Pols & Politics: The twisting tale of a local option transfer tax might not be over just yet.

Plus, sordid history of the Governor’s Council.

Given the sordid history of the Governor’s Council, is it such a surprise that a jailbird ex-con would be seeking election to it?

Sean Michael Murphy, 48, is a Bridgewater lawyer who did a federal stretch for a drug offenses (oxycodone) as a young man. Now he’s running for the Democrat nomination to replace Robert Jubinville, who resigned to become a district court clerk.

If elected, Murphy would follow in a long time of legally embattled politicians on the Council, which Gov. James Michael Curley famously described as a “hock shop.”

One current member, Marilyn Petitto Devaney, had a problem involving a curling iron and a retail clerk in Waltham in 2007. She’s now somewhere in her mid-80’s and is seeking reelection.

JoJo Langone, a councilor from the North End until the early 1980’s, once did six months for assaulting a federal officer. After getting out of prison, he was elected to the Council.

In the 1960’s, several governor’s councilors went to prison in a pardon- and commutation-selling scandal. The corrupt pols reportedly even had rate cards for the varying costs of mercy – more for murders, less for simple assaults. The payoffs were delivered to assorted bagmen in the lobby of the old Manger Hotel on Beacon Hill.

The most notorious of the corrupt old governor’s councilors was Dan Coakley, a former sportswriter for this newspaper. A century ago, Coakley was disbarred in a “badger-game” scandal involving two local district attorneys. But that didn’t stop Coakley from winning election to the Council from Brighton.

Coakley’s sordid career finally ended when he was caught arranging a pardon for up-and-coming mobster Raymond L.S. Patriarca on an assault conviction. Coakley produced letters supporting Patriarca from several priests, including a “Father Fagin,” who turned out not to exist.

Coakley was impeached in the House and convicted in the state Senate.

So what’s the problem here with Sean Michael Murphy? His campaign slogan should be, “The Tradition Continues.”

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