Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Salem News Columnist Brian Watson is klasshat of the day.

Today's klassy Salem award winner is Salem News columnist Brian T. Watson.

I considered awarding him for his ridiculous column about how Salem should embrace a methadone clinic. In fact, he did so twice. Note that Mr. Watson doesn't, of course, reside in Salem. I'm wondering why he isn't advocating for the locating of said clinic in his home town of Swampscott. But I never got around to awarding Mr. Watson for his "your backyard" mentality.

But Watson has gone too far today, and now he is the klasshat of the day. Please go read Mr. Watson's piece on the upcoming vote for State Auditor.

Brian T. Watson is talking about this race for one reason, and one reason only. Bump is in real trouble in this race. She risks losing this position that has long been akin to "keeper of Dem secrets." He practically admits as much when he talks about the fact that currently nobody knows what the auditor does, or who he is. The job of auditor is to be the taxpayer's watchdog, and shine light on corruption, waste, and misuse of funds in government. Clearly that hasn't happened with a Dem watching the Dems for the last twenty years.

Suzanne Bump is a lifelong democrat, and Deval Patrick loyalist, in a state with a legislature that is nearly exclusively Democrat. She's even served in said legislature for numerous years. Ask yourself this. If you were a farmer, and had a henhouse, would you ask a fox to guard it for you? Hiring a Democrat insider is akin to hiring that fox to watch your tax money hen house. Ms. Bump also previously worked as a lobbyist, or as they should be called, enemy of the taxpayer. When she was a state rep she was fined by the ethics commission for accepting an improper gift from a lobbyist. (Mr. Watson strangely failed to consider this.) She'll surely safeguard your tax dollars. For these reasons alone, Mr. Watson's choice in this race makes not a bit of sense. But oh, there's more.

Mr. Watson left out some extremely key points to be considered in this race, all of which favor Mary Z. Connaughton, the only person running for any office in this state that voters should be excited about.

First, Mary Connaughton is a CPA and auditor, running for auditor. Ms. Bump is neither. I'm not sure how that gives Ms. Bump, as Mr. Watson states, "a bigger quiver of skills for the job..." What a ludicrous idea. Being an insider, when your job is to police the insiders, makes you less, not more, likely and qualified to perform your job with vigor. These are Ms. Bump's friends. She's more likely to protect them than expose them. Ms. Connaughton, on the other hand, has always been an outspoken advocate for taxpayers, as her constant clashes with her fellow board members of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority show. That "in the interests of the taxpayers" attitude, combined with her outsider status, making her not beholden to those who run the governors office and legislature, and her actual qualifications as a CPA and auditor, which again, Bump lacks, make her FAR more qualified for the position.

Second, and more importantly, Ms. Bump, who is seeking to be the taxpayer's watchdog, has been cheating on her own taxes for the last several years, or is incapable of figuring out how to pay them correctly. The Boston Globe recently exposed the fact that Ms. Bump has been claiming primary residence exemptions in two different towns. When confronted with this tax cheating, Ms. Bump argued that it was legit, though any thinking person could clearly see that it wasn't. She then claimed that "they" told her it was OK. Sure they did, because she didn't tell "them" that she was getting the exemption elsewhere. Read the last three paragraphs of the Scot Lehigh piece linked below.

I predict that Scot Lehigh, one of the left leaning columnists from the Boston Globe, who rarely, if ever, votes for or endorses Republicans, will soon endorse Ms. Connaughton, over Ms. Bump. He laid the groundwork for this in his recent column.

Somehow, Mr. Watson failed to even mention or consider this ridiculousness in his piece. Ask yourself, does this sound like the person that should be auditing the spending of your tax dollars? I have to conclude that she's either not smart enough, or not honest and ethical enough for the job. I have no such concerns with Ms. Connaughton. Mr. Watson's column is titled "Voters should take close look at tight auditor's race." It's clear from his opinion, and key omissions, that he didn't follow his own advice. And for that, he is the klasshat of the day.

So, in closing, bump Bump, and vote for Mary Z. Connaughton, CPA and auditor, for state auditor. Do so, and we'll finally learn a lot about what's going on in our state government.


  1. How do you know all this stuff? Where do you find the time?
    In any case, Brian Watson is a good and thoughtful guy as well as a fine writer. It may be true that he is not always right. But he usually is!

  2. Welcome Mr. Blatty! It's nice to see the perpetual candidate from Ward 3 here. Seriously. City Council would be better if you were on it.

    I read the news a lot. Probably as much time as you spend posting on Salemweb and fighting with Fallon. Believe it or not, I also get a fair amount of correspondence from readers via email. Look for a reader submitted update on serial shoplifter Monique Gonyea tomorrow. The news isn't good for local businesses.

    As for Mr. Watson, I've never met him. I can't say I always disagree with him, as I don't. I also have no issues with his writing. In these two instances he's just plain wrong.

    I know that you lean (at least a little) to the left. If you were ever going to vote for the Republican, this is the race to do it. Mary Z. has always been an outspoken advocate for the common man. Don't ask the fox to guard the taxpayers henhouse where her little friends plays with our eggs.


Don't forget, keep it klassy!