A campaign car wreck

Emails give sordid behind-the-scenes look

“(Bleep) him.”

It’s probably the most honest utterance to date in the increasingly toxic battle for the governor’s office, which is starting to look more like a barroom brawl than a political campaign.

John Weaver, one of the paid consultants who abandoned Tim Cahill’s campaign along with Cahill’s running mate Paul Loscocco, wrote the entertaining but  unquotable response. He was responding to an email that was forwarded from a Cahill loyalist who was promising to personally finance a lawsuit against Weaver if he and his friends were to deliver sensitive internal campaign materials to GOP rival Charlie Baker.

The expletive was buried among the slew of emails attached to the suit filed yesterday in Norfolk Superior Court against Weaver and three other employees of Strategic National, a consulting firm known for working for conservative Republicans including Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Judge Barbara Dortch-Okara issued a temporary restraining order this morning barring the quartet from sharing information with anyone and has scheduled a hearing next Wednesday afternoon before deciding whether to issue an injunction.

The suit is an interesting political and legal read about the behind-the-curtains machinations of running a high profile race and all the drama attached to it. But even more fascinating are the campaign proposals and promises from Weaver and his associate John Yob and the emails that started flying fast and furious between Weaver, Yob, Adam Meldrum, the campaign manager, and Jason Zanetti, a lobbyist with close ties to Loscocco.

Meet the Author

Jack Sullivan

Senior Investigative Reporter, CommonWealth

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan is now retired. A veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for nearly three decades. Prior to joining CommonWealth, he was editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. As the Ledger editorial page editor, he won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

At CommonWealth, Jack and editor Bruce Mohl won first place for In-Depth Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for a look at special education funding in Massachusetts. The same organization also awarded first place to a unique collaboration between WFXT-TV (FOX25) and CommonWealth for a series of stories on the Boston Redevelopment Authority and city employees getting affordable housing units, written by Jack and Bruce.

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan is now retired. A veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for nearly three decades. Prior to joining CommonWealth, he was editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. As the Ledger editorial page editor, he won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

At CommonWealth, Jack and editor Bruce Mohl won first place for In-Depth Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for a look at special education funding in Massachusetts. The same organization also awarded first place to a unique collaboration between WFXT-TV (FOX25) and CommonWealth for a series of stories on the Boston Redevelopment Authority and city employees getting affordable housing units, written by Jack and Bruce.

The emails include some damaging information about job offers from the Republican  Governors Association, which unleashed  a scorched earth advertising campaign aimed at Cahill for the last several months, and reports of conversations and email exchanges with members of Baker’s campaign.

It also shows how communicating in the new age can be perilous and how technologically inept many of the principles are, since their private accounts were tied into the Cahill campaign server even after they left. Several of the emails are dated from Oct. 1 on, the day Loscocco announced his fealty to Baker. “The deed is done,” Yob wrote at 9:31 a.m. Oct. 1, the minute Loscocco informed Cahill he was jumping ship.