For probably what might have been too much time, I knew two different behind the scenes people, who ran many larger state and county political
campaigns. It was with mixed shock and disgust that we watched one of them on television, charged for election violations, embarrassing himself, his family,
friends and business associates.
"How could he be so stupid?" we the crushed asked.
None of us had seen or talked to him for months. He lied to all of us about a few key things, completely unrelated to his job or politics. All personal matters
and shamefully big whoppers. It wasn't until his arrest that we even started bumping into one another or calling to compare notes. Only in such hindsight did
we have questions. Nobody could have ever imagined that something so out of character for him, such as being arrested, would happen. His arrest kissed
goodbye all semblance of what really had been quite a charmed life for him up until then.
Meanwhile, the second campaign runner never had his character come into question. His integrity is intact. One never quite was sure of his emotional
stability outside campaigns, but we bet it would have been stronger had he laid off liquor after midnight during campaigns. He was the most unlikely looking
campaign coordinator. He looked instead as though he were head roadie on a Grateful Dead tour. He typically cleaned up enough on time, to run a fearless
campaign boot camp for candidates and their merry group of campaign helpers and win elections, with respectable public relations and advertising campaigns.
"I'd sell my mother to win an election," he joked to those he knew very well. The total stranger, or even casual acquaintance, might have believed him. He
wouldn't sell mom, though. He lacked an unhealthy focus that the election had to be won every time. He accepted that his candidate might lose, and rarely
One thing that both these people had in common was that neither would contract with a campaign candidate if they didn't believe that the candidates could
win an election.
Neither would work with a politician or candidate known to lie, or one believed to be lying about something significant, or significant enough to become a
factor that could lose an election.
"People might be stupid enough to vote for liars, but I won't help get one elected," the second campaign manager was known to say. He said it more than
once, when he would not work with a high roller, with plenty of money to spend on a good campaign manager, because the political wanna be had lied about
The very worst thing that both these campaign managers feared would be that a scandal, one that could not be quieted, would come up before election day.
That possibility caused them to turn down a few more requests to run campaigns for disasters waiting to happen.
Both's ideal campaign would be to work with a fairly good speaker and thinker, running against a dishonest candidate.
The last time that I talked with the second campaign manager, he contracted with a politician, who had lied. Imagine my confusion!
He explained that the lie was not about a criminal act, that someone else came forward, said, "Oh, that! I did that! (insert name of elected official or
elected official wannabe here ) did not do that!"
Apparently, the second campaign manager believed the candidate. He contended that it was exactly what happened in that long ago case, though he said that
he knows that probably more guilty people use the same type of scenario to try to get out of a lie.
That would be the "Oh, that!" moment that the campaign needed to get jump started again to try to win. Poof! All attention focused elsewhere. Away,
hopefully, at lease from the "Oh, that!" thing.
All that said, lets now talk about state Rep Tim Mahoney, because up until now, we most certainly were not.
Staying fair and neutral, we cannot say that Mahoney lied to the paper in March, when he denied having anything to do with the legal petition bearing the
names of private citizens to try to clear the Republican ballot of two challengers in this month's primary election.
Staying fair and neutral, we are not saying that we believe that Mahoney did not lie to the paper, either. We simply do not know by any matter of fact.
We do not know facts with full certainty and may never. But here is what we do know:
The request bearing Mahoney's signature to the state to obtain copies of Gary Gearing and Michael Cananagh's candidate nominating petitions does not
contain clerk written notes, indicating where the copies were to be sent, how the copies were to be billed, and/or a phone number for the person requesting
the copies, as 2 other processed request forms that we reviewed are so marked with clerk notes. Possible indication of a cash transaction made in person?
We don't know.
We don't know how the Fayette Republican candidates' nominating petition got to Mahoney from the state or if he really ever received them, read or
touched them. We don't know how many other people might have read the petitions or had access to them. We don't know.
Two hands or 200 could have touched those papers. We don't know.
We don't know if the private citizens whose names appeared on the petition to remove the Republicans from the primary ballot have a paid receipt from the
lawyer for that work. We don't know.
We don't know if Mahoney's campaign committee has a receipt for $5,000 worth of work for some other reason than the legal work to remove the
Republicans from the ballot. We asked, and we certainly weren't the first to ask. We don't know.