Political Party

One letter to the editor in the Portland Press Herald caught my eye this weekend - a short note that managed to impugn both the governor and the state's largest newspaper in less than 100 words:

I was initially surprised to see that the Press Herald and Sunday Telegram did not provide any coverage of the fall of Washington lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti (as detailed in The New York Times on March 29 under the headline, "Star Lobbyist Closes Shop Amid F.B.I. Inquiry"), especially since the article points out the close relationship between Gov. John Baldacci and Magliocchetti.

On further contemplation of your newspaper's situation, I realize that the lack of coverage should not be all that surprising.

Ralph Dean
Freeport


Dean is apparently a retired Navy captain who serves on some town committees in Freeport and has contributed to Susan Collins' senate campaign.

The New York Times article he references makes clear that the lobbyist in question engaged in a wide range of questionable (if not yet proven illegal) practices. Whether he had any significant relationship with the governor is much less certain, however. Here's the part where Baldacci is mentioned:

The background of a December 2001 article in Vanity Fair about the social life of a young Congressional aide captured a snapshot of Mr. Magliocchetti in his element. Two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, he and a PMA colleague, Daniel Cunningham, were hosting a rowdy table of lawmakers at dinner in a private room in the Capital Grille that included Representatives Mike Doyle, Tim Holden and Robert A. Brady of Pennsylvania; Representative Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey; Representative Michael E. Capuano of Massachusetts; Representative John B. Larson of Connecticut; and former Representative John Baldacci of Maine, now governor. (Mr. Larson reportedly led the group in a sing-a-long of Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Rolling Stones songs.) All were members of an informal group that followed Mr. Murtha’s lead. Asked recently about the night, representatives of the lawmakers declined to comment.


The Vanity Fair piece, while an interesting read, doesn't provide much more in the way of details, except to note that then-Representative Baldacci was at one point "sitting silently at the head of the table" on the evening being described and that by the end of a night of eating, drinking and singing, he had agreed to write a medical school reference letter for one of the young, female Washington interns who were the subjects of the feature.

It'll be interesting to see if anything more surfaces as the investigation of Magliocchetti continues.