As if Democrats don't have enough problems with attacks from tea-bagging circus clowns, now one local pol is being targeted by fellow donkeys. In the Massachusetts Governor's Council race for the second district — a slice of the commonwealth comprising parts of Bristol, Norfolk, Middlesex, and Suffolk counties — incumbent and political legacy Kelly Timilty has come under fire by party activists intent on her not seeking another two-year term.
Collectively, the assailants call themselves the District 2 Dems Against Another K. Timilty Campaign, and are led by Plainville Democratic Town Committee Chair Mary-Ann Greanier (who is acting independent of that position). "Trust me, there are things I'd rather be doing," says Greanier. "There's the governor's race, and because of Scott Brown we have a special [State Senate] election here in, like, 10 minutes. . . . [But] the least that we can do is get the word out there about her."
Despite threats posed to Bay State Dems by Republicans and so-called independent voters, Greanier and a reported 35 of her allies have mobilized to roust Timilty from office. Their gripe: in 2008, Timilty admitted to using Governor Deval Patrick's endorsement in campaign literature without consent and forging his signature. For the farce, she was fined $8000 by the attorney general's office.
The group has called upon other operatives to rally troops against Timilty. In response, the councilor's brother and adviser, Greg Timilty, says that though his sister has not yet decided to run, "she will not be bullied out of the race by two dozen people." Timilty herself did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Among some other minor duties, the Governor's Council — also known as the Executive Council — votes on judicial appointments nominated by the governor. Its eight part-time members each make $26,025 a year for their work on the trivial (some might say useless) body. Timilty, whose pedigree includes a brother and cousin in the state legislature and a father who served as a state senator and Boston city councilor, has enjoyed 16 years (or eight terms) in her position.
"We're essentially trying to say two things," says Greanier, who claims Timilty is more or less an absentee delegate who collects her check and does little else. "One is that what she did was insulting, obnoxious, and illegal enough that we don't want her as our nominee. The other is that there's actually a good candidate in the race this time. . . . People have seen [Timilty's] name for so long but don't know what she really does. She does nothing."
Greanier's "good candidate," Milton trial attorney Robert Jubinville, was in the race last time, too. (Greg Timilty accuses Greanier of being a mere shill for Jubinville.) But despite spending more than $100,000 of his own money on the 2008 primary, Jubinville received less than half the number of votes cast for his opponent. Timilty, after all, has name recognition, which goes a long way in large council districts that make for difficult campaigning. This time, however, Jubinville hopes party-insider momentum against his rival will leak into the wider electorate.
"When I speak [on the stump], it's amazing how many people don't know how important the Governor's Council is," says Jubinville. "It was put in by John Adams to protect against bad judges. It's our last line of defense."