In politics, all the world’s a campaign stage - particularly for incumbents. Officeholders enjoy the advantage of hitching their names to good works in newspaper and television ads, in government printings, at public events - all in the name of informing the public. With the indictment of former state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill for allegedly misusing State Lottery advertising to benefit his gubernatorial campaign, the question of what constitutes illegal campaigning and what constitutes legitimate promotion for the larger good is in the crosshairs.
A Suffolk County grand jury has handed up indictments against former state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill on corruption charges after his campaign allegedly used $1.65 million in taxpayer-funded state lottery advertising to boost his floundering gubernatorial bid in 2010, a top state law enforcement official said today. Cahill was charged with directing the state Lottery to launch the media blitz that was designed to run up from mid-September though the November election. The indictment cites public corruption.
From June 22, 2011: Former state treasurer Timothy P. Cahill was directly involved in the state lottery’s decision to launch a $1.65 million taxpayer-funded advertising blitz seen as benefiting his campaign for governor last year, according to e-mails and other documents obtained by the Globe.
The e-mail trail that was front-page news sure makes it seem like Tim Cahill’s campaign was coordinating with lottery officials to use that agency’s advertising dollars to boost his gubernatorial hopes.