- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 14, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Democrat Martha Coakley is the voice of the “little people” the way Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was the voice of sobriety. If Massachusetts voters want another privileged liberal who talks “social justice” while ignoring public corruption, pocketing gobs of money from Beltway fat cats and pandering to special interests, Mrs. Coakley’s the one.

Mrs. Coakley, the Bay State’s attorney general, has campaigned to replace the late Mr. Kennedy on a law-and-order platform. But she has consistently turned a blind eye to both. When a top aide to Boston Democratic Mayor Thomas Menino was caught deleting thousands of e-mails in violation of public records law last fall, Mrs. Coakley punted in the middle of Mr. Menino was in the middle of a re-election bid.

Instead of expressing concern about the City Hall information black hole, Mrs. Coakley refused to investigate., attacking her critics: “[W]e get lots of complaints from folks who are adversaries who have a particular agenda.”

But who’s got the agenda? After undertaking herculean technical efforts to recover the trashed e-mails, Boston city officials discovered e-mail fragments related to an ongoing federal probe of former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson. Ms. Wilkerson, now awaiting trial, attained national infamy as the lawmaker caught on film stuffing thousands of dollars of bribes down her bra in exchange for help securing a nightclub liquor license.

Mrs. Coakley cut an immunity deal with Ms. Wilkerson last year, protecting her from prosecution for campaign-finance violations. But according to the Boston Herald, the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance reported last month that Ms. Wilkerson had failed to fully comply with 11 of 51 conditions. Mrs. Coakley allowed Ms. Wilkerson to pay a measly $10,000 fine - a fine she failed to pay.

Mrs. Coakley’s response? Meh. Instead, she used the power of her office to herald her new, taxpayer-funded $750,000 cybercrime lab initiative - a picture-perfect, campaign-ready moment - without an ironic pause, and has launched a crackdown on ladies’ gardening clubs for failing to file proper paperwork.

While she’s a stickler with the gardeners, Mrs. Coakley has been mighty sloppy practicing what she selectively enforces. She has siphoned $25,000 out of her state campaign fund for a poll on her federal Senate bid; used an additional $24,000 from her state account to pay Beltway political consultants advising her on the Senate campaign; and reportedly used a secret asset sale pact between her state and federal campaign committees to use state campaign funds to purchase a fundraising database, redesign her Web site and obtain Senate-logo campaign paraphernalia.

Then there’s Mrs. Coakley’s relationship with Massachusetts’ corrupt former House Speaker Sal DiMasi. Bay State records show that Mrs. Coakley sent annual donations to the beleaguered Democrat over the past three years worth just under $1,000. Last June, Mr. DiMasi was indicted on seven counts of mail and wire fraud related to pay-for-play schemes worth tens of thousands of dollars. Where was Martha?

Mrs. Coakley let the feds take on the powerful Mr. DiMasi. Only after months of foot-dragging did Mrs. Coakley’s Attorney General’s Office initiate an investigation into the indictments of one of Mr. DiMasi’s top cronies, Richard Vitale, on lobbying and campaign-finance crimes.

More recently, Mrs. Coakley’s Republican opponent, state Sen. Scott Brown, blew the whistle on campaign-finance shenanigans involving her deep-pocketed supporters at the Service Employees International Union. The radical labor organization, saddled with nationwide embezzlement scandals, is “pulling out all the stops” for Mrs. Coakley, and has dumped more than $200,000 into her campaign for radio ads. In mid-December, SEIU Local 509, which represents public employees, sent two e-mails to 7,500 state government employees at their government e-mail addresses over public computers endorsing Mrs. Coakley and urging union members to vote for her. The use of state resources for politicking is forbidden under state ethics laws.

Mrs. Coakley’s office has not responded to the complaint. She’s probably too busy writing thank-you notes to all of the fat-cat lobbyists and donors who threw her a high-priced fundraiser in Washington this week. Host committee members each raised $10,000 or more for her coffers. They included representatives from drug companies, health insurers and hospitals who joined the Demcare protection racket. (And Mrs. Coakley has the nerve to attack “shadowy out-of-state organizations” for running ads supporting Mr. Brown.)

Washington is already teeming with Democratic foxes guarding the Cash for Corruptocrats henhouse. Isn’t there a nice gardening club in Massachusetts that can take Mrs. Coakley in?

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery, 2009).

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