Power Case Studies

You’re a public official — how can you beat that pesky criminal charge?


1. Don’t bother playing the “legislative immunity” card.

Former Speaker Sal DiMasi tried to use the law — which prevents pols from being prosecuted for “carrying out the duty” of their office — to fight an ethics investigation, but went to prison on corruption charges.

2. Call one of these lawyers pronto.

Dems should look to Ben Clements (Governor Patrick’s former legal counsel), or Robert Popeo (of Mintz Levin). “If I got into trouble, [Clements] would be my first call,” says a party insider. Popeo, meanwhile, helped developer Arthur Winn avoid jail time for illegal campaign contributions. In the GOP? Try Daniel Haley, a former Romney staffer who’s now a partner at McDermott Will & Emery.

3. Snag a crisis-management flak.

Jason Kauppi, the former spin doctor for Jane Swift, is “very good at the bad stuff,” says a Republican operative. Ditto for Larry Carpman, who’s worked both inside and outside the Democratic party.

4. Be honest at your press conference.

Lying about what you did can be more damaging than the initial crime, so rip the Band-Aid off and get it all out. The public’s going to find everything out eventually. And then they’ll be pissed.

5. After you get off, keep your head down.

The death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick ensured that Ted Kennedy would never be president, but he still had an illustrious career in the Senate. It only took him a few decades of penance. — Patrick Doyle

Next page: How to break into the Wellesley/Weston dinner-party circuit


  • Franco

    I realize that this article is satire but there are many Bostonians who will take this seriously. And if they do let me state, for the record, that getting your child into preschool at Spruce Street not only will probably not get you into Harvard…it will not get you into a highly sought after private school in Boston. Check in with Spruce and ask how many of their preschoolers have no elementary school to attend next year? If you can’t get a student into BB&N, it is awfully tricky to get them into Harvard.

  • Sarah

    I have never been so horrified by a publication suggesting how to get your kids into Harvard. First of all, one needs to acknowledge the money that Doyle is assuming we all have. If you already have that kind of money, I’m sure you’re Harvard legacy anyway, so you skipped all of the steps. Furthermore, Slade needs to learn a thing or two about the private schools in Boston. First of all, Roxbury Latin does very well, but there are a handful of boys schools who get kids into Harvard each year. There are also various co-ed schools, public and private, that get their kids into great colleges. I’d also like to chastise her for her discussion of Dana Hall. While it is a well-known girls school, Dana Hall is, by no means, the most successful or most challenging of the girls schools. I think what’s being seriously disregarded here is the money that goes into these kind of choices. If your kid is smart, send him to a good school. Harvard will get you far, but Boston College will get you just as far. It’s all about what you do with your education, so start teaching your kids that…