Thursday, October 5, 2006

Patrick could have avoided this mess

Let's not forget that Deval Patrick could put all of the information about his involvement with the Ben LaGuer case out there on his own terms, and done so when everyone was preoccupied with other news.

As I wrote yesterday, if Patrick had been honest about his role in the LaGuer case when the opportunity first arose, he could have used it to his advantage. I'm not talking about the news reports that surfaced this weekend, I'm talking about the end of August, when the first round of stories about this issue broke.

The Herald first brought up Patrick's involvement with LaGuer on August 29 (quote via Hub Politics):

Democratic candidate for governor Deval Patrick once joined other pols and lawyers in backing a convicted rapist's bid for parole, support that is being highlighted on a Web site dedicated to the controversial case.

The Herald article didn't dig as deeply as recent Globe articles have, which should have given Patrick the opportunity to get his entire involvement with LaGuer out in the open in a context most beneficial to his campaign. Not only that, as Blue Mass Group pointed out at the time, the story was buried in the Herald because of interest in the John Mark Karr case.

In effect, Patrick had a "get out of jail free" card (brutal pun intended) and he blew it.

The Herald article also foreshadowed Healey's attacks on Patrick's record defending criminalssentencedd to death:
LaGuer is not the first convicted violent felon Patrick has backed. When he was an attorney for the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund in the 1980s, Patrick fought to save two cop killers from death row, winning one of the appeals.
It's hard to understand how Patrick let things blow up on him in the general election when he could have laid out his position during the primary season.

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