Former Mass Treasurer Tim Cahill Indicted

Former Treasurer Tim Cahill was indicted Monday by Attorney General Martha Coakley for running ads promoting the lottery that were specifically crafted to aid his run for governor in 2010. 

The charges stem from a series of ads costing an estimated $1.65 million that touted the leadership at the Lottery that ran widely during Cahill’s 2010 gubernatorial bid, officials say.

In October of 2010, Cahill agreed to stop running the Lottery ads, hours after Coakley called on the embattled candidate to do so, following the release of explosive emails and texts that appeared to show Cahill’s campaign staff working with the state agency to boost his sagging gubernatorial bid.

At the time, Coakley told Cahill’s office she wanted the ads to come down until after the election. Cahill later responded in a statement: “We are working with the attorney general’s office on this particular matter, and the lottery will suspend the ads until the attorney general’s office concludes its investigation.”

The charges are likely appropriate since Cahill apparently made the mistake of putting in writing his desire to use state money to promote his personal career goals, but how is this malfeasance different from the president pretending to be doing official business while campaigning at taxpayer expense? How do we differentiate Coakley doing the people's business with these charges from her own goal of running for governor in 2014?