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Tom Reilly's tangled web

Last week, I wrote about the Massachusetts' Attorney General (and would-be governor), who apparently intervened into a car crash investigation that killed two teenage sisters, and injured their friend. At the time, I was willing to give him a bye, as I could see that this was probably motivated by compassion, not corruption.

But more and more details have emerged, and it doesn't look good for Mr. Reilly's reputation.

At first, it came out that the girls' father had given $300 to Reilly's campaign. This led to a lot of jokes about the cost of living in Massachusetts, and how it ain't so bad if you can buy the AG so cheap.

But then even more came out. It turns out that the family's neighbor, the fellow who had served as the family's spokesman at the time of the crash, is Bob Davis, co-founder of Lycos. And Mr. Davis happens to be a very big supporter of Mr. Reilly. In fact, Mr. Murphy -- the girls' father -- had made his $300 contribution to Mr. Reilly at a fundraiser hosted by Mr. Davis, which garnered about $10,000 for Mr. Reilly. And Mr. Davis has confirmed that he called Mr. Reilly about the crash.

This is so typical of Massachusetts. Even when things seem like they might be a real bargain, the hidden costs will drive it out of reach of most people.

Another ironic element is that right around New Year's Day, Reilly announced that he had been arrested for public drunkenness back in the early 60's, when he was 20 years old. The record was later expunged after he kept his nose clean afterwards. Everyone gave a collective shrug at the news, saying "BFD." But now with this case, the connection between Reilly and youthful drinking is reinforced.

So, let's sum up Mr. Reilly's positions. He's in favor of granting illegal aliens in-state tuition, and against arresting and deporting them. He believes in helping quash investigations into how a three teenage girls got drunk and wrecked an SUV, kiling two of them and injuring a third, and taking out power to a good chunk of town. He cracks down on supermarkets, natural-foods stores, and Wal-Mart SuperCenters that want to be open on Christmas day for shoppers, but gives a pass to Asian markets that ignore the ban.

Yup. By Massachusetts standards, he oughta win in a landslide. Hell, he could almost qualify for Senator, if he had more hair.

Comments (9)

What I want to know is, who... (Below threshold)
Indy Voter:

What I want to know is, who served these girls the alcohol? And, as a followup question, how much money did *that* family give to Reilly?

Can't help thinking like a ... (Below threshold)

Can't help thinking like a parent on this one. If I had lost my two children the LAST thing I would want to go through is dragging it out in the papers or anywhere else.

I'd be dealing with enough guilt over how I could have done things differently to prevent my children from having been so irresponsible.

You don't need a big investigation into figuring out how 3 teenagers got drunk. Short of their parents (or Reilly) having a party where they served them alcohol there is nothing to be gained from this. It's tempting to find someone to blame in a situation like this and there are only two really guilty parties--the kids and the parents.

The kids are now dead and the parents have it even worse by having to live with the fact of the child's death. Trust me, there is nothing that could come close to THAT pain. There isn't any way you could punish them more.

If I happened to have a connection to someone who could, in some small way, help ease the pain I'd go for it.

There may be enough other reasons to hate Reilly, but I still think he may just be acting out of compassion here. You haven't shown anything to show otherwise. Now, find a case where he advocated dropping the hammer on some other parents in a similar situation and you have an excellent reason to call him a hypocrit.

As for his getting busted for being drunk in public back in his 20s over 40 years ago? Please. That's a big jump to say it means he advocates the youth drinking. Go to any Spring Break and you can see that happening and no one is clamoring at the moral outrage of it all.

Also, the inclusion of the illegal alien aspect (which I agree with you 100%) has nothing to do with the issue so it just comes across as reaching for an argument.

I guess I'm just not clear on your series of posts. Is the focus on:

a) teenage drinking, irresponsibility and parental skills (or lack thereof)?

b) A rant against Reilly for a variety of reasons (of which this whole drinking issue is a weak one at best)?

c) Campaign finance reform?

I'm not sure which one you are going for and I believe the result is your argument comes across weaker in all three...

Actually, I think Jay Tea w... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Actually, I think Jay Tea was making the point that the request to not release the autopsy is taking on a more political perspective. The initial reason was that he was "protecting the family." The more money is involved in his relationship with all the people involved, the less that seems to be the case.

Faith,I'm a parent... (Below threshold)


I'm a parent as well an completely understand your point.

But, the question remains, why is it that only friends or contributors to the AG deserve this kind of "compassion"?

Children died and someone is responsible for that. The AG's job is not to intervene in the local authorities investigation of what could be a crime -- no matter who the family is friends with.

Equal protection works both ways.

If someone provided the minors with alcohol or let them drink in their house they deserve to be prosecuted. No one has said that the AG has tried to quash the investigation -- yet. But, a phone call from the AG to a local department suggesting how they should do things will definitely have some effect, most likely negative, that otherwise would not have existed. Unless, of course, he does his job and encourages them to prosecute the people who provided the means for these children to drink.

The parents of the children deserve all of the protection normally granted to any one else under the law.

Nothing more.

[email protected] mesablue</p... (Below threshold)


@ mesablue

Exactly true! Justice is supposed to be blind, not winking.

"He cracks down on supermar... (Below threshold)

"He cracks down on supermarkets, natural-foods stores, and Wal-Mart SuperCenters that want to be open on Christmas day "

What kinda stupid ass law is that? How can the government force Businesses to close down for religious holidays? That cant be constitutional.

What if you need to do some last minute shopping?
Some people dont mind working on holidays. God im glad I dont live there.

Mesablue,So far, i... (Below threshold)


So far, in the posts done so far there hasn't been any evidence displayed that Reilly has behaved any differently in a similar case. Not saying there isn't a case--there are probably lots--but to put in logical debate format, there are assumptions of facts not in evidence here.

The premise is that the AG is interfering only because of politcal contributions and not out of compassion. To prove it you need to show 1) a political contribution connection, and 2) another case where someone without any political ties to the AG being investigated.

I think Jay has shown part 1 to satisfaction with the neighbor/friend/spokesman having ties. But without number 2 as well you cannot conclude the AG is just being bought off.

Show cases where his behavior has been different in similar circumstances and there is a point. Show only part of the evidence and then jump to conclusions on the rest and then stories start to represent the kind of sloppy, idiotic stories we often see at sites like DU.

Reilly's actions in suppres... (Below threshold)
Indy Voter:

Reilly's actions in suppressing the autopsy and toxicology report - which he claims to have done only to spare the victims' relatives grief - have also managed to end the police investigation into possible criminal activity involved in this case, according to the investigators themselves.

It is highly improper (and probably illegal) for Attorney General Reilly to interfere in a police investigation to the point that it has to shut down because of evidence being withheld. That's why I wonder if there isn't another, still unreported, side to this story; i.e. that the adults responsible for the party where those girls obtained their alcohol were also Reilly supporters.

The District Attorney is a ... (Below threshold)

The District Attorney is a real piece of work. Reilly's second mistake was getting mixed up with John Conte. A new blog is dedicated to retiring him in 2006. It is http://conte2006.blogspot.com/.






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