Wednesday, March 31, 2010

John Richardson and Maine’s very own “Hack-o-rama”

Anyone who listens to the Howie Carr show out of Boston knows the guy does a masterful job of investigating and reporting on the sordid political patronage networks in Boston and Massachusetts politics.

Howie often says “it’s a hack-o-rama” to summarize the situation.

This reporter has always assumed that Maine politicians were just too inexperienced in such matters to rise to the level Carr describes, and besides, they just don’t have the same scale of patronage dollars to throw around.

Maybe, maybe not.  Today’s Sun Journal includes a lengthy investigative report on the subject, centered around John Richardson’s time as DECD in Baldacci’s cabinet.

Here’s a passage to whet your interest:

At his side for almost two years was Cook, a former political organizer for the Teamsters union and for Democratic causes, including being a paid staffer on Baldacci’s re-election campaign. Unofficially, and later on an official basis, Cook kept Richardson informed and in touch with organized labor.

No doubt the NOTWIUN will not pursue the story, as soon as they can not get around to it.  They’re already busy not reporting that Richardson may be in trouble getting the checks he needs to get on the ballot.  Why else would he send out a last minute web request asking for folks to send one in now?  His deadline is tomorrow.

On the one hand, if Richardson doesn’t make the cut, Joanne King, Brunswick’s town council chair, will no longer have the distraction of serving as Richardson’s campaign treasurer.  I suppose it’s fun, though, working (unpaid, we assume) at the left hand of a self-described “control freak.”

On the other hand, if Richardson does make it, managing his primary election finances should blend nicely with her role in shepherding through the town’s budget, which faces substantial challenges from a variety of angles.

If things get too hectic, the town can always bring in a paid special assistant during the peak activity period.  No doubt there are well qualified candidates at hand, highly recommended.


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