By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

More Healey hypocrisy

While the Herald slams Deval Patrick for the second day in a row with what essentially is the same story about hot tuna and squishy basketballs, the Globe offers two striking examples of Kerry Healey’s hypocrisy. They’re on the front page, but you have to go to the jump to grasp the extent of it.

First, Andrea Estes reports that Patrick raised about $20,000 at a fundraiser hosted by O’Neill and Associates, which lobbies on behalf of Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, the Big Dig project manager. It appears that Patrick guaranteed himself the worst of both worlds in agreeing to this event. He asked that no Big Dig contractors be invited, lest he soil himself with their tainted money. But by letting O’Neill organize it, he gets the bad headlines anyway.

But let me call your attention to this striking passage:

O’Neill and Associates raises money for many political candidates, mostly Democrats. Earlier this year, firm officials said, O’Neill and Associates held a fund-raiser for Patrick’s Republican opponent, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey. According to Ann Murphy, a former aide to Governor Mitt Romney who now works at O’Neill and Associates, about two-dozen people attended the February fund-raiser….

Healey’s campaign slammed Patrick yesterday for using O’Neill and Associates.

Asked about Healey’s fund-raiser at the O’Neill firm, a Healey spokesman refused to address her event.

“It’s another example where Deval Patrick claims he’s an outsider, but is following the insider playbook to a tee,” said Tim O’Brien, Healey’s campaign manager.

My next example is a story by Frank Phillips on Healey’s half-dozen or so votes to limit access to criminal records in 2000 to 2002, when she served on the Criminal History Systems Board. Healey, of course, has been attacking Patrick for taking exactly the same position. Thus Phillips’ reporting exposes a top layer of hypocrisy that should be clear to everyone.

But it’s worse than that, because, underneath the hypocritical crust is a gooey filling of still more hypocrisy:

Late yesterday, Healey’s campaign released a statement to the Globe saying her “experience on the board gave her a firsthand look at how the CORI [Criminal Offender Record Information] system does not serve the best interests of employers.”

“Based on the nature of her position to uphold CORI laws, the lieutenant governor became aware of the need for change within the system and that criminal records must be made more available to employers,” said Laura Nicoll, her campaign spokesperson. “Deval Patrick still doesn’t get it. He wants to hide this information from employers.”

But her actions on the board appear to contradict her public statements.

Deval Patrick? Hmmm … Kerry Healey actually voted to hide information from employers. Now we are to believe that she wouldn’t.

So she changed her mind? That seems to be what Nicoll is saying, but she doesn’t come right out and say it. It wouldn’t do for Healey to admit that she was for keeping the records of criminals secret before she was against it. Meanwhile, she attacks Patrick for holding precisely the same position that she did — a position that she actually got a chance to act on, at least when she bothered to show up to board meetings. (Phillips also reports that her attendance was spotty.)

Thus does Healey demonstrate her deep understanding of how the news media work. If you’re prominent enough, and a major-party candidate for governor surely is, then you can say literally anything and the media will report it.

The better reporters, such as Phillips and Estes, will make some attempt to put your statements in context, but it doesn’t matter. The key to success is to keep those sound bites coming. Those are far more likely to penetrate the public consciousness than the hedges and qualifications. That’s B4 stuff, and who reads that?

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  1. Anonymous

    And yet WRKO this morning only discussed the Patrick issue. At what point does the Scott Allen Miller show get cited for campaign finance law violations. It’s a 3-hour commercial every morning. I’ve never heard anything like it. Even Howie Carr provides more balance.

  2. Anonymous

    Using Scott Allen Miller’s logic (I refuse to call a grown man “Scotto”) Kerry Healey’s absence from meetings of the Criminal History Systems Board disqualifies her from talking about CORI reform and crime in general. What is even more pathetic is that Healey volunteered to be on that board–what does it say about the character of someone who volunteers to be on a board and then skips half the meetings? The flip-flop on CORI reform is just the icing on the cake. We’re suddenly to believe that CORI reform is now really, really important to her after she skipped out on the meetings where she could actually do something about it?The O’Neill and Associates story just proves Healey’s hypocrisy or is her campaign saying since she’s already been bought off it is okay for her to have a fundraiser held by O’Neill and Associates? Furthermore, it raises serious questions about the Romney administration’s oversight of the Big Dig. Healey took money from Bechtel’s lobbyist friends and while the administration she is part of refused to exercise proper oversight? Par for the course….

  3. Anonymous

    Gotta love David Wedge quoting “N.Y. jail boss” Nicholas Pirro on Patrick, without once mentioning that Pirro is a Republican elected official.

  4. Anonymous

    Another example of Healey hypocrisy. Going back to the discussion of Kerry Healey and gay marriage and gay rights. Kerry Healey may say she’s in favor of civil unions now, but she said she was against them when she and Mitt were running. And we all know how Mitt has used gay marriage bashing to endear him to the Religious Right, despite having promised the Log Cabin Republicans he would remain neutral. We can’t blame her for Mitt. Nor is it fair to blame her for the homophobes over on HubPolitics or Deval Watch. We can note that she’s trying hard to come off as pro-gay, or at least more socially moderate than the Romney/Healey administration.Why then, is her campaign pushing the story of Deval appearing at a David Scondras fundraiser BEFORE he was arrested? Patrick attended a political barbecue at the home of accused child predator David Scondras this summer, where he milled with Cambridge activists while they enjoyed burgers and hot dogs. A delightful double smear. I’m shocked they didn’t say “while they sipped latte and burned flags.”

  5. bostonph

    Anon10:24Did you see Healey on Greater Boston? She feels that a arrest (NOT conviction) for marijuana possession at 20 is germaine to a job interview at 40. That is, even if a case is continued without a finding, employers should know about it.When did the Republican party drive out all the civil libertarians? Real conservatives should be up in arms about this.

  6. Anonymous

    Shocked! SHOCKED! Another Republican hypocrite! Kerry Healey — the same person who opposes one-party government in the Commonwealth, while endorsing it enthusiastically at the federal level.

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