Two different – but not necessarily contradictory – takes in the local dailies about former Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill’s close call with the law over financial shenanigans in the Bay State’s 2010 gubernatorial race.
First up: Joan Vennochi’s column in Thursday’s Boston Globe:
With Cahill, a good law and a weak case
IT’S EASY when it’s cash stuffed between a state senator’s breasts or checks funneled through a law partner directly into the pockets of the speaker of the House.
It’s harder — as it should be — when a case for political corruption consists of a feel-good lottery ad campaign that cost taxpayers $1.5 million but never mentions the name of the state treasurer who ordered it up. Those are the underlying facts in the case that Attorney General Martha Coakley brought against former state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill.
While treasurer, Cahill spent public money to advance a personal political agenda — his failed campaign for governor. A new state law makes it a crime for politicians to do that — if prosecutors can show “fraudulent intent.” But in the case against Cahill, the evidence of fraudulent intent simply wasn’t strong enough.