always the willing candidate, did not disappoint, managing to also throw the media a little red meat about why Baker should not be appearing at a rally with 10th Congressional District candidate Jeffrey D. Perry.

And just like that, Cahill was back in the news.

— Noah Bierman

On Perry, Mihos is the GOP’s black sheep
While the state’s leading Republicans — Charles D. Baker, Mitt Romney, Scott Brown — are rallying behind embattled congressional GOP nominee Jeffrey D. Perry, Christy Mihos is bucking the trend.


Mihos, whose independent streak has long been a thorn in the GOP establishment, has called on Perry, a former Wareham police sergeant, to drop out of the 10th Congressional District race in light of fresh allegations that he did nothing while one of the officers under his command strip-searched a teenage girl in the early 1990s. Perry has said he was at the scene but never saw the assault take place.

Mihos, who has been highly critical of Perry this year, said he has advised Baker to steer clear of Perry.

But he suggested that Baker is ignoring his warnings because Baker needs Perry’s political organization on the Cape to help him in his tight race with Governor Deval Patrick.

“I told him you don’t want to be campaigning with Perry,’’ said Mihos, who backed Perry’s primary opponent, Joseph D. Malone. “But Jeff has a really, really good organization on the Cape and perhaps that’s what his handlers are looking at.’’

Mihos’s blunt advice came prior to Baker’s scheduled appearance at a rally with Perry yesterday. Baker’s running mate, Senate minority leader Richard Tisei, has stood by Perry, and Brown and Romney have stuck with him, too.

In Mihos’s case, calling on Perry to drop out isn’t likely to help him patch up his relationship to his party. Republicans nationally are counting on picking up the 10th seat, held by retiring US Representative William Delahunt. Perry faces Democrat William Keating, the Norfolk district attorney.

— Frank Phillips

Silly or serious? The voters will decide
Could it be the silliest video of the campaign season?

Sean Bielat, the Republican who is challenging veteran US Representative Barney Frank in the Fourth Congressional District, last week released a Web video featuring a suit-and-tie-clad dancer with Frank’s face superimposed who does a series of dance moves, demonstrating what Bielat calls “The Barney Shuffle.’’

The soundtrack includes upbeat music and snippets of quotes from Frank.

“Unlike Barney, I don’t need to dance around the issues,’’ Bielat says. He said in a news release that the video is meant to be a serious statement about Frank’s actions “with a bit of humor.’’

Frank’s spokesman, Harry Gural, said the joke will backfire, raising more questions about Bielat.

“I think this is sophomoric. It’s immature,’’ Gural said. “And the question people should have is, ‘Do you want a guy who approves or signs off on things like this representing you in Congress?’ ’’

— Globe Staff

Tweet of the week
This week’s entry comes from Deval Patrick’s campaign manager, Sydney Asbury (@DP_Sydney), whose Tweet Thursday night after a debate in Western Massachusetts nicely depicted the frayed nerves of just about everyone working on every campaign up and down the ticket this fall. She wrote, “I can’t fall asleep. #West Springfield is too quiet & I have too much to think about with only 11 days to go. . .ahh!’’