I’d say the Red Wall of Silence around Jeff Perry and his strip search problem is still basically holding. But it’s definitely showing some cracks. A few Republicans are speaking out, some elected, some not. Christy Mihos, who backed Joe Malone in the primary but who says that Perry “is right on many of the issues” and who backed him as a state rep, has gone the furthest, actually calling on Perry to quit the race.
As a father, I could never support or vote for a candidate that had the absence of good judgment as a police officer, especially when the security and safety of a 14 year old child was at stake….
[A]s for Jeffery Davis Perry, its time to do the right thing for himself and his family and drop out of the race. Doing the right thing and standing for principle over party will make his life better still.
Well, good for you, Christy. And there are a few others. Cape Cod Times:
On Fox 25, state Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, said the victim’s statement can’t be brushed aside. “This is from a victim who is talking about a very serious incident that never should have occurred,” Tarr said. “I think Jeff Perry has got to answer for that. He’s got to be truthful. He’s got to be clear.”
State Sen. Robert Hedlund, R-Weymouth, who considered running for the 10th Congressional seat, said on WGBH radio that Allen’s statement gives him “pause” even though he likes the way Perry votes.
Good for Tarr and Hedlund, especially Tarr’s explicit call for Perry to be “truthful.” We’re all waiting for that one, Senator.
And then here’s our friend Michael Graham:
I like Jeff Perry. And I also hate what he did 19 years ago to defend a fellow cop. I hate that he’s spent this campaign bobbing and weaving on the issue, making statements that were clearly not true. I hate the fact that, as a smart guy, he wasn’t smart enough during the primary to hold a press conference, admit he screwed up, explain what it’s like when a friend and a cop you trust does something awful and how circumstances like that pull us all in different directions. I hate the fact that he didn’t just say “I was wrong, and here’s what I learned from my mistakes.”
The fact that he didn’t, and still hasn’t, makes it hard to vote for Jeff Perry.
OK, that’s something, especially the bit about “statements that were clearly not true.”
Now, let’s compare and contrast Tarr, Hedlund, and Graham (!) with folks like Scott Brown, Charlie Baker, and Mitt Romney. Let’s listen again to Baker’s response to a direct question from a voter about this, just for kicks.
That answer continues to amaze me. Unlike his fellow Republicans Tarr, Hedlund, Mihos, and Graham, Baker not only continues to back Perry, he apparently could not care less whether or not Perry has been lying through his teeth all these years about a sexual assault committed on a teenager under his watch. He just wants to cut spending. He must be the only person in Massachusetts who sees nothing in the Perry affair even worth discussing.
Brown, for his part, is sticking with Perry, though he’s started pleading a certain degree of ignorance, claiming that he’s never read any of the relevant documents. At least he had the decency, unlike Baker, to acknowledge that what those two girls went through was “horrible.” And Romney, I mean, who really cares what Romney thinks. He issued a bland statement saying Perry’s the best guy to reduce spending or whatever.
Now let’s come back to a second to Michael Graham, who gets some credit for acknowledging Perry’s mendacity. The problem is that the rest of Graham’s column is about what hypocrites Democrats are, and about how he’s still going to vote for Perry over Keating because Keating likes Nancy Pelosi. And that, despite this pointed question that Graham poses:
So what about the rest of us? Those of us who’ve been saying for years that character does matter? What about Jeff Perry.
Graham then answers his own question by saying he’s still voting for Perry. So I guess “character” doesn’t actually matter after all, at least not in a close race.
To that, I’ll repeat what I said a couple of days ago:
the next time some Republican asks you why you aren’t more aggressive in decrying some misconduct by some Democrat, you can now laugh heartily, spit on the floor, and walk away. Until these guys throw Jeff Perry under the bus, where he so richly deserves to be, they haven’t got a damn leg to stand on.
And that’s the Natural Truth.