Keller @ Large: What Was Tim Cahill Thinking?

By Jon Keller, WBZ

BOSTON (CBS) – What on earth was Tim Cahill thinking?

If the allegations in Monday’s indictment are proven true in court, it would seem that Cahill came to see the lottery ad budget as a resource to be exploited for his own political gain.

That, by itself, is bad enough.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens talks to Jon Keller

But consider the sheer stupidity of Cahill’s alleged decision to go ahead and blow that budget on ads explicitly designed to boost his faltering gubernatorial candidacy.

For starters, there was no real reason to think that strategy had a prayer of working.

By the time of the fateful e-mails and meetings between Cahill and top campaign and lottery staffers, Cahill had been running a distant third in the race for months.

Perhaps, as Attorney General Coakley alleges, Cahill campaign focus groups had found a strong, positive identification of the candidate with the lottery.

But it’s a gargantuan leap from there to the notion that enhanced awareness of the lottery would benefit Cahill’s candidacy.

Even more confounding is Cahill’s carelessness in allegedly plotting this sleazy maneuver.

It’s an old joke on Beacon Hill that doubles as folk wisdom – you never write when you can speak, never speak when you can nod, and so on.

This is a tough day for Cahill, a congenial fellow whose rise to the treasury was a bit of a local Horatio Alger story.

But the charges speak to an “anything-goes” mentality that is sadly not uncommon in our political culture, an arrogance of political power that whispers in the ears of pols on the make: go ahead, the rules don’t apply to you.

It’s not taxpayers money, it’s funny money sappy taxpayers have forked over for you to appropriate toward your benefit.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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