The First Annual Spotty Awards

Our prestigious award for standout achievement in political something or other
By JOHN CARROLL  |  September 6, 2006

Say, those Emmy Awards last week were something else, eh? Nothing we like better than a television industry kissathon where Will and Grace steals yet another statuette from four more-deserving nominees. Unless it’s an awards show of our own, that is. So “Spin Cycle” proudly introduces the First Annual Spotty Awards™, which recognize the height of something or other in local-campaign spots.

Of course, given these parlous economic times and the escalating production costs involved in staging the Spottys, we’ve had to solicit sponsorships for each of the categories. Hey, that’s the way the world works these days.

Now, without further ado, we present the Down-Ballot Division of the Spotty Awards. (The Gubernatorial Division awards will be announced as soon as we can find more suckers — er, sponsors.)

The George W. Bush "Got Any Documentation For That Claim?” Award
A tie between Larry Frisoli, Republican candidate for attorney general, and perennial Grand Old Piñata Jack E. Robinson, this time running for the Ninth District congressional seat.

Frisoli is airing a radio spot that accuses his Democratic opponent, Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley, of being soft on sexual predators.

“It took Coakley 18 months to indict a man accused of raping his step-daughter because he was a big-time corporate vice-president,” a female narrator says. “After two police officers were suspended for allegedly raping a college student, Martha Coakley refused to bring criminal charges. With Coakley as DA, Middlesex County has become a safer place . . . for predators.”

You just know there’s more to those stories than Frisoli is saying. Beyond that, Frisoli told the Patriot Ledger back in April that Coakley is too much of a career prosecutor; Frisoli is running “because he wants to focus the attorney general’s office more on consumer issues such as auto insurance.” Sounds like under Frisoli, Massachusetts would become a safer place . . . for predators who don’t commit moving violations.

As for Robinson, he’s also on the radio, attacking Democratic incumbent Stephen Lynch. Robinson’s spot says Lynch has received over half a million dollars in contributions from Big Dig contractors, after which the narrator adds, “some even say he’s the linchpin to the problems that plague the Big Dig.”

Some say? Like who? Aside from Jack E., we mean?

The Tim Cahill "Say It With Kids” Award
Four years ago, Democratic candidate for secretary of the treasury Tim Cahill ran television ads with his daughter Kendra urging everyone to vote “Tim for Treasurer.” He won, so this year Democratic lieutenant-governor candidate Tim Murray upped the ante by featuring a gaggle of school kids chanting “Hurry, Hurry, Vote for Murray!” in one of his TV spots.

Geez, whatever happened to the child-labor laws in this state?

The Lou Gehrig "Luckiest Candidate on the Face of the Earth” Award
That would be State Senator Dianne Wilkerson (D-1040 Short Form), who has in the course of her star-crossed career run afoul of 1) multiple IRS regulations, 2) several Massachusetts campaign-finance laws, and 3) the minimal requirement that she collect 300 signatures to get on the ballot this year. So now Wilkerson not only carries more baggage than a Red Cap, she also has to run a sticker campaign in the Second Suffolk Senate District race.

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