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

The company that Charlie Baker keeps

The Hudakmobile

Scot Lehigh has a splendid column in today’s Boston Globe on Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker’s recent close encounter with William Hudak, a political extremist who has flirted with the birther movement.

Lehigh writes that “there are pretty clear signs that Hudak has wandered well north of the border that separates a hyperbolic political hopeful from a poisonous, insidious kook.” Hudak, a Boxford lawyer, is running for Congress against Democratic incumbent John Tierney this fall.

Anyone who has followed the Hudak saga over the past several months will be familiar with the inept shuffle he gives Lehigh as he tries to deny he ever believed President Obama was not born in the United States. More to the point, though, Lehigh criticizes Baker, a purported moderate, for attending a Hudak fundraiser, writing:

Yes, Baker’s camp disavows Hudak’s views. Yet a candidate is also known by the company he keeps. And it speaks poorly of Baker that he’s willing to countenance Hudak to court his supporters.

As Lehigh acknowledges, the story of Baker’s appearance was broken earlier this month by David Bernstein of the Boston Phoenix. Lehigh also credits Media Nation for assembling some of Hudak’s most toxic materials.

You may recall that this all started with Hudak’s claiming the day after U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s victory over Martha Coakley that Brown had endorsed his candidacy. After I posted evidence of Hudak’s extremism, the Brown people made it clear that there had never been an endorsement — and even though Brown is generally thought to be more conservative than Baker, the senator has wisely kept his distance from Hudak ever since.

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  1. Neil Sagan

    Wasn’t Barack Obama affiliated with an organization Bill Ayers served as a board member? Just sayin’ guilt by association is a logical fallacy.

  2. Neil Sagan

    “Lehigh also credits Media Nation for assembling some of Hudak’s most toxic materials.”

    And I think we should thank you for that. Thank you Mr. Nation.

    • Dan Kennedy

      Looks like David Kravitz of Blue Mass Group got the lowdown on Charlie Baker and William Hudak a few days before David Bernstein.

  3. BP Myers

    Hilarious to go through the comment sections of the previous Hudak posts and see all the usual suspects snark about what a “non-story” Hudak was.

    They proved as right about that as they’ve been about most everything else.

  4. Glen Bergendahl

    Were liberals ever concerned about Barak Obama’s association with Reverend Jeremiah Wright? Oh, I forgot – in the 20 years Obama sat in Wright’s pew, he never heard anything inflammatory being said from the pulpit. Never mind.

  5. drogers

    And (the outfit that actually outed Hudak) mentioned it earlier than Blue Mass Group.

  6. Neil Sagan

    @Glen Bergendahl

    Do you intend to compare and equate preacher Rev Wright to candidate, the erstwhile-Congressman, William Hudak?

  7. Al Fiantaca

    Barack Obama, the candidate didn’t go around draping himself in, and saying the things that Hudak has been. The picture of his car, alone, says it all.

  8. BP Myers

    @Glen Bergendahl says: Were liberals ever concerned about Barak Obama’s association with Reverend Jeremiah Wright?

    During the campaign, I too heard many incendiary excerpts from Wrights sermons and made it a point to listen (where available) to the whole thing in context.

    Most of them had this conservative Republican nodding his head in agreement.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Glen: You make a good point. Obama paid no penalty at all for associating with Jeremiah Wright. In fact, I’m sure most people had never heard of Wright until you brought him up today. I had to Google him. Why has no one made an issue of Wright before? Damn liberal media.

  9. Nathan Lemmon

    I just went over to Bill’s website.

    If you dive in deep (and I read the entire website) there is certainly no attempt to back up any claims. Hudak wants to repeal H.R. 2590. No government regulation of healthcare. All open markets. Pro-Coal and Nuclear on Energy. Wants to make all recipients of government benefits to “pay the money back” somehow. Wants to attack Iran. Wants to support the overthrow of Chavez. Says that the World thinks the U.S. is weak. Wants to introduce legislation to punish “Sanctuary Cities” in Massachusetts. The website has a nice section called: Why Bill? For Democrats and Independents – talks on an on about respecting everyone’s points of view. Riiiiiight…

    He definitely has all of the Scott Brown linguistics and style.

    I live in Newton but hail from the North Shore and I can’t tell you how depressing it is to see someone like Hudak making progress up there.

  10. Nathan Lemmon

    Baker definitely did the political two-step around Scot Lehigh’s questions and I’m glad Scot called him on it in open print. I hate political caricatures – the worst kind of political propaganda tapping into the worst of the human sprit.

  11. @Nathan — I live in Newton as well, and I have some friends up on the North Shore. Thanks for reading the candidate’s entire website, I don’t think I’d have the stomach for it.

    I actually called his campaign office, and the person answering the phone would not admit that this vehicle belongs to the candidate. The guy answering the phone was definitely a right-wing “true believer” though. He gave me a lot of bizarre answers as well. Eventually he gave up and just accused me of parroting talking points. This call certainly proved that Hudak indeed doesn’t respect everyone’s point of view. Granted, I was asking kind of loaded questions.

    I sincerely hope this guy gets nowhere near the House of Representatives, it would be an embarrassment for the entire Commonwealth. It’s bad enough that we have one useless Senator, who consistently has watered down legislation or voted against legislation that helps the citizens of our Commonwealth.

    If Baker and Brown pal around with this guy, they are certainly no “moderates”.

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