Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Tom: It's Called 'Vetting'. Try It

Massachusetts, while one of the most progressive and liberal states in the country, has had Republican governors for the last 20 years. We'd really like to end that streak. Why can't we get better candidates?

Yesterday's Boston Globe:

Reilly picks St. Fleur for campaign
Running mate is seen as rising political star

This morning's Boston Globe:

Reilly's pick delinquent on taxes, loans
St. Fleur says she is repaying debts

State Representative Marie P. St. Fleur, Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly's choice to be his lieutenant governor running mate, has had three delinquent tax debts in the last four years, including an April 2005 federal tax lien of $12,711 against her and her husband, according to records examined yesterday by the Globe.

St. Fleur, in an interview last night, disclosed that she also owes $40,000 in delinquent federally backed student loans.

St. Fleur told the Globe last night that she had paid down the federal tax debt to about $8,000 by making $500 monthly payments since last spring. But later last night, Corey Welford, a Reilly campaign spokesman, corrected her, saying that she had in fact made only one $500 payment last May and that the balance is still more than $12,000.

From this afternoon:

Rep. St. Fleur withdraws as Reilly's running mate

State Representative Marie St. Fleur today pulled out as a candidate for lieutenant governor after the Boston Globe reported that she has delinquent tax debts in three of the last four years and owes $40,000 in student loans, a senior Democrat said today.

The announcement came one day after Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly announced that St. Fleur was his choice to run as his running mate. Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run separately until the party primary, and then run as a ticket for the general election.

Where do they get these people? Who thinks they can aspire to high public office while a tax delinquent? How can a career politician who's been our Attorney General for 8 years, before that Middlesex County District Attorney for 7 years, an attorney for 36 years, pick a running mate without a cursory reference check? They would have caught the delinquent loans on a routine pre-employment credit check.

As a result of this, and in what may be an opportune time for him to get this out, our other declared Democratic candidate, Deval Patrick, revealed today that he himself is also tax delinquent, though in his case it is 'former' tax delinquent. From the Boston Herald:

St. Fleur quits race; Patrick reveals tax delinquency

Deval Patrick, Reilly’s top rival for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, released a statement disclosing that he, too, had been a tax delinquent.

"More than a decade ago, Diane and I had an installment agreement with the IRS to pay, on a monthly basis, an unexpected tax liability,” Patrick said in a statement issued to The Associated Press. “We missed one or two of our installments. This triggered an IRS lien. We took immediate steps to pay off the balance and within five months discharged in full the $8,778 we owed.

I thought the Republicans had the market on incompetence cornered. This is pissing me off. We'd better beat the empty dress (Kerry Healey, Lt. Gov. to the Mittwit) in November.

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