Kuhner's Corner: Did Baker Steal from MassGOP?

Theft of party’s database is a serious crime

By Jeffrey T. Kuhner

Gov. Charlie Baker is part of a criminal enterprise against his own party. He is a crook, who has engaged in outright grand theft and broken numerous laws. He needs to be investigated—and most importantly, forced to resign.

The question, however, is: Does anybody care enough to hold the Massachusetts Republican accountable? So far, the sad answer is: No.

In a shocking letter to members of the MassGOP, Jim Lyons, the chairman of the state Republican Party, revealed that its massive database has been stolen. This is bad enough. But, according to the letter, the MassGOP’s data theft resulted in the violation of the privacy of its 14,000 members/donors. Their names, addresses, identities, hobbies—all kinds of personal information—that were supposed to be kept confidential have been breached.

The key figure involved in the stealing of the database is John Cook, a longtime Baker operative and money man. Prior to Lyons being elected to heading the MassGOP earlier this year, Cook and other Baker henchmen illegally pilfered the party’s membership/donor list. Remember: The database belongs exclusively to the MassGOP, which has paid for it since September 2015. Baker’s thugs had no right to use the list, never mind run off with it.

To make matters worse, once the database was stolen, the MassGOP has been unable to access it. In other words, the state party cannot raise any money; it cannot even retrieve such basic information as who its members are.

Sources close to the MassGOP say Baker’s objective is to undermine not only Lyons, but the state Republican Party itself. In fact, Baker has made no secret of his hatred for Lyons. The governor has called for Lyons to be defeated and replaced as state chairman. The reason: Lyons is a real Republican, who puts the interests of the GOP, especially its grassroots, above the narrow self-interest of Baker’s machine.

When Lyons first stepped into the physical office of the MassGOP after becoming chairman, he found it had been wiped clean; all of the party’s important files, documents, computers and database were gone. Baker’s thugs had stolen everything. It took the state party several months to even know how and to whom it was to pay its bills. That’s how bad and thorough the theft had been.

Baker crippled Lyons’ ability to do his job, especially fundraising, Baker is now engaging in a nasty whispering campaign. He says Lyons must go because the chairman isn’t raising enough money. Yet, Lyons isn’t raising enough money because Baker’s people have confiscated the party’s donor/membership list.

Moreover, sources close to the MassGOP say the list appears to have not only been used by Baker’s team. It has been sold to other outside parties—a major violation of Federal Election Commission laws. This is a serious crime. Hence, private, confidential information of Massachusetts Republicans was more than just compromised. It was used to create a secret slush fund to line the pockets of Baker’s (and Cook’s) cronies. MassGOP officials say the amount is in the millions of dollars.

Cook is Baker’s henchman. Sources say he doesn’t go to the bathroom without Charlie’s approval. The only reason Cook stole that database is if Baker ordered him to. The governor’s inner circle also were involved in the theft and sale of the list. Baker’s fingerprints are all over this scandal.

Yet, this is more than criminal, lawless behavior. A sitting Republican governor has been exposed in a plot to gut and destroy the state GOP. His illegal actions have made it impossible for MassGOP to raise any money, field viable Republican candidates against Democrats, mobilize and expand the grassroots, or build-up a functioning party infrastructure that can compete throughout the Commonwealth. In short, Baker is the Democrats’ secret weapon: a one-man wrecking crew hollowing out the Republican Party.

There are only two possible explanations for Baker’s political treason. He is either a self-absorbed narcissist, who wants to subjugate the entire state GOP to serve his shallow interests and overriding ambition—regardless of the consequences.

Or, there is the one that I believe: Baker is a Democratic mole. He is not a RINO Republican. For even a RINO would not systematically dismantle and betray his party the way Baker has since he assumed power. He has done everything to sabotage the state GOP—purge all conservatives from key positions within the party; consistently attack and obstruct President Trump; refuse to put up Republican candidates to run against Democrats in most of the state house and senate races, leaving them unopposed; repeatedly undermine Geoff Diehl in his campaign to defeat Sen. Elizabeth Warren; and now all but financially bankrupt and gut the party.

Baker is not only a crook. He’s a Benedict Arnold, who must be stopped before his destruction of the MassGOP is complete. The last man standing against him is Jim Lyons. If he’s overthrown, nothing will stand in Baker’s way. He will then put the final nail into the Republican Party’s coffin. And the Democrats will be dancing on the GOP’s grave.

-Jeffrey T. Kuhner is host of “The Kuhner Report” on WRKO AM-680 in Boston. His daily show airs 6:00-10:00 am EST. He can be reached at:jeffreykuhner@iheartmedia.com

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