longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear,
But grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.
Thanksgiving statement out of the way. That was a pleasant moment of
living in the moment and appreciating it.
year I cannot tarry in the joyous present. Too much happening in the
political arena. And I'm grateful for the chance to fight back.
I'm going to
ignore the holiday political correctness debates that are beginning now
about Christmas mangers and sugary candy canes. I don't do Christmas,
anyhow, until Belsnickle on Dec. 5. And that's three days before the
U.S. Senate primary elections here in Massachusetts.
waiting to do a column about the race until I saw a debate between the
two Republicans who, you may be surprised to learn, are also running for
the seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy. Have seen or heard them
doing individual interviews on television and radio, though, and they
both attended the Citizens for Limited Taxation annual brunch last
Brown was there early to meet and greet CLT activists; Jack E. Robinson
bought a table and brought friends. This makes them both CLT members, so
I'm neutral for this primary.
Easy to say
since as an independent I intend to vote in the Democratic race.
always has a high rating with CLT on tax and economic issues; it's 100
percent this year. Robinson became an instant friend when he told us he
admired our involvement in the Amirault issue. This is one of those
things on which we judge people as good, bad or indifferent.
case was not directly a tax issue, though it was wrong to use taxpayer
dollars to persecute an innocent family. But in the aftermath of the
hysteria that gripped the nation around day-care centers during the
1980s, we came to indulge ourselves in a peripheral quest for justice.
Amirault ran a day-care center in Malden, with the assistance of her
daughter, Cheryl, and son, Gerald, for many years without incident.
Suddenly the Middlesex County district attorney's office was prosecuting
them for child abuse, even though no evidence was ever found. I saw
tapes of children insisting that nothing bad had happened, then being
pressured by social workers to make things up. The elderly Violet, along
with Cheryl and Gerald, went to jail.
years, Middlesex district attorneys Scott Harshbarger and Tom Reilly
insisted they stay there. Violet, though refusing to admit guilt in
exchange for an early release, finally got out two years before she
By the time
Martha Coakley became Middlesex DA and got involved, anyone could easily
investigate the case and arrive at the conclusion that the family was
innocent. But Coakley couldn't be bothered.
agreed to Cheryl's release under stringent conditions. But when the
parole board recommended commutation for Gerald Amirault,
families of the alleged abuse victims to object. Overall, Gerald was
unjustly imprisoned for almost 18 years.
chance I get I vote against the politicians who persecuted the Amiraults,
I've seen all three DAs become attorney general. I did, however, have
the pleasure of seeing both Harshbarger and Reilly lose their campaigns
for governor. Now I hope to see Coakley lose this Senate race.
with all four Democratic candidates on health reform, taxes, and the
economy. I was glad Michael Capuano, the congressman from Somerville,
attacked Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca when the latter supported a
military draft; but aside from that, the only real issue for me here is
watching their debates, fantasizing that one of them would go after
Coakley on the Amirault injustice. I hope if she wins the primary next
month, the Republican candidate will use the Amirault issue to argue
that she doesn't have the judgment, character or courage necessary to be
a good U.S senator. Robinson told us that he intends to do this.
must choose someone to vote for in the Democratic primary. Eeeny, meeny,
miny ...; one potato, two potato, three potato...
actually, it's not that hard. I have known Mike Capuano since he was
chief of staff to the Taxation Committee on Beacon Hill during the
Proposition 21βΡ2 campaign. We debated that and later, the graduated
income tax. We agree on nothing about which I have any expertise, though
I might trust him on Afghanistan.
I can still
see Capuano, sitting on a stool in the middle of the U-shaped Taxation
Committee table, feeding legislators the data, the pros and cons of each
piece of complicated tax legislation.
He is one of
the smartest people I've met on Beacon Hill. For what that's worth: I
suppose I'll never understand how smart people can be fiscal liberals.
Also don't understand how good people can vote for trillions in debt
that our grandchildren must pay.
aside, I know Capuano to be a genuine, honest, delightfully combative
man. If he won I wouldn't feel as silly as I usually do when required to
call my senator.
I won't be
voting for him and more national debt in the general election, but on
Dec. 8, Mike Capuano will have my vote, and Martha Coakley won't.