Healey GOP Challenger Says He’ll ‘Get Politics Out’ of Massachusetts AG Office

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2018/01/17/healey-gop-challenger-says-hell-get-politics-out-of-massachusetts-ag-office/


Dan Shores has set an ambitious goal for 2018.

The 45-year-old Boston-based intellectual property attorney from Hingham wants to be the Bay State’s first Republican attorney general in nearly 50 years. To achieve it, Shores has to do something that few GOPers have managed to accomplish in Massachusetts politics — knock off an incumbent Democrat.

But Shores told New Boston Post in an interview this week that he sees a window of opportunity for defeating Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey by emphasizing reform.

“She has politicized the office beyond all recognition,” Shores said, citing Healey’s ever-growing list of legal actions waged against President Donald Trump. “My goal is to win and to get politics out of that office.”

Healey has held the position since 2014, when she roared past Democrat Warren Tolman by nearly 130,000 votes during that year’s primary and later squashed Republican John Miller by nearly 500,000 votes.

Shores, born and raised in Massachusetts, is no stranger to politics himself, with an ultimately unsuccessful 2014 run for Congress under his belt. In a hard-fought battle to decide who would be the Republican to challenge 9th District Democratic U.S. Rep. William Keating, Shores wound up finishing third in the primary but did garner more than 23 percent of the vote. Before his maiden voyage into Massachusetts politics, Shores spent time navigating the federal government industrial complex otherwise known as Washington D.C., earning a law degree from Georgetown University and later working in the District’s federal court as a patent litigator. He later founded the Shores & Oliver intellectual property law firm, located in Boston’s Financial District, after working at the Hub branch of Latham & Watkins, the top-earning law firm in the world

Reached Wednesday, Healey campaign spokesman David Guarino issued a statement to the New Boston Post to address the brunt of Shores’s critiques:

“When Maura Healey was elected, she promised to tackle the big fights to protect the people of Massachusetts — and she has delivered. Because of AG Healey’s work, Massachusetts families and communities have more support and enforcement on the devastating opioid epidemic, students have relief from predatory for-profit schools, workers have more protection for their wages and benefits on the job and our state has stood up as a national leader for its values against the unconstitutional and un-American actions of a runaway President. AG Healey looks forward to making her case to the people over the next 10 months and wishes her opponents well in their Republican primary.”

Shores said Healey continues to be “obsessed with the White House,” as opposed to what is happening in the commonwealth — including the state’s own opioid crisis. Last week Shores blasted Healey’s handling of the Amherst drug lab scandal.

“For every lawsuit she files against Trump, that’s one more drug dealer that goes free, one more senior that’s defrauded, one more public official that commits a crime gets away with it,” Shores said.

“We have a raging opioid epidemic here in our commonwealth and she’s been soft on crime and against mandatory minimum sentences. She stayed out of the debate when the crime bill was going through Beacon Hill but did take the time to write a letter indicating her support for a drug dealer safety valve.”

Healey did, however, point out in November via a press release the details surrounding her office’s work with state and local authorities that resulted in the arrests of more than 30 people as part of a “widespread takedown of a heroin and fentanyl distribution ring” in Marlborough and Hudson. 

Shores has been curious as to just how involved Healey’s office is in the investigation to determine the extent of the sexual misconduct cloud surrounding Bryon Hefner, the estranged civil-law husband of former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst) who may or may not have used Rosenberg’s clout to prey on men with business dealings on Beacon Hill.

Shores said he’s also curious as to why Healey’s office refrained from pursuing an investigation into the infamous Top Chef case, where producers from the popular food show claim they were harassed by Teamster members as part of a job-related extortion plot. The four union members were later found not guilty, after then-Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz filed charges against them, in a case that had connections to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a Democrat who once headed the Boston Building Trades union.

Healey, who Shores pointed out has continually refused to defer to the U.S. Department of Justice on matters such as illegal immigration, was quick to defer to the feds when the Top Chef allegations surfaced. The charges, according to legal experts, would have been far easier to prosecute at the state level.

Shores also brought up the federal corruption charges filed against former state Senator Brian A Joyce (D-Milton) and the lack of charges or of any apparent investigations into the dealings of former state Representative Garrett Bradley (D-Hingham), who abruptly resigned ahead of reports detailing how he and his law firm reimbursed employees who made campaign donations to a long list of politicians, primarily Democrats.

Last April state regulators urged Healey’s office to investigate the Bradley allegations after she referred the case to a special prosecutor.

“It’s the largest political fund-raising scam I’m aware of but yet we’ve heard nothing about any investigations, nothing about any potential indictment,” he said, noting that Healey has been noticeably silent on the matter.

“There has not been a single major public corruption case brought forward by this attorney general,” Shores added. “Why is it that the federal government is always called upon to do this?

“I can tell you if I’m attorney general and my office receives information that shows significant cause to investigate public corruption I’m going to do it.”

Healey has returned all campaign donations funneled via the Thornton Law Firm, where Bradley works as a managing partner, and has pointed to that relationship as a reason for keeping herself at arm’s length away from the ongoing investigation.

Another criticism Shores lobbed at Healey pertains to the so-called “copycat” assault weapons ban directive Healey’s office issued in July 2016, on the eve of the Democratic National Convention. The directive expanded the list of firearms banned by the state of Massachusetts and did so without a vote of the legislature, Shores pointed out.

“What she did with that guidance was unconstitutional from the level of the Second Amendment, but almost more strikingly, from a viewpoint of separation of powers,” Shores said. “She is not a lawmaker.”

Shores pointed to a letter submitted not only by Beacon Hill Republicans, but also some of their Democratic colleagues, demanding to know how Healey arrived at her directive. He also referred to several public information requests filed with Healey’s office that have largely gone ignored.

“Where is the transparency?” Shores questioned. “They [Healey’s office] gave out gun manuals and a video of her press conference when citizens demanded to see what kind of information led her to issue that directive.

“One of the first things I would do would be to revoke the directive — but if that directive was passed by the state Legislature I would do my job and enforce the law.”

Healey, however, has continually referred to the state’s sweeping 1998 assault weapons ban to justify her actions. While the federal ban may have expired in 2004, Massachusetts’s state ban remains intact.

Yet Shores said he has grown tired of watching Healey’s office “pick-and-choose” which laws to enforce.

“This attorney general is in favor of establishing a sanctuary state, and I’m opposed to that for a simple reason — it’s not consistent with the law,” he said. “How can you be elected to be the chief law enforcer of the state and ignore the law?”

Healey does have a history of cracking down on human trafficking. Last April her office announced the results of a joint investigation with Massachusetts State Police and local law enforcement in multiple counties that netted 29 arrests “in connection with attempting to purchase commercial sex during sting operations.”

Shores noted that he hopes to have the chance to engage in an open debate with Healey.

If he’s elected, Shores said he will make sure the attorney general’s office will “correct its priorities.”

“I will redirect the resources back to the state,” he said, taking a jab at Healey’s ongoing pattern of Trump-related litigation. “We have to remember who we serve.”