A Martha Coakley-Steve Kerrigan Conspiracy Theory
Here’s something that almost certainly means nothing, but must be noted for the benefit of those minions vigilantly manning the battlements for hints of covert action on the Massachusetts political scene.
Two minor campaign-finance reports popped up Thursday afternoon on the state’s report log: two sub-vendor disclosures from the Martha Coakley gubernatorial campaign. They show that $6,000 the campaign paid last fall to political fundraiser Mary Liz Ganley was subsequently paid out to Jacob Watts, for consulting.
Watts happens to be the partner of Steve Kerrigan, candidate for lieutenant governor.
If you’re a typical obsessive Massachusetts political intrigue-watcher, wheels are now spinning in your head: Coakley and Kerrigan must be in cahoots behind the scenes, secretly working to create a Coakley-Kerrigan ticket but unwilling to risk alienating supporters of other candidates by doing so openly.
No Democratic governor and lieutenant governor have attempted to run as a ticket in open primaries since the Great Fiasco Of 2006, also known as the shattered Tom Reilly/Chris Gabrieli/Marie St. Fleur political love triangle.
This is the point where the truly, deeply, madly Massachusetts-politics-crazed among you (my key demo!) realize, with eyes widening, that back in ’06, Kerrigan was a top staffer on Reilly’s campaign, and Ganley’s husband was senior adviser to Gabrieli.
Sadly for the conspiracy theorists, it doesn’t seem like there’s much to see here. It seems that Ganley needed a little help back in October, and Watts was available to pitch in; she subcontracted some of her Coakley work to him. Shortly thereafter, Watts started his current job on Governor Deval Patrick’s operations staff, and according to folks from both the Coakley and Kerrigan campaigns, he hasn’t done any further work related to the Coakley campaign since.
Both campaigns pooh-pooh the suggestion of mutual support, and insist that their respective candidates would be thrilled to be on a ticket with any of the fine Democratic candidates in the other race.
And the truth is, you can almost always find dots to connect among the enclosed and somewhat incestuous world of Massachusetts political operatives, where it sometimes seems that nearly everybody has worked with, feuded with, and/or slept with almost everybody else. Allegedly.
On the other hand, it’s also sometimes true that the connected dots really are secretly conspiring. So it’s always good to keep alert on those battlements.