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

Is Botsford in trouble?

The Herald’s Laurel Sweet reports that Gov. Deval Patrick’s nominee for the Supreme Judicial Court, Superior Court Judge Margot Botsford, has some pretty close political ties to the governor: Her husband, Boston lawyer Stephen Rosenfeld, was so enthusiastic about Patrick’s gubernatorial campaign that he donated three times the legal limit.

Botsford is well-qualified and progressive, but this has the aroma of a quid pro quo. You could argue that she’s not responsible for her husband’s political donations, but come on. As a judge, she can’t make political donations anyway. (Or at least she shouldn’t.) And why didn’t someone at the Patrick campaign flag the excess donations and return them?

Rosenfeld was a top aide to Michael Dukakis when he was governor, which gives Herald columnist Howie Carr an excuse to stroll down memory lane.

This strikes me as being on the line. It could go away quickly, or it could blow up into yet another Patrick kerfuffle — especially if the Globe’s new metro editor, Brian McGrory, is upset enough about getting beat on this.

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  1. Anonymous

    A grand for a slot on the SJC? You’d think it would go for more…

  2. Don (no longer) Fluffy

    Ah, Massachusetts. Two words: Big Dig.

  3. Mike from Norwell

    Actually after today, I’ll put my money on this debacle on 128 equaling the tunnel collapse of last year. That poor guy could have been anyone of us commuting this morning. Noone has quite touched on the fact that where the accident happened was the very newly opened (within the last week) temporary travel lanes while they widen 128. I’m sure this is diverging off topic Dan, but I think that we should expect in this state we can drive on the roads w/o storm grates being thrown through our windshields. Good to see this afternoon that the DA’s office was commenting. Some SOB on that construction crew last night almost killed someone.Sorry for ranting, but I very luckily dodged a nightmare this morning by doing the Blue Hills run. Another woman in our office husband wasn’t so lucky. Can you fathom Hingham to Waltham taking 5 hours????I hope that this escalates w/ our gov beyond a typical accident.

  4. Anonymous

    I had the misfortune of once attending a function run by the highway builders lobby, Construction Industries of Massachusetts, “CIM”.(I was a vendor doing business with members). What a freakshow.To be sure there are people in the road construction business who aren’t thugs but I haven’t met many of them. Between blowing off people whose windshields are broken by improperly-secured gravel trucks, playing fast and loose with hours of road closures, messing with materials, (e.g. Aggregate Industries, PA Landers, etc.), this is the tip of the iceberg. I’m pretty sure I personally drove over that same plate by University Ave. on Thursday. The commonwealth was SURPRISED when the Big Dig thievery happened? Please. Bet those state troopers on detail in Westwood made a big difference, huh? Think maybe CIM members are among the biggest political contributors? Mike, you are correct. This could have been ANY ONE OF US.

  5. sco

    Dan, did you know that the Patrick campaign returned over $88,000 in over-contributions? It’s unfortunate for them that one that slipped through the cracks turned out to be high-profile, but the given the volume of donations the Patrick campaign was getting at the time, it’s not surprising that this donation was missed, and even less surprising given that Rosenfeld donated under two different names (Stephen Rosenfeld & S. Rosenfeld) and with two different addresses (presumably, work and home).

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Sco: As I said on BMG, this doesn’t seem like that big a deal, and I doubt that you can buy an SJC seat for $1,500, even in Massachusetts.

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