Murphy’s creative writing

By Michael Jonas

Let’s hope Boston City Councilor Steve Murphy would bring a more straightforward approach to managing the state’s books than he does with his creative bending of press coverage of his race for state treasurer.

A Murphy mailer that landed in Boston mailboxes yesterday looks to rally Hub voters behind one of their own in the race for state treasurer. “Our own papers here have said that Steve Murphy has always been a leader in finances for our city.  Now others are finding out what we already know,” reads the piece.  It goes on to show excerpts from newspaper articles across the state that appear to be lauding Murphy’s financial acumen.

“he can help save the taxpayers’ money as state treasurer just as he’s done in Boston,” reads the excerpt from an August 14 story in the Berkshire Eagle.  What was left off at the start of that sentence?  “Steve Murphy believes.” 

“experience crunching numbers, understanding the bond market and knowing the ins and outs of budgeting would pay off for the state,” reads an excerpt from a MetroWest Daily News article.  The missing start to that healthy bit of praise? “Murphy says his.”

Think of the Murph mailer as a variation on the notorious “midnight drop,” a regular feature of past Boston city elections in which flyers making all sorts of outrageous – and bogus – charges against an opponent were dropped on doorsteps and tucked under windshield wiper blades in the wee hours before the polls opened. There was just enough time for the charges to spread, but not enough time for them to be exposed as utter bunk.