I don’t necessarily think of B-Mag as the place for hard-hitting journalism. However, the December issue certainly has an interesting summary/take-down on Coakley’s campaign finances, which should not be ignored. It also answers the question I had very shortly after Teddy’s funeral — how did her campaign web site get up that fast?
Boston looked through Coakley’s state campaign expenditures going back to the fall of 2008, and found that from that time to this August-just after Ted Kennedy died and just before Coakley announced her Senate run-her state payroll included DC political consulting firms, DC-based website design firms, and political strategists known for their work on federal campaigns. The expenditures totaled roughly $130,000.
Coakley says these people worked toward only one initial goal: getting her reelected attorney general in 2010. But she never faced a Democratic opponent for AG. She was a popular incumbent. Why then was she spending, beginning in late 2008 (two full years before the election), all this money for a race she knew she had in the bag?
As far back as 2004, Coakley has wanted to be a U.S. senator. She told the Associated Press that year that if John Kerry won the presidency, she, then the Middlesex County district attorney, would run for his Senate seat. Now, with an even higher public profile, she is running. The FEC penalty for this campaign stuff will be light, probably just a fine. But the perception may be much more damaging: that the do-good prosecutor spent more than $100,000 skirting the law to fulfill her ambition.
It’s particularly notable that she doesn’t deny what she did, either — just winges that the complaint to the FEC ws “politically motivated.” Ergo, the crusading prosecutor has no problem violating the law when it serves her ambition.