Had legitimate procedure been followed, neither of the two Cahills would have made the ballot, and Steve Murphy would have earned the party’s nomination. Johnston clearly made some unorthodox (and arguably unethical) moves, which had the effect of subverting the will of the delegates who were present. (Contrast this with the Lt. Governors’ balloting that year, where Phil Johnston did apply the rules conscientiously, in which a hard-working clean elections candidate was left off the September ballot because she could only get around 10%.)
Fast-forward to 2006 and we have a potential for Chris Gabrieli to benefit from the same shenanigans that bailed out the two Cahills. Because of his late start, Chris has been scrambling for delegates; if he had his 15% accounted for and in the bag, he wouldn’t be calling people four times a day, sending them reams of mail, and buying millions of dollars worth of air time. Yet, because of his checkbook, and the barrels of money he has spent for the Democratic Party, he has some influential friends within the State Committee- several state party staffers have left the party to work on Gabrieli’s campaign.
The question here is:
How far will Phil Johnston go to get Chris on the ballot if Deval and Reilly appear to have 86% or more of the delegates between them?
Will it be run of the mill horse-trading and arm twisting, as we would all expect at a convention, or will it be something more insidious, like delegates mysteriously switching votes (after the votes had already been tallied) to get a candidate on the ballot (see Charles Yancey, auditor, 1986), or a repeat of the sham Treasurers’ vote in 2002?