Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Man Who Would Be Governor (cont.)

Just one more pothole on Tom Reilly's well-weathered Road to the Corner Office Nowhere.

Shortly before noon on Jan. 31, Democrat Thomas F. Reilly's campaign received a report detailing the severity of Representative Marie St. Fleur's financial problems, including a federal lien against her for $12,000 in unpaid income taxes and her failure to repay her student loans.

Still, Reilly went ahead with a planned announcement two hours later that he had chosen St. Fleur to be his running mate.

The report, produced by a security and private investigative firm hired by the Reilly campaign to check St. Fleur's background, also noted St. Fleur's husband had faced a criminal complaint in Middlesex County alleging larceny.


Two days after St. Fleur withdrew from the lieutenant governor's race because of the financial issues, Reilly suggested to reporters that his campaign's mistake had been in failing to sufficiently scrutinize her background.

Meaning what, exactly? That they never got around to interviewing her second-grade teacher? For the record, the allegations dating back to 1972, being brought forth by St. Fleur's third-grade teacher about her delinquency in paying back lunch money loans from fellow students have yet to be proven true.

Yesterday, Reilly said in an interview that although his campaign had hired security firm Vance International of Braintree to produce the report, he had never inquired into it, read it, or been briefed on its contents.

You see, it was all just a simple, innocent oversight on his part. We all know Tom Reilly would never deliberately deceive the voters of Massachusetts, over whom he wishes so deeply to rule supreme.

Reilly's chief of staff and political adviser Stephen J. Kerrigan received the report at 11:56 a.m. Jan. 31, according to documents examined by the Globe. At 2 p.m. that day at a Dorchester press conference, Reilly announced he had selected St. Fleur.

"I have no memory of reading a report or even if I have seen a report," Reilly said in the interview yesterday.

Asked if he had ever met with St. Fleur about the contents of the report, Reilly responded: "I have no memory of sitting down and going over the report." He also said that his staff did not bring its contents to his attention.

Ahhh...Selective Amnesia, the convenient and reliable stand-by of many a politician finding him or herself stuck in the middle of a shitstorm. I'm gonna be sure to remember this one.

"Your honor, I honestly have no memory of any requirement on my part to file a state tax return."

"But, Officer, I have no memory of any restrictions pertaining to the concealed carry of handguns having been placed on my License to Carry a Firearm at the time of issuance."

"Gee, boss, I have no memory of any policy requiring the wearing of pants in the office."

"Honey, I swear, I have no memory of 'No Mistresses Allowed' being part of this whole marriage deal."