McKenna Critical of Coakley over Public Corruption and Cape Wind Contract Details
Hector Montalvo has posted an interesting interview with Jim McKenna, the Republican write-in Candidate running against Martha Coakley for Attorney General.
It’s worth watching the whole interview. Jim hit Martha Coakley hard on two issues.
In the years while Coakely has been Attorney General, she has not been aggressive in fighting public corruption. The most visible issue has been the patronage scandal at Probation. For years it has been an open secret that certain key legislators, like Thomas Petrolati, Robert DeLeo and others, were using the Probation Department to give jobs to friends, family and political supporters.
Martha Coakley hasn’t done anything about it. Chief Justice Robert Mulligan finally had to intervene himself, suspend the Probation Commissioner, John O’Brien, and appoint his own investigator Paul Ware. One of the attorney generals primary functions is to prosesute public corruption.
McKenna charges that Martha Coakley failed to act on issues of public corruption because her focus was on forming political alliances with a goal toward seeking higher office in the US Senate:
The People deserve an attorney general who will prosecute public corruption and not worry about stepping on toes with the idea of moving on to another elected office. Martha Coakley spent most of the last year running for Senate. She doesn’t want to be Attorney General any more. We can help her with that.
She apparently did not prosecute public corruption at the same time that she was hoping to move on to another level. If you step on toes your advancement prospects are minimal.
We need an attorney general who just wants to do the job.
McKenna said that the last six Massachusetts Attorney Generals have tried to use the AG’s office as a stepping stone toward higher office, but that he is focused on the job and that when it comes to fighting corruption that “it won’t be done gently” and that he is not afraid to “offend” political power brokers.
McKenna also criticized Coakley for a press release earlier this year where she claimed credit for saving electricity rate payers almost $500 million dollars in a Cape Wind rate contract with National Grid:
There was a july 31 2010 press released by Martha Coakley’s office that spoke about how she saved $450 million dollars – half a billion dollars… by holding National Grid’s feet to the fire and getting them to drop [electricity] rates two cents from 20 to 18. No where in that press release does it say that there is a current price of 9 [cents].
So claiming to have saved half a billion dollars without saying that its doubling the cost is the sort of breech of public trust which is going to stop in January.
Not only that, but last week or so, they realized they were off by $200 million. It’s not going to 18 its going to 19 under that agreement. …
How do you make a $200 million dollar mistake?
And now apparently its going to be 19 cents per Kilowatt hour. Hector, if its 19 cents I would be amazed. By the time this is all said and done this big dig style project will have a cost far greater than that. But it made for a great claim byt the attorney general… and the press did run with that story.
Montalvo asked McKenna about the way that many Judges require litigants to show up to court at 8:30 or 9:00 am, but then arrive late and don’t start hearing cases until 10:00 am or later. Meanwhile litigants are paying lawyers $200/hr to wait in the court room. McKenna suggested that perhaps putting cameras in every court room, where the public can see when judges really start work would help correct the problem.
McKenna promised to increase the openness of the Attorney General’s office saying that Â “As much as can be put on-line will be put on-line. It will be as open as possible.”
On Gay Marriage, McKenna says that he thinks the SJC’s decision was “wrong” and that:
It found a right which was purportedly in the constitution. That the whole time it was there it was there but no one found it because no one looked for it. That right was not there.
He went on to say that Gay Marriage is not a central issue in his campaign, because now that the SJC has ruled, there is little an Attorney General can do about the issue. To fix it would be the job of the legislature.
Toward the end, Hector asked Montalvo if he thinks “Martha Coakely is dismissing you like she dismissed Scott Brown.”
McKenna said he doesn’t think so, because his campaign has been generating a lot of excitement. Over the last few days, 181 people have signed up on his web site to volunteer to help him with the write-in campaign.
Hector Montalvo’s Behind the Scene
Hector has been doing an amazing job with his political interview show “Behind the Scene”. The Eagle Tribune calls him “Regular Hector”. He is just an average citizen who has decided to get involved in the political process. One of his efforts has been to interview political candidates on his public access TV show, which has now been picked up by 40 public access cable channels. His project is still a little rough around the edges – like Hector – but it gets more polished every show.
And he has been scoring many high profile interviews, including Gubernatorial candidates Charlie Baker and Tim Cahill. He’s got a fantastic pitch – come on my show or send me a cardboard cut out to represent you. Hector does not take no for an answer. So far no candidate has been willing to take the card board cut out option – but we can hope! He’s trying to round out his Gubernatorial series with Deval Patrick, and I think he will have Martha Coakley on soon.