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Keller @ Large: Mass. GOP Needs To Clean Up Act Fast

BOSTON (CBS) - So Mass. Republican Party gubernatorial candidate Mark Fisher is demanding as much as a million dollars from the party in exchange for dropping his legal challenge to their denial of ballot access, according to the Globe?

Update: Mass. GOP Offers To Certify Mark Fisher In Race

If true, how very entrepreneurial of Mr. Fisher, a Shrewsbury businessman who no one has ever heard of until he decided to compete with party establishment favorite Charlie Baker and spoiled Baker's convention coronation by giving a better speech than Baker and appearing to narrowly get the 15-percent support needed to get on the ballot, until, that is, party officials ruled he didn't get it.

Since then, Fisher has emerged as precisely the sort of distraction Baker doesn't need as he tries to unify the party ahead of a November election in which he will need every last available Republican vote he can get.

Listen to Jon's commentary:

Keller at Large May 7 2014

It has taken attention away from Baker's efforts to capitalize on the string of managerial fiascoes we've seen on Beacon Hill. And the publicity surrounding the fight with Fisher has been detrimental enough to Baker's potentially winning message – that he is a competent leader who can clean up the messes the next governor will inherit – that it might even be worth it to pay the guy off to go away.

GOP lawyers say that's not legal, and Fisher isn't talking about what his demands have or haven't been.

In the meantime, it's not at all clear that he – or several other of the party's equally obscure nominees for statewide office – is going to get the necessary signatures to qualify as a candidate, thus mooting the court battle.

I'm not a big fan of political parties, period. I've never really understood blind political partisanship, and it seems to me all they ever really amount to is social clubs for ideologues.

But Massachusetts Republicans need to clean up their act fast, or risk undermining their core claim to power – that they can, and will, organize a two-car funeral better than their adversaries.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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