If you are a Republican legislator and a billionaire decides to help you increase your numbers in the state legislature by spending a quarter of a million dollars of his own money to send mail, what’s the last thing you do? Yeah cross him. But that’s what David Vieira just did.
The Jobs First Independent Expenditure PAC has been hitting Democrats on their records. You may remember from the Boston Herald that Representative Brian Mannal was featured in a story entitiled, “Pol Aiding Sex Cons Got Defense Cash”.
A freshman state legislator now championing a bill to help convicted sex offenders get taxpayer-funded lawyers has earned more than $139,000 from the state’s public defender coffers in the past several years, according to state records.
When Egan’s group sent a mailer based on that Herald piece, Mannal filed a criminal complaint against Egan’s group. That’s right, for highlighting his record, Mannal filed a criminal complaint. You can read about it at the Cape Cod Times.
In his most aggressive response yet against a barrage of negative mailers, state Rep. Brian Mannal filed an application for a criminal complaint in Barnstable District Court on Tuesday alleging that the Jobs First Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee violated state law with “false and misleading attack ads” criticizing legislation he filed last year concerning sex offenders.
Flanked outside the courthouse by his family and a fellow Cape legislator, Mannal, D-Centerville, said the political action committee’s mailer maliciously misconstrued a bill he filed requiring the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board to notify sex offenders of the right to a hearing and court-appointed attorney when applying for reclassification or early termination of sex offender status. State law currently makes taxpayer-funded, court-appointed counsel available to sex offenders who cannot afford a lawyer.
The article goes on to personally blame the treasurer Melissa Ward Lucas of the PAC for defaming Mannal, even though he is a public figure and everything on the mailer was sourced.
How does Republican State Representative Vieira fit in? He took Mannal’s side against the truth telling Egan funded PAC.
“Regardless of party, the nature of that (mailer) was despicable and it should have no place in politics,” said Vieira. “That’s why people don’t show up to vote and don’t have a lot of confidence in government. It’s because of this type of crap.”
Vieira should hope that Egan doesn’t have a long memory and that he doesn’t want to get involved in 2016 primaries. Red Mass Group has learned that this PAC and associated 501(c)4 are not going away any time soon.