Civil war in MassGOP over fundraising list

What do call a civil war in the Massachusetts state Republican party?

A shootout in the lifeboat.

That’s an old headline, but it certainly applies this morning, as the real Republicans now in charge of the GOP state committee formally accuse the RINO’s (Republicans in Name Only) who were running it of basically using the party as a slush fund for going places and eating things.

Very expensive things – in 2017-18, they spent $30,000 at Capitol Grill, for starters. Don’t worry, though, the GOP hacks also patronized Morton’s and Abe & Louie’s – on the donors’ dime.

The formal letter by the state committee lawyer accusing Tall Deval’s coat holders of hijacking the fundraising list after they lost control of the state committee in January is merely the tip of the iceberg – trust me on that one.

The state committee and its affiliate, MassVictory, were raising money hand over fist. After all, the GOP controls the governorship. Charlie Baker is a Republican, at least nominally, so his hacks were vacuuming up incumbent money.

That cash should have going to cash-strapped legislative candidates, several of whom lost winnable races in GOP-leaning districts by a few hundred votes last fall.

Instead, the money went for, well, let me put it this way – state party headquarters are on Merrimac Street. There’s a garage across the street. The state party and MassVictory in 2017-18 paid $164,000 in parking fees at that one single garage.

The party picked up the tab for two round-trip tickets on Hahn Air. Ever hear of Hahn Air? Me neither. They only fly in Germany. Did the state GOP have any “times” im Deutschland?

Sources say a full accounting of this profligate spending spree will be released by the new state committee chairman, Jim Lyons, next week. But many of the numbers are already publicly accessible on the websites of the Federal Election Commission (MassVictory) and the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance (the state committee).

How about this one – in two years, the state committee paid for 1,045 Uber trips, at the cost of more than $18,000. That’s in the OCPF records.

The chair of the Mass GOP during this out-of-control binge was one Kirsten Hughes, a hack city councilor from Quincy.

Since quitting in November, she’s had a meteoric rise in the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Department. First she as given a $75,000 contract by the interim sheriff as “special legal counsel.” Then Tall Deval appointed a former Boston city councilor named Jerry McDermott as sheriff, and McDermott quickly made her “general counsel” for $110,000 a year.

But Kirsten has a lot of expenses – private school tuitions are a killer, don’t you know. So pretty soon the Democrat-turned-Republican sheriff McDermott appointed Kirsten “special sheriff,” with a very special salary of $137,000 a year.

And that was before the 2 percent across-the-board pay raise for the sheriff’s department, which the flack didn’t confirm last night, so I’m guessing Kirsten is up to around $140K.

But the fact is, Jerry McDermott will almost certainly be ousted in the next election – his likely Democrat opponent in a presidential election year is likewise named McDermott, and that McDermott is actually from Norfolk County.

So Kirsten needs a more permanent trough in which to bury her snout. She’s been eyeing the open clerk-magistrate’s job in the Stoughton District Court. Clerk-magistrate is an even easier job, if possible, than being a state judge. And there’s no mandatory retirement.

But now she’s going to have to answer some questions: Kirsten, what did you know, and when did you know it? And what the heck is going on with all these pay raises in your new hackerama, the sheriff’s department? (More on that soon, maybe Sunday.)

Kirsten, what was up with this entity, DBP Llc, and why did it receive $427,000 from the state committee?

The top fund raiser was a guy named John P. Cook, who works at UBS Financial Services in “Private Wealth Management.” His email address is included in the state committee’s demand letter to the vendor who handed over the committee’s fundraising database to the Tall Deval hacks.

He too did not return a call.

So let the shootout in the lifeboat begin. Two words: abandon ship!

Join Howie's Mailing List!

You have successfully subscribed!