One of the cornerstones of Jay McMahon’s campaign for the Plymouth and Barnstable District State Senate seat is “Back the Blue,” or support for the police. He takes aim at his opponent, Susan Moran, suggesting that her association with Senator Edward Markey shows her disregard for police, and maintains that she would defund police departments.
Another cornerstone is a multipoint plan to reinvigorate the economy, which is based on deregulation and tax cuts. No great surprise there.
But his purported support for the police is stunning for its hypocrisy. Mr. McMahon has represented parties in multiple suits against police officers, a state trooper, a district attorney and a police chief.
In 1995 Mr. McMahon brought suit against the Town of Plymouth and three police officers, seeking monetary damages on behalf of an accused cocaine trafficker. He was unsuccessful.
He brought a suit against the Town of Orleans and seven police officers in 1997. The court ruled against him.
He brought suit against the Town of Wareham and three police officers in 1996 on half of a man who had violated a restraining order. That suit was dismissed.
This list goes on, and it is lengthy.
The cases were brought to court in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It could be that Mr. McMahon had a Dickensian epiphany and realized that, not only were the cases he accepted costing taxpayers a boatload of money, but that he had a moral imperative to turn down cases involving police.
It is not likely.
Mr. McMahon’s campaign staffer, when asked about the suits, pointed out that there were also cases in which he represented police officers. No doubt he did, but his actions do not cancel each other out. The fact remains that Mr. McMahon’s legal career is not a shining example of Back the Blue.
Mr. McMahon made choices. The cases he was involved in were civil actions; he could have turned any of them down.
His opponent is also an attorney, but nowhere will anyone find that she was involved in legal action against police officers or departments. And nowhere will anyone find that she has called for defunding police departments.
It should not be difficult to see who in this campaign truly Backs the Blue.