Silly bets placed between politicians is nothing new in Massachusetts.
But usually those types of wagers are born from competing cities’ sport teams taking each other on during highly-watched events, like the Super Bowl or World Series — and they’re typically good-natured.
The same can’t be said for a spat that seems to be brewing between Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone and Republican Senate candidate Geoff Diehl’s campaign this week.
In a tweet directed at Diehl’s team on Monday, Curtatone said he would break his months-long boycott of Sam Adams beer if Diehl beats Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren at the polls in November.
“Open challenge to [Diehl],” Curtatone wrote on Twitter. “If you win in Nov I’ll post a video of me drinking a Sam Adams & congratulating you on your win.”
Curtatone said that if Diehl loses to Warren, however, he wants the candidate to drink a Slumbrew beer — a brand based in Somerville — while “praising” so-called sanctuary cities, a designation Somerville has claimed for more than three decades.
In August, Curtatone vowed to “never drink Sam Adams again” after Boston Beer Co. founder Jim Koch praised President Trump and his administration’s tax cut plan during a dinner with business executives in New Jersey.
Curtatone’s boycott quickly led to both widespread condemnation and support. The Somerville mayor later hit back at critics after his tweet gained steam.
Diehl’s campaign was one of the most vocal opponents of Curtatone’s anti-Sam Adams push.
“We support the President’s tax cuts as does Jim Koch,” the campaign said in a tweet at the time. “But Sanctuary City Mayor [Curtatone] of Somerville is against the tax cuts and is calling for the boycott of Sam Adams. ... [Curtatone] puts criminal illegal immigrants ahead of citizens and now he wants to hurt a Massachusetts business that employs Massachusetts workers.”
The beer challenge posed by Curtatone this week seems to have stemmed from that rhetoric as well as a comment made by someone on social media Sunday.
“I’m seeing A LOT of Diehl signs in Somerville,” the person wrote, tagging Curtatone in the tweet. “It feels like a ‘see something, say something’ moment.”
Curtatone then replied, telling the person that he was confident “we’re going to crush Diehl at the local level.”
“But this is a good reminder not to take anything for granted,” Curtatone said. “We all need to make sure we send [Warren] back to Washington.”
Within an hour, Diehl’s campaign spotted Curtatone’s statement about the Republican candidate’s signage, and fired back.
“We’re going to ‘crush’ a [Sam Adams] in [Curtatone’s] honor after we beat [Warren] this November!” the campaign wrote. “We know you won’t participate since you’re against job creation from the tax cuts.”
Not to be outdone, Curtatone replied Monday — before launching the beer wager — telling Diehl that he’s going to “need a lot of it to numb the pain of the whipping you’re about to get.”
“Massachusetts is going to reject your brand of right lunacy and reject it hard,” Curtaone wrote.
“We will send [Curtatone] a case of @SamuelAdamsBeer when Geoff wins in November.”
Read the exchange below:
Mayor @JoeCurtatone did not live up to the last bet when Geoff won the repeal of automatic gas tax hikes saving taxpayers $2 billion. We will send him a case of @SamuelAdamsBeer when Geoff wins in November. #mapoli #masen #masen2018 #magop https://t.co/LNf1e52S8j— Geoff Diehl (@DiehlForSenate) October 15, 2018
Coward's response. If you actually think you're going to win, take the bet. It's your chance to own a lib. We've never wagered on anything before this. At least I'm offering you the chance to drink a tasty beer. #mapoli #masen2018 https://t.co/LBwycBd3ba— Joseph A. Curtatone (@JoeCurtatone) October 15, 2018