Keller @ Large: Cahill’s Not The Only Problem

BOSTON (CBS) – For now, Tim Cahill is presumed innocent.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

And while he was unusually flagrant about allocating lottery ad spending to benefit his gubernatorial campaign, it’s worth noting that only became a crime in 2009.

Before that, it was a civil offense.

Were we less ethical way back then, or did we figure that it would be too expensive to build all the new prisons we’d need if we incarcerated the members of Congress and countless state and local officials who use public funds to nakedly promote their political images, under the guise of “keeping in touch with constituents”?

Anyway, it’ll be up to Attorney General Coakley to make these indictments stick, and we’ll watch her try with an open mind.

But while we wait to hear both sides, let’s consider the circumstances of the Cahill case, and what it tells us about our local political class.

The story of Cahill and the lottery ads came out during a finger-pointing frenzy over the total implosion of the Cahill campaign, with the defection of his running mate and several campaign staffers.

He sued them to keep them from sharing his “campaign secrets” with the hapless Baker campaign, secrets that spilled all over the courtroom during their nasty little legal battle.

In other words, with all due respect to Tim, his campaign was a mess, hijacked by untrustworthy consultants he hired, driven to what are now alleged to be criminal measures in a hopeless attempt at revival.

It was a venture typical of a political culture that too often becomes obsessed with its ego and ambition and forgets what it’s supposed to be standing for.

Cahill ran as an independent champion of the working classes.

Instead, he championed a strategy of using the tax dollars of those workers to boost his own prospects – by reminding them of his work siphoning off their ill-invested lottery dollars.

Something’s wrong with that picture.

And Cahill’s not the only one who fits in it.

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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