Message to Kerry Healey: don’t make him angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

Deval Patrick has just issued a statement with respect to the Herald’s story on his brother-in-law (which, almost certainly, originated as a dime-drop from the Healey campaign).  Here it is.  UPDATE: You can watch Patrick deliver this statement to the media here.

For nineteen months now, I have answered every one of your questions.  Today I just need to speak my mind.

Thirteen years ago, while living in San Diego, California, my sister Rhonda was the victim of a sexual assault.  I have not made her experience a subject of this campaign, because I believe it serves no victim to have to relive such a thing in the public eye.  But the media today has tried to take that option from me.

The assailant was her husband Bernie.  He plead guilty to the charge and served a short time in jail in California. 

In 1995, about a year after my sister moved to Milton, she and her husband reconciled.  They took a personal crisis and rebuilt a life.  They have raised two wonderful children.  They are deacons in their church and live a deeply religious faith.  They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this past summer with a recommitment ceremony.  They now counsel troubled couples. 

Their lives are about redemption, forgiveness and grace.  I am proud of their turnaround and I love them both.

I got into this race with no illusions.  In a world where negative campaigns are commonplace, I expected to have my own accomplishments trivialized, my own judgments questioned, my life choices challenged.  I haven’t always liked it, but I knew it was a price I would have to pay to be an agent of change — not just in our policies, but in our politics.

And I took the time to prepare my family for what I thought would be coming. 

My sister and her husband went through a difficult time, and through hard work and prayer, they repaired their relationship and their lives.  Now they and their children — who knew nothing of this — have had their family history laid out on the pages of a newspaper.  Why?  For no other reason than that they had the bad luck to have a relative who is running for governor.  It’s pathetic and it’s wrong.  By no rules of common decency should their private struggles become a public issue.  But this is the politics of Kerry Healey.  It disgusts me.  And it must be stopped.

Kerry Healey has never offered a single reason why she should be governor that doesn’t depend on tearing me down.  She has no vision, no plan, no positive agenda, and no leadership experience.  Her record on jobs and the economy, on health care, on higher education, on crime has been one of shortcuts, gimmicks and failure.  And so rather than deal with that, she has done everything she can to change the subject. 

Well, my message to the Healey campaign is that I will not let you run from your record any longer.  You can try all you want to change the subject and shift the blame, but we are going to expose for all just how your failed policies and your failed politics are the reason so many people are stuck and struggling and losing hope.  The garbage peddlers who shopped this story around town are part of that failed politics, too.

We are going to ask the people to choose whether the politics of fear, division and personal destruction is what they want or whether we’re better than that and are ready to finally throw out those who dump this trash in the public square.

We need a change.  Gimmicks, slogans and dirty politics is no substitute for progress.  The politics of fear is no acceptable alternative to the politics of hope.  That’s the change we need.  And if anybody in the Healey campaign or in the public thinks I am unwilling to fight for that, you have badly underestimated me.

You know what?  I believe him.

Show up this Sunday and show him that you do too.

UPDATE: AP has screwed up its coverage of this statement.  Deval Patrick did not say that it was Kerry Healey herself, or her campaign, that peddled this story to Dave Wedge.  Read the damn statement.  He says that this incident represents her politics.  That’s a fair statement, IMHO; and even if some would disagree, it’s certainly not an accusation that she was responsible for the story.  What he actually said is that “The garbage peddlers who shopped this story around town are part of that failed politics, too.”  That, friends, is true.

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45 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. This is a big moment...

    Today's Herald story (pushed by Healey campaign) just guaranteed that she will lose this election.



    This is a man of true character.  If he doesnt win, I will cry for weeks.  I hope this is his closing statement at every debate.

    Muffy has messed with the wrong person.

  3. Wow! Oh. My. God.

    I don't think I've ever, in all my years, read a more candid, heartfelt statement from anyone in politics. 

    Unbelievable.  Stunning.  Absolutely stunning. 

  4. All I can say is ..


  5. Powerful Statement

    Goosebumps.  This is like a speech you only see in the movies:

    "My name is Andrew Sheppard and I AM the President!"

    "Don't call me son.  I'm a lawyer and an officer in the United States Navy.  And you are going to jail... you son of a b****!"

    "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

  6. Two words for ya

    BOOO - YAAAA!!!!

  7. Don't make him angry

    Wow!! Where is this piece being published?

  8. I heard it on WBZ.

    It's even better when you hear him speak the words!


    "That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more!"

  9. amen!!!

    Good for Deval!! He's been a civilized voice throughout this campaign, but I'm glad he's pissed off. It's bringing out his Atticus Finch side--the righteous lawyer!

    Healey and the Herald should be ashamed of themselves.

  10. The Herald's take...

    Angry Patrick blasts attack on family By Herald staff Friday, October 13, 2006 - Updated: 02:23 PM EST

    Looking tired and furious, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick today blasted his Republican opponent, Kerry Healey, accusing her campaign of gutter politics in an emotional statement before reporters in Boston. more


  11. brilliant

    Not only was his response touching, poignant and effective, but it also now gives him carte blanche to go negative without looking bad.  No one is going to blame the guy for getting nasty after Healey attacked his sister!  She just broke all the rules of civilized discourse and he called her on it.  If he goes negative, it will be percieved as nothing more or less than her asking for it.

  12. Still think he has to get tougher - I just emailed the campaign

    Dear Mr. Patrick,

    We are big supporters but getting VERY worried that this campaign is getting away from you (38 point lead shrunk to 13 point lead). I sense that Healey has all of the momentum because of the onslaught of attacks. There also is a VERY LOUD conservative noise machine in the media that is running with the attack ball against you.

    Mr. Patrick, please WAKE UP and get TOUGH. You need to go negative on Healey and show you are a fighter with passion.

    Mr. Patrick, it is not too late. If you don't change strategy, you are going to lose.

    Please - we need you in the corner office.

    Take care,

  13. This is how Joe McCarthy went down

    Joseph Welch, a distinguished Boston lawyer, called McCarthy out for slandering Fred Fisher, a young lawyer from his firm. "Have you no sense of decency?," Welch asked the Wisconsin bully boy. It was the beginning of the end for McCarthyism.

    If you had any doubts: the Healey campaign has no sense of decency. May this be the beginning of the end of Healeyism. I think it will be.

    • Long story short...

      Weird... I had just been thinking about McCarthyism a couple days ago, particularly its downfall,... anyway.

      What if this was actually a plant from Patrick's camp?  Would it change your mind about it? 

      It seems that Patrick would have more to gain from it than Healey:

      - Fires up the base - Gives him an opportunity to come out "strong" - Gives him an opportunity to hit on Healey's negative image

      • It's tinfoil hat time out in Westford.

      • Troll alert!!!

        Your comment is about as low as Healey's campaign. Hmmm -- I wonder why?

        Somewhere there is a rock with no one under it -- I suggest you crawl back.

      • Breathtaking

        I briefly considered giving this comment a zero rating, but on second thought, if you're foolish enough to advertise your callousness, why cover it over? 

        No decency, indeed. 

        • The long story...

          There was a comment about McCarthyism, a topic which had come up in a recent conversation I had.  Just so happens, the conversation was with someone who, when I think of him, often reminds me of chess, and strategy, and planning not only your next step, but your opponent's counter, and your counter to that.  The idea being that the farther you can plan out your strategy the better.

          I think Patrick gained points, press coverage, and position with this afternoon's speech.  I have no idea where the information came from, but I wouldn't put it past any strategist to have thought about this. 

          My post wasn't rude or accusatory.  It certainly wasn't indecent or callous.  Yet you insult me.  I don't understand people like you at all.

          • $quot;It certainly wasn't indecent or callous.$quot;

            Can't agree with you on that.  Deval Patrick's nieces/nephews (not sure which) just learned for the first time about a horrible event in their parents' past.  You're suggesting that he was responsible for it, with no evidence to support that suggestion.  Callous at best, I'd say.

          • What David said. A whole boatload of it.

            I don't understand people like you at all.

            Thank you for making my point.

        • I just went ahead

          and gave it a zero as a referendum vote on the merits of its cynical and self-serving content. 

      • For the Record

        I'm giving this a 6 because I am sure you're wrong, but I don't see anything wrong with the fact that you brought it up without being an ass about it.

      • This is just a ridiculous suggestion.

        The fact that Patrick may "have more to gain" from this is due entirely to the fact that the moron that dropped this particular dime thinks that voters are stupid.  I'm betting that they're not.

        So until you have any basis in fact at all for floating what is basically a libel -- that someone would drag his own family's embarrassing past into the public eye, including apparently exposing the couple's children to this information for the first time -- do us all a favor and keep it to yourself.

      • You forgot something....

        A registered Democrat until a few months ago. Then unenrolled. Now supporting Healey. There... does that make you happy now?

        You forgot "I didn't leave the Democratic Party- the Democratic Party left me!"

  14. Amazement

    I have never been more proud of ANY politician in my life than I am now. On the other hand-I think we have just proven that the days of Karl Rove, while still in service, are slowly trickling to an end. (Although-never say never). If this man is not elected-then I do not know what to say-HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY!

  15. Amazement

    I have never been more proud of ANY politician in my life than I am now. On the other hand-I think we have just proven that the days of Karl Rove, while still in service, are slowly trickling to an end. (Although-never say never). If this man is not elected-then I do not know what to say-HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY!

  16. The telling detail for me...

    From the Herald article...

    "The Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board sent Sigh a letter this week alerting him that he is required to register. The letter informed him he has 10 days to comply or he will face criminal prosecution, according to Kelly Nantel, spokeswoman for the state Executive Office of Public Safety."

    It seems awfully coincidental (to me) that this story breaks the same week that the registry board notices that Sigh hadn't registered. I would think that it would normally take a news organization more time to find that sort of record and connect it to the governor's race. It really makes me wonder if someone on the state government side didn't make the connection themselves and leak it.

    Maybe I'm wrong and the Herald reporters are just better than I expect them to be, but I'd certainly like to hear more about the "story-behind-the-story".

    • You're on to something.

      Yes!  I have been thinking this all day.  HIs brother-in-law lives in Milton for 10 years and gets a notice three weeks before the election.  This has to have been an engineered story.

      • I wouldn't go that far...

        It doesn't surprise me that they took this long to notice Sigh had not registered. From what I understand, the (federal) law behind the registries (Megan's Law) was passed in 1996 and it took 8 years to get the Massachusetts registry online. So there's evidence that their processes can move pretty slowly. Nothing I've seen so far suggests that anyone held back the information on Sigh for an opportune moment. If I were guessing, I'd presume the letter was generated as part of the ordinary process of reviewing the registry.

        As I said, what makes me wonder is how quickly things went from sending out the letter to the story in the Herald. So far as I know (and please correct me if I'm wrong), these letters aren't a matter of public record. And, at least as of today, Sigh's name isn't in the online registry, so they couldn't have found it there.

        This suggests (to me) that the most likely scenario is the following: someone with access to the list of people being sent these letters noticed that Patrick's brother-in-law was on the list and said something (either to the Herald directly or to someone who ended spreading it there). Note that this doesn't mean that the Healey campaign was involved. They might have been (though I wouldn't have expected them to be that stupid) or it could easily have been a junior-level staffer who just wanted to spread gossip or feel important or whatever. But it does suggest that the "story-behind-the-story" could be quite interesting.

  17. Address it, but stay above it.

    They have thrown the kitchen sink at Patrick and he still has a 13-point lead. This latest is not a threat to Patrick in itself - no one is going to change their vote because of what someone's sister's partner did in 1993, voters aren't that shallow. This is a threat only if it takes Deval off his balance, and causes him to say something dumb, something weird, something that plays really badly on TV. Then, suddenly, the Healey camp will have real ammo.

    please humor me while I pretend Deval is listening:

    Deval, don't let it get personal. You have a lead. Nothing that comes out of Kerry Healey's mouth can take that away, nor anything that comes out of the media - the last few weeks have proven that. Only what comes out of your own mouth has the power to make or break you. I'm not saying cower or ignore the issue, I'm just saying, don't get emotional, don't lose your cool, don't let it get to you personally. You do not, repeat, do not, have to hit a home run - not when it's the bottom of the ninth and you're ahead. Just keep playing the way you've been playing all game.

    • Good advice,

      which I think he's taking.  Today's statement was forceful, appropriate, and measured.  The campaign has said a couple of times that they're done talking about it.  Patrick himself is a cool enough customer that he will not let this rattle him any more than it did this afternoon.

  18. A synergy of sleaziness

    This whole story is utterly remarkable. The shallow, biased reportorial judgment of the Boston Herald continues to amaze me. There are clearly two villains here: the Boston Herald and the Healey campaign.

      The Herald has, of course, long been a fatuous, lazy and reflexively reationary paper, but this is the worst judgment I've seen in years. In writing a story like this, the Herald's Dave Wedge once again shows the same solid judgment that resulted in one of the largest libel lawsuit awards in the history of the Common wealth. What the hell was he thinking? What relevance does this story have to anything in this campaign? There are at least two critical reasons why the Herald should have passed on this story.

      First, Deval's brother in law, who is still married to his wife, appears almost entirely to have turned his life around through force of will, dedication and religious devotion. It is not the job of the Herald to update Nathaniel Hawthorne for the 21st century by branding the brother-in-law with an ineluctable stain of a distant crime. Mr. Sigh's story is exactly the kind of non-recidivist episode that should fill everyone with hope about the power and prospect of personal turnaround. Assuredly, any criminologist worth his or her salt would celebrate this story as a success par excellence -- any criminologist not running for Governor anyway....

      Second, in a city and region that has experienced enormous and violent racial turmoil for much of the last half-century, the Herald really should know better than to publish a story that potentially feeds into the crudest stereotypes about rapacious African-American men committing crimes. The Herald should have done what a court of law in this instance would have done, which would have been to weigh the relevance of the story against its prejudical effect. Here, there is zero relevance, and far-reaching prejudicial effect. Any lucid, knowledgeable judge in America would have kept this story out of a trial in his or her courtroom, yet the Herald plunged full speed ahead. There is no way that the Herald can provide a satisfactory explanation of the relevance of this story to the Governor's race, yet the paper will no doubt try. The Herald may try to argue that this is an issue of public concern, and that journalistic ethics dictate that the paper report on the story. If this is, indeed, an issue of public concern, then I suggest the following to the Boston Herald: why don't you publish reports on all the other men and women in the Commonwealth who have committed a sex crime and failed to register with the SORB? If this is an issue of public concern in this case, then assuredly it's an issue of public concern in all they cases featuring people who do not have a brother-in law running for Governor.

      As to Healey, she may turn out to be right that no firm evidence will link her campaign or its surrogates to this story. There is strong circumstantial evidence, however, that she or her agents were involved. First, this story fits snugly in the progession of increasingly bilious advertisements she has so far been troweling out via her husband's largesse. Further, who has a better motive to besmirch Patrick than Healey? In closing, Healey reminds me of famous quotation of Benjamin Disraeli to a despised colleague: 'Honourable Sir, it's true that I am a low, mean snake.  But you, sir, could walk beneath me wearing a top hat.'

      Kerry Healey wears the top hat today....

  19. too bad isn't it

    that you didn't know much about Deval before you thrust him forward.  It's hard to deny that this shouldn't be news, and yet you deny it.  How impartial are you?  Oh, that's right, you never claimed to be and aren't.  You are firmly in the Deval camp and will fake righteous indignation whenever you can.

    Don't even pretend you'd sit on similar things in Healey's family.

    • My righteous indignation

      My righteous indignation is real, and I can guarantee you that I would never, ever use something like this against Kerry Healey or her extended family. Deval Patrick would never, ever use something like this against Healey or her extended family, either, and that's the stuff of which character is made.

      • and what of Deval's campaign

        Then you are willfully naive.  Deval has been negative from the start, his only problem being he couldn't find as much dirt on Healey as was on himself.  You, go find something in Healey and her extended family.  I give you carte blanche to do your worst.  You will find there is nothing there.  I'm sorry you backed a dirty horse, but that is not my problem but yours.  Don't expect me to help you win the race by ignoring your foibles.

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