Then there’s Cahill’s support for labor unions — in particular, public-sector unions. The same week that news stories were reporting that some municipal employees have health-insurance premiums of $40,000 a year, Cahill promised to oppose any attempt to roll back union benefits. He has even opposed a Charlie Baker proposal to cap government-employee pensions at $100,000 a year.
As for tax cuts, Cahill now supports Baker’s position of rolling back the income-tax rate to 5 percent from its current 5.3 percent, but as recently as January he opposed it, saying an income-tax cut wouldn’t create jobs.
Cahill is also being dogged by ethical questions. He has taken lots of campaign money from folks who do business with the treasurer’s office, and he is being sued by a vendor alleging favoritism in the handing out of lottery contracts. So far, it appears Cahill hasn’t done anything illegal, but he has hardly shown a tea-partier’s aversion to politics as usual.
Will the blue-collar, tea-party “everyman” voter reject “King Charlie” in favor of Tim Cahill? Maybe. But the most recent polling shows Scott Brown supporters breaking for Baker by a 20-point margin. Worse for Cahill, Charlie Baker was just endorsed by the man himself, Senator Brown.
Baker isn’t a terrific candidate, and his own positions on health care and taxes are nuanced enough to give him problems with voters looking for anti-establishment, “throw the bums out” clarity.
But the fact remains that voters who want a real Democrat have Governor Patrick; and the ones who want to vote against Patrick have Charlie Baker. Who needs an “independent” who was a Democrat just a few months ago, and who was for Romneycare until he was against it?
And how many more adjustments can Cahill make before voters decide that what he really believes in is getting votes for Tim Cahill?
– Michael Graham is an NRO contributor and author of the new book That’s No Angry Mob, That’s My Mom (Regnery, 2010).