Gadfly GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Lively is hopping mad over what he says is the state party’s “blatant violation” of its rules in organizing nomination petition drives for Governor Charlie Baker and not providing the same help to him. And he wants some serious compensation for the snub.
Lively, the conservative Springfield minister best known for his inflammatory battles against what he calls the LGBT “agenda,” sent the party’s executive director, Matthew St. Hilaire, a forceful letter this week. The candidate demanded the Baker-controlled party either get him the necessary 10,000 certified voter signatures to qualify for the state ballot as they have for Baker — or waive the $25,000 required GOP convention fee so he can hire paid signature-gatherers.
“I can’t think of a more blatant violation of your neutrality rules, nor clearer proof that the Mass GOP remains as dishonest as it was in the Mark Fisher scandal and prior recent election cycles,” Lively said. (The Baker political forces tried to muscle Fisher off the ballot in 2014 — a move that backfired and cost the party a $240,000 payment to the Shrewsbury businessman.)
The Massachusetts Republican party confirmed receipt of Lively’s letter but declined to react to his charges.
The Globe reported this week that the state party’s grass-roots organization, MassVictory, is holding petition drives around the state to get signatures on the nominations papers for Baker and his running mate, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. Party rules state neither its resources nor its officers are allowed to assist a candidate in a contested primary, unless two-thirds of the GOP’s executive committee agrees.
But Lively is demanding more than a shutdown of its Baker petition drive and some compensation — he is a demanding an mea culpa.
“This letter is to demand an immediate termination of the party’s collusion with the Baker campaign at all levels and a formal apology,’’ he told St. Hilaire.
And he topped off his fury at the party’s bosses and their apparatchiks with a demand for a full accounting of the “election fraud that was perpetrated against” Fisher, including the names of “perpetrators,’’ the punishment, if any, they received, and whether any of them will be involved in the April GOP convention.
The Baker team — undoubtedly grinding its teeth over having to deal with this political outlier — has so far declined to respond to the attacks on its integrity.Frank Phillips can be reached at email@example.com.