13th Suffolk State Rep Candidate Dan Hunt Embraces Sleazy Politicians

Dan Hunt, the establishment favorite in the campaign to replace Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in the State House, has received some support that might have convinced me to like him. I love Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, who attended his kickoff and is hosting a fundraiser for him.

But then he’s gotten some more questionable support as well. Donors include Chet Atkins, the former Congressman who the voters booted after he bounced checks on his special Congressional bank account; Tom Finneran, the archconservative DINO former Speaker of the MA House who pled guilty to felony obstruction of justice for lying about his role in disenfranching minority voters, and Steven Panagiotakis, a former State Senator singled out as one of the worst pushers of patronage in the probation hiring scandal. See: http://www.efs.cpf.state.ma.us/SearchReportResults.aspx?cpfId=15721

Hunt’s campaign is being managed by Wes Ritchie, who was Dianne Wilkerson’s Policy Director while she was taking bribes.

And now, Hunt has a fundraiser is being hosted by the brothers of ex-Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray (open the document posted on co-host Bob Spellane’s Facebook page).


For all I know, Dan Hunt’s a good person. Having one friends who’s has some legal trouble isn’t a big deal. But when his roster of supporters is a who’s who of ethically questionable politicians, it makes me at least question his judgment. From seeing all this, I’ve concluded Dan Hunt is not someone who should be in the legislature. As long as embracing all these people is a flaw in judgment and not in character, I think he does have a positive role to play in Massachusetts politics, and I hope to see him find it. But we need decision-makers with clear values and solid judgment, and Dan Hunt is missing one of those.

[ed. note: this post has been edited to remove unsupported claims.]


8 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. questionable post ...

    careful on astroturf. Don’t want to be that lowlife who does that sort of thing. Makes your candidate look worse.

    • Astroturf?

      I don’t have a dog in this fight. My brother lives in the district and he’s undecided. I’m the most politically informed in the family, so it’s my job to research the candidates. And I didn’t like what I found out about Dan Hunt.

      • Nor do I, but a quick search on ...

        Wes Richie found his Linkedin working last for Jeff Ross’ campaign, his fundraiser were from Mahty backers (your link). Seems you instead did some additional digging trying to find the most politically hurtful that you could find.. Sticking with my original opinion of this post as a hit piece.

      • Perhaps smear is a better term then

        While contributions accepted are fair game for review, attempting to create a mountain out of a mole hill is more about smearing a candidate (and at times their contributors).

        I’m not in the district and I don’t have a candidate in this race. Dan Hunt comes to the race having prepared well (a lifetime of activity in the district and serious fundraising last year). I don’t view him as the powers-that-be candidate, just one with a history and campaign that makes him one of the favorites in the primary. John O’Toole, Liam Curran, PJ McCann and write-in candidate Tony Dang all bring something to that race. O’Toole’s name recognition from his City Council race puts him on par with Hunt at campaign kickoff time.

        Attempting to tie Hunt to contributors you don’t like is fine. Attempting to make those contributors evil to make your case be more than about your personal likes and dislikes crosses (my) line.

        Former Congressman Atkins did lose to Marty Meehan in the 1992 Democratic Primary and undoubtly his kiting checks in the Congressional Bank had an impact. Two other incumbent Massachusetts Democratic Congressmen lost final elections that year -Atkins wasn’t the only incumbent to hit hard times that cycle. And while Atkins financial situation was poor judgement he did NOTHING illegal. I don’t see his contribution as tainted in any way.

        Steven Panagiotakis, along with any number of high profile elected officials, was named on lists. Yet none were charged, indicted, or have been in court. He worked to get jobs for people and no evidence shows he did so in any corrupt way.

        Wes Ritchie – talk about guilt by association. He worked for Senator Wilkerson so he must be bad. Really? That’s what you got?

        “corrupt ex-Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray” – ok put the evidence on the table. Tim Murray was corrupt? Please link to the indictment, the conviction, anything. And not even Tim Murray – “the brothers” of Tim Murray who I also don’t see any link to corruption charges. Why not try for his Aunt’s third Cousin’s son-in-law as a co-conspirator. Please.

        Finally Speaker Finneran. Yes he has been convicted and yes his social politics are far from BMG (and mine)’s liking. If you wanted to make a point you should have stopped there. Attempting to question Hunt’s integrity by attempting to smear his contributors just blew up your post.

        • Solid defense Striker

          Finneran is the only corrupt person on that list, and frankly an odd man out. I really hope we don’t continue to smear Tim Murray and his relatives. He was our best hope for keeping the corner office in progressive hands, I for one don’t gloat that he is out of the picture.

        • From what I can tell...

          …(and I didn’t see this post until after the editors apparently removed part of it) this post is nothing but guilt by association. As long as the contributions themselves are legal, and I’ve seen nothing to indicate that they weren’t, a candidate should take what he can get from where he can get it. Taking someone’s money should not be construed as endorsing or condoning everything the donor has ever done. The people cited all have much more in their records than the incidents and issues recorded here.

  2. Other info in this race:

    Liam Curran is supported by Marty Walsh’s brother and mother. John O’Toole is anti-gay marriage.

  3. Dan Hunt is the best candidate

    The original post is a smear if there ever was one. I agree with the previous comment that these donations were made legally and that should be that. Furthermore, Dan Hunt’s donors are giving to his campaign because they believe he’s the best candidate to represent a vital Boston community. Dan has dedicated his entire professional career to public service, working to create jobs, better schools, and community development. He volunteers much of his personal time to a number of local causes, and is the loudest and most enthusiastic supporter of Dorchester I’ve encountered. And if you don’t believe me, listen to the other local leaders that have endorsed him, including Linda Dorcena Forry, another tireless advocate for the community.

    The Hunts have lived in Dorchester for decades, served the community both professionally and on a volunteer basis since they arrived, raised three generations of family there, and are among the most genuinely good people on the planet. If you want to disagree with Mr. Hunt on the issues, that’s fine, but attempting to personally knock him down by inappropriately and inaccurately associating him to actions of others is hack nonsense and should be rejected on its face.

    Dan’s getting my vote on the merits and I encourage you to vote for him as well.

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