One thing Tim Cahill has made clear is that he's a virtual Deval Patrick, his mini-me. That is, an appealing - even compelling - politician, but one whose decisions are unrestricted by conscience, guided by the principle of 'winning is the only thing.' Unfortunately, even losing represents some sort of victory in Tim's mind, and he's crafted a colorful trajectory to defeat.
Cahill's former running mate, Paul Loscocco, charged in a two-page statement that Patrick senior strategist Doug Rubin — who used to work for Cahill — had been coordinating a negative ad campaign against Baker with Neil Morrison, a former top Cahill deputy in the state treasurer's office, and with the Democratic Governors Association.
Perhaps Tim is just satisfying a burning desire to get back at Charlie Baker for daring to run against him. Or maybe it's not that simple. One of our listeners sent a text Friday morning suggesting that there are few seats as important to the White House as the one held by Deval Patrick. Expect Tim Cahill to have a plum job in Washington after the election, he wrote. Intriguing.
"The moment my running mate looked me in the eye and essentially admitted that his campaign was coordinating efforts with the Patrick campaign and the Democratic Governors' Association ... served as the defining moment for me in making the difficult decision to withdraw from the Cahill Loscocco ticket," Loscocco said.
The viciousness of those in pursuit of power - the willingness to do virtually anything to have it - can not be underestimated. Policy decision today are just the unintended consequences of political decision.
But Loscocco offered no evidence to support his allegations, which Rubin and Cahill's campaign both vigorously denied. They said Loscocco — whom Cahill's camp called a "tool of Charlie Baker's sleazy hit team" — lacks any credibility after orchestrating, with former top Cahill advisers, a plot to desert the independent ticket and throw their support to the Republicans. Morrison declined to comment.
The use of that phrase - Charlie Baker's sleazy hit team - tell you all you need to know about Tim. There is no Charlie Baker hit team, and there is no Charlie Baker sleaze. But Tim assumes that since Charlie's a politician, he must possess the same qualities that Tim sees when he looks in the mirror. He is the master of the insidious and unsubstantiated assault, readily admitting he doesn't know if his aim is true even as he pulls the trigger.
Baker today also denied Cahill's central argument that Baker's staff was seeking strategic campaign information from Cahill's former aides.
"We did not seek, nor do we have, nor did we receive, nor do we want, any proprietary information from the Cahill campaign at any time,” Baker told reporters.
Ask Tim what sleazy hits have been committed by the Baker campaign and he'll say, 'I don't know,' an answer he usually reserves for policy matters, but one that describes accurately the foundation of his accusations. Tim doesn't know just what Charlie Baker did wrong, but he knows he doesn't like it.
The Republican complaint to the Ethics Commission requests an investigation into whether Cahill's campaign "illegally coordinated with state employees" and used taxpayer resources for the benefit of his campaign. The complaint points to a recent ad buy for the state Lottery, which Cahill oversees as state treasurer. The ads highlight the money the Lottery generates for cities and towns.
Tim told us Firday that he's filed this lawsuit in order to refocus the campaign on issues. The most important issue for Tim seems to be getting Deval reelected, and that is the only victory which his campaign has any hope of achieving.