In politics there is nothing like the home-stretch of a campaign. The last days and weeks leading up to Election Day are really do or die. These are the moments to persuade the undecided, to build on momentum and clinch the election or catch the frontrunner. The home-stretch is also when all candidates fear having a wheel blow off as they cruise to Election Day. There is the fear of something scandalous or unfavorable hitting the press and derailing all the hard fought efforts of months on the campaign trail.
State Senate candidate Mike Coogan recently faced just such a moment when a civil court case he was involved in started to get some attention. Did Coogan or his company do something unethical or illegal? Well Coogan dodged a bullet because as quickly as the rumors started the wind was taken out of their sails by a Herald News headline that proclaimed that Coogan was cleared in the civil lawsuit. Whew! Turns out there is more to that story, and a judge still needs to make a final ruling in the case but that campaign friendly headline crushed the negative momentum and the Coogan campaign pushed on ahead. However it looks like once more there's trouble on the tracks up ahead.
It turns out that Jim Hummel, an investigative reporter, a familiar fixture on ABC6 for years and now with WPRO and his own website The Hummel Report is featuring a story on his website that details another construction incident involving Mike Coogan and his company. The incident involves Fall River attorney John Angelo and work that he says he hired Coogan's company to do. Now, I'll leave it up to you to visit Hummel's site and watch the video and/or read the transcript, but it's pretty damning stuff and Mike Coogan does little to effectively explain it.
It was a blog reader who brought the story on Hummel's website to my attention and wondered if I still felt the same way about Coogan. Well in regards to the civil case, he was cleared from wrong doing by a judge who had a whole bunch of facts that I don't. So I wouldn't hold that against him, except the Herald seems to have jumped the gun on the story and made no mention in their initial coverage that there was yet another decision to be rendered. Now in this latest matter, after viewing the video and reading the transcript, I find it pretty damning.
Now to be fair anytime I see a bombshell get dropped so close to Election Day, I get a little suspicious. In this case I wonder is it possible that Attorney Angelo may be supporting another candidate? I only ask because why would you bring an issue from a year ago to the attention of the press NOW, days before the primary? Why wouldn't you have pursued this when it happened? Why now?
Whatever the reasons for this "October Surprise", (Yes, I know it's only September..) this could have a devastating effect on Coogan's campaign. I have to imagine that this is going to get lots of news coverage over the next few days and if Coogan doesn't handle it better than he did with Hummel he's in trouble.