Healey: Inmate stunt crossed the line
Boston Herald Reporter
Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - Updated: 08:47 AM EST
Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey admitted yesterday her campaign bought the orange prison jumpsuits and “Inmates for Deval Patrick” signs used by her supporters last week, and said her workers “crossed the line” when they demonstrated outside the homes of Patrick and his campaign manager on Friday.
“They were my volunteers, and when I found out they had gone to Deval Patrick’s home and the home of his campaign manager, I let it be known that that is not what I want to have happen in the future,” Healey told the Herald.
Friday, two sign-waving groups clad in the fake prison garb demonstrated outside Patrick’s Milton home and the Abington home of his campaign manager, John Walsh. Walsh’s 12-year-old son, who was home alone readying for school, called his mother, who in turn called Abington police.
“I asked them never to do that again, and I do think it crossed a line,” Healey said. She said the volunteers were not told by the campaign to go to Patrick’s or Walsh’s home. “I don’t think anybody told them to go there,” she said.
Thursday night, during the Faneuil Hall debate featuring Healey, Patrick, independent Christy Mihos and Green-Rainbow candidate Grace Ross, the Healey workers in prison garb chanted and jostled briefly with pro-Patrick demonstrators.
The Friday morning follow-up protests drew a sharp response from Patrick, who on Saturday said he was “particularly upset” that Walsh’s son “had to leave alone to go to school and walk through that stunt, and that is what it was: It was a stunt.”
Yesterday, Patrick’s spokeswoman, Libby DeVecchi, added: “Unfortunately, the gross, very negative environment that the Kerry Healey campaign has created makes people think this kind of activity is OK. If your path to the governor’s office includes scaring the heck out of children, you should be ashamed.”
Tim O’Brien, Healey’s campaign manager, defended the use of the jumpsuits and signs by campaign workers and said they likely will appear again. “I don’t think there is anything inappropriate with what happened Thursday, or that the (signs) or the suits are inappropriate,” he said. “There is a difference between a stand-out and going to someone’s house.”
Do you think Kerry Healey had knowledge of this stunt?