News Column

Cahill Denies Exploiting Lottery Cash

Nov. 30, 2012

Matt Stout, Boston Herald

Former Mass. state treasurer Timothy P. Cahill -- arguing that he drained the Lottery advertising budget during the run-up to his failed 2010 bid for governor not to boost his campaign but to protect the Lottery from an onslaught of Republican ads -- admitted today he never saw the ads until his trial, one of many hits he took under intense cross-examination that left him at times feisty and others, without answers.

Cahill, taking the stand in the final day of testimony in his public corruption trial, often said he couldn't "remember" or "recall" if he received or discussed key phone calls, text messages and emails from a mountain of evidence prosecutors say showed how he pulled the strings of a $1.25 million ad blitz pumping up the Lottery's image just as his gubernatorial campaign was going down the tubes.

The Quincy pol also admitted that, while claiming a set of ads run by the Republican Governors Association attacking his record was dragging the Lottery's image through the mud, he never performed any study to gauge their impact on Lottery sales -- yet polled their effect on his campaign.

More striking, however, he said that he never watched the ads until his trial got underway this past month.

"It wasn't a pleasant experience," he said.

The cross-examination came in stark contrast to Cahill's first day on the stand Thursday, when under friendly questioning by his lawyer he repeatedly said his only goal with running the ads was saving the lottery.

Toward the end of more than three-and-a-half hours of testimony, Cahill became visibly frustrated, tersely telling prosecutor Jim O'Brien, "I believe I already answered that question" when quizzed on why he wasn't in contact with the Lottery's marketing staff before running the ad campaign.

It forced Judge Christine Roach to step in briefly, before O'Brien posed the question of the trial: Did you spend the Lottery's advertising budget to advance your campaign for governor?

Calmly, Cahill said, "I did not."

Source: (c)2012 the Boston Herald Distributed by MCT Information Services

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