Christy Mihos (left) and Deval Patrick debated during the Massachusetts gubernatorial election in October 2006. (Matthew J. Lee/ Globe Staff/ File)
"Mihos sets new run for governor"
By Matt Collette, Boston Globe Correspondent, April 27, 2009
Christy Mihos, who as an independent sought the state's highest post in 2006, intends to run again for governor, this time as a Republican.
"I plan to be there for 2010, and I plan to be at the top of the ticket," said Mihos last night in a telephone interview with the Globe.
Mihos, who lives in West Yarmouth and owns convenience stores on Cape Cod, said his candidacy would be similar to his 2006 bid. He pledged to increase local aid dramatically, massively restructure state agencies, and lay off thousands of state employees.
Mihos, who has sought office as a Republican in the past, started hinting at another gubernatorial run last summer, when he moved his campaign website to christy2010.com. On Saturday, he posted an op-ed titled "A Stimulus For The Rest Of Us" to the conservative blog Red Mass Group, ending his post with the line: "Christy Mihos is a businessman, entrepreneur, and a candidate for governor."
Mihos, who was vice chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority from 1999 to 2004, said Governor Deval Patrick and the Democrat-controlled Legislature have enacted taxes and policies that have hurt Massachusetts residents.
"They're increasing the sales tax, the gas tax, tolls at the Turnpike Authority at a time when people can't afford it," he said. "This will do incredible harm for Massachusetts. You put those together, and then you take a look at the amount of corruption that takes place every single day; people are looking for alternatives."
A spokesman for Patrick, who has said he will seek reelection, declined to comment on Mihos's announcement.
Barney Keller, spokesman for the state's Republican Party, said Mihos's message would probably resonate with those struggling in the harsh economic climate.
"Working families across the Commonwealth are tightening their belts, and they don't see the state government doing the same things," he said.
Keller said Patrick will face a tough fight against Mihos, or another Republican candidate, should one emerge.
"The problem for him in 2010 is that he's going to have to run with a record, and that's a record of higher taxes, of having tried to put a friend into a high-paying job," he said, referring to Patrick's appointment of state Senator Marian Walsh as assistant executive director at the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority. Walsh ultimately declined the appointment.
"The problem for Governor Patrick in 2010 is that his words and his rhetoric are going to be compared with his record," Keller said.
Mihos said that as governor he would increase state aid to cities and towns, dedicating 40 percent of state revenue to municipalities. "If you look at local aid, which is the lifeblood of cities and town, these cities and towns are operating at 2002 levels. Their costs have gone up double digits since then."
Mihos said he expects the support of more Massachusetts residents in the 2010 gubernatorial race than in 2006, when he garnered 7 percent of the vote, because, he said, his policies are well-suited to address the state's current financial woes. He said the recession was not unforeseen at the start of Patrick's term, and said the governor and his administration have not acted appropriately to address them.
"We were talking about recessions in 2006, but they hadn't happened yet," he said. "Right now, as things get worse - and they will get worse - we think that people will be looking to a responsible businessperson who is looking for responsible reforms."
He said his sharp cuts would be aimed at inefficiencies statewide. He criticized talk of tax increases and Patrick's appointment of Walsh as examples of Beacon Hill taking advantage of Massachusetts residents.
"The state is awash in corruption, and the special interests are getting taken care of," Mihos said. "Working men and women and small businesses are taking the brunt of the hits right now."
He said he is entering the race early to challenge Beacon Hill politicians on a wide slate of issues. Calling his early action "a call to arms," he said major problems need to be remedied fast.
"The way it's going right now, there's not going to be enough time to do what we have to do," he said.
"Christy Mihos: Vote out the clowns"
By Dave Wedge, Sunday, May 3, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics
Christy Mihos is the first to announce a bid to unseat Gov. Deval Patrick, but the Brockton convenience store titan is hoping he’ll have some healthy competition - even from fellow Republicans.
Mihos, who ran as an independent in 2006 but is running as a GOP candidate in 2010, says he hopes health-care mogul Charlie Baker or another Republican will challenge him in a primary.
“It would be in the best interest of the party and certainly would fire up the people of the commonwealth if there was a (GOP) primary that was well-contested,” said Mihos. “It would be awful if the Democrats had a primary and the Republicans had nothing.”
Mihos was slated to meet with Republicans, including party chair Jennifer Nassour, in Yarmouth today. He said he’s building an exploratory committee and plans to launch a fund-raising machine.
As to criticism from within his party for running as an independent in the last election, Mihos said: “People are going to say what they’re going to say. I was always a Republican, but in 2006 it just wasn’t my Republican party.”
Mihos, who recently sold off his Christy’s convenience stores to Hess Corp., said he’s focused on running a campaign that will bore in on jobs, taxes and corruption.
“I’m a son of Massachusetts. I’m not a drive-by governor,” he said. “I can’t stand seeing what’s happening to the state. It’s a clown-fest up there (on Beacon Hill).”
Gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos, inset, was late in his bid to get the MassPike service plazas including Natick. Photo by Will Nunnally (inset, John Wilcox file).
HOT PROPERTY: Gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos, below, was late in his attempt to get the MassPike service plazas including Natick. (Photo by Will Nunnally).
"Christy Mihos’ Pike bid detoured: Tries for plaza deal he pushed as board member"
By Richard Weir, Tuesday, May 5, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics
Republican gubernatorial candidate and convenience store mogul Christy Mihos tried to benefit from a plan he pushed as a Pike board member, submitting a belated - and botched - bid to buy the debt-ridden agency’s lucrative service plazas, the Herald has learned.
Mihos doomed his chances when the Fed Ex package with his $279 million bid arrived the Monday after the noon deadline of Friday, April 24, and lacked the required $150,000 deposit.
But the fact that Mihos, who served as vice chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority from 1999 to 2004, was seeking to gain a financial interest from an issue he long championed as a Pike board member and political candidate raised eyebrows.
“I would think it would have a difficult time passing the public sniff test given his past relationship with the turnpike board,” said Pike board member Mary Connaughton. “I am not saying there is a conflict, but I think people might think there is some kind of conflict there.”
Mihos, who was “stunned” to learn from the Herald that his bid arrived late and was rejected, denied that his bid to buy the Pike’s service areas posed a conflict.
“I thought it was a good idea when I proposed it in 2003 and as an independent businessperson I was trying to make good on that promise,” Mihos said yesterday, noting that he left the board five years ago and that the request for proposals was open to the public.
Mihos was on the Pike board in 2003 when he first suggested the agency sell control of the 11 rest stops along the 135-mile roadway and use the windfall to retire its $145 million bond debt.
Mihos, who ran for governor as an independent in 2006 and is seeking the Corner Office again in 2010, has also publicly floated the idea.
In a Dec. 2, 2008 opinion column in the Herald, he wrote: “They produce healthy rent revenues - $18 million each year - with virtually no cost to the Turnpike. Let’s sell them to the highest bidder or to the state pension system and pay off the bonds.”
Speaking to the Herald yesterday, Mihos freely acknowledged using his inside knowledge of the issue when he submitted his bid, under the name Christy’s of Cape Cod, LLC, last month in hopes of collecting hefty rent checks from food and gas concessionaires such as McDonald’s and Gulf.
“It’s just a good real estate deal,” Mihos said of acquiring the service plazas. “They are triple A properties. . . It just doesn’t get better.”
Colin Durant, a state executive office of transportation spokesman, said it was unclear whether pike board members, like other state employees, are barred from doing business with the commonwealth for one year after they leave their post - and banned for life when it comes to matters they worked on directly.
Connaughton, who is also a Herald blogger, said “My guess is that enough time has passed that it is legal and does not violate state ethics laws because he (Mihos) was not involved in writing the RFP.”
The Turnpike is evaluating bids submitted by four bidders, Bulfinch Pike Investors, LLC; Saracen Properties, LLC; Cross Harbor Institutional Acquisition LLC; McDonalds Corporation.
"Official blasts Big Dig plea deal: Pike board member says contractors let off hook"
By Thomas Grillo, Saturday, May 9, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Coverage
A Pike board member ripped a federal plea deal yesterday that allowed one of the Big Dig’s largest contractors to escape criminal charges in connection with a 2006 tunnel collapse that killed a Jamaica Plain woman.
Mary Connaughton, a Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board member, slammed federal prosecutors for dismissing charges that Modern Continental knowingly used the wrong adhesive to hold up concrete anchors that failed in the Interstate 90 connector tunnel collapse that killed 39-year-old Milena Del Valle.
“Without a trial the public can’t gain true insight as to what went wrong - and why,” said Connaughton, a Herald guest blogger.
In a deal worked out with former U.S. attorney Michael Sullivan, Modern Continental pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to making a false statement about construction of a wall panel that ruptured in a different I-93 tunnel and to making numerous false statements in connection with the billing of workers.
Christy Mihos, a Republican gubernatorial candidate and former Pike board member, also criticized the deal. “Big company execs walk, and the taxpayers and toll payers of the commonwealth are left holding the bag,” Mihos said.
Modern Continental faces up to $19.5 million in fines, but it filed for bankruptcy last summer and probably won’t pay a cent, according to the firm’s attorney. “Modern Continental will finish all its contracts and cease to operate,” said Eric Eisenberg.
Prosecutors had alleged that the cause of the fatal tunnel collapse was a failure of its epoxy bolt system. Modern Continental, they said, knew the system wasn’t strong enough to hold concrete ceiling panels.
A spokeswoman for the U.S attorney defended the office’s handling of the case, noting that three Big Dig managers are serving time and that the office has collected more than $500 million in fines.
Mihos: Grand Old Party’s over for him. (Photo by John Wilcox (file)
"GOP isn’t buying Mihos: Republicans won’t forget his betrayal"
By Eric Fehrnstrom, Wednesday, May 13, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Op-Ed
During the 2006 Massachusetts governor’s race, Republican-turned-independent Christy Mihos was asked who he’d vote for if he couldn’t vote for himself. “Probably Deval. Yeah, I like Deval,” Mihos said.
It wasn’t a surprising answer. Mihos, a Cape Cod businessman, spent the entire campaign attacking Republican nominee Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, the party itself and GOP rule in the governor’s office. Casting his lot with the eventual Democratic victor was the final break in a nasty divorce.
What is surprising is that Mihos is back and running for governor in 2010, this time as a Republican. If he learned anything from his off-beat campaign, it’s that independent candidates rarely win. Without the organizational strength and fund-raising network of a major party, a statewide candidate faces very long odds.
In 2006 Mihos finished a distant third. He wasn’t even the spoiler he wanted to be. His 7 percent of the vote, added to Healey’s total, wouldn’t have made a difference in the contest against Deval Patrick, who won with 56 percent of the vote to Healey’s 35 percent.
So how does Mihos convince Republicans to overlook his disloyalty and make him their standard-bearer? After all, Mihos used to see the resentment about a Republican Party that he felt was unworthy.
“There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Democrats and Republicans,” he told voters. And he’d complain that “people are checking out because what the Republicans are selling people aren’t buying.”
Even more problematic are Mihos’ positions, which are poles apart from those of most Republicans.
Mihos opposes MCAS and merit pay for teachers. He wants to cap the number of charter schools. He supports the state’s prevailing wage law, which requires higher wages on public construction jobs than in the private sector. He backs the monopolistic “Pacheco law,” making it near-impossible to privatize government operations. He wants public financing of elections.
As a member of the Mass Pike board, Mihos voted to engage in risky derivatives trading that not only papered over the deficit but which has buried the agency in an avalanche of debt.
Deval Patrick is one of the nation’s most vulnerable governors, along with New York’s David Paterson and New Jersey’s Jon Corzine, because of their weak responses to the sagging economy. Even so, Republicans have to run near-perfect races in those Democratic strongholds to win.
Mihos committed enough gaffes to turn his last campaign into a running joke. He started the race with a groan-inducing joke about his wife. “My wife says I’m awful fast, so I’ll try to stick to that,” he told biotech executives. He ran a vulgar TV ad depicting animated characters with their heads up their rear ends.
Because Mihos was a long shot, the media overlooked his many missteps even as they gladly lapped up his criticisms of the GOP.
The good news is that Massachusetts Republicans have strong potential candidates in the wings - health care executive Charlie Baker, former corruption-busting U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and conservative state Sen. Scott Brown. All three have solid resumes and impressive records of service to their party and state.
But so far, Mihos is the only declared Republican candidate, a demoralizing prospect. Last year, in a TV interview, Mihos wondered if it makes sense to run for the GOP nomination, given that he spent the last election riding shotgun for Patrick. “I don’t know if the Republicans are going to embrace me,” he said.
It’s a point worth pondering, since he refused to embrace them.
"Scandals rattle Beacon Hill"
In the past year (2008 - 2009), a number of Massachusetts politicians have been under investigation for violations ranging from bribery to harassment.
On June 2, 2009, former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi was indicted in federal court following a series of Globe stories detailing the awarding of multi-million-dollar state computer software contracts in which DiMasi's associates made hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions and fees.
DiMasi resigned from the House on January 27, 2009, after months of investigations.
Left, Finneran as he testified before the board of overseers in December 2007.
On March 13, 2009, the state's 12-member Board of Bar Overseers recommended Former House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran should be disbarred. This was the result of Finneran's guilty plea for giving false information while under oath during a 2003 civic trial.
State Senator Dianne Wilkerson resigned Nov. 19, 2008, after facing mounting pressure when she was arrested on bribery charges in an FBI sting.
Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner was ensnared Nov. 21, 2008, in the same FBI investigation that led to Wilkerson's arrest. Turner faces allegations of bribery and lying to investigators.
Representative John Rogers (left), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, was one of the politicians jockeying for DiMasi's position.
Rogers is facing allegations that he funneled campaign money to a consultant who in turn made mortgage payments on a Cape house owned by Rogers.
Representative Robert A. DeLeo was elected speaker on Jan. 28, 2009.
At left, Spellane takes the oath of office with his family by his side in 2001.
Representative Robert P. Spellane, a Worcester Democrat, has been forced to explain how he was able to forgo a year's worth of payments on a $340,000 loan from a bank. The executive of the bank is a political supporter of Spellane's.
The lawmaker was also in trouble for using $50,000 of his campaign money for personal use from 2004 to 2006. He repaid his campaign $1,608.
In a settlement last year, he reimbursed $32,500 to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, and had to pay a $10,000 fine.
Former state senator J. James Marzilli of Arlington resigned Nov. 14, 2008, while awaiting a trial on charges of sexually harassing four women in downtown Lowell.
Marzilli's lawyer said his actions were because of a mental illness. He resigned a day after he came under criticism over reports that he traveled to an energy conference in Germany as a Massachusetts state senator.
"Christy Mihos, the only Republican who has said he plans to run, recently hired Dick Morris, a well-known conservative political consultant and commentator who was involved in campaigns for former Massachusetts governor William F. Weld."
Source: "Patrick picks Obama aide for his 2010 campaign" (By Matt Viser, Globe Staff, The Boston Globe, June 5, 2009)
"Christy Mihos is more of a libertarian anti-tax and anti-government nut..."
"Christy Mihos does have a base of support in the Cape Cod area where he owns a chain of grocery stores and the Southeastern part of the state (border with Rhode Island)..."
Source: "Mihos hires Morris" (- www.capecodtoday.com/blogs - 6/5/2009)
"Christy Mihos says time right to rejoin GOP"
By Jake Berry, Cape Cod Times, Monday, July 13, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics
Nearly a year after he first declared his intention to enter the 2010 gubernatorial race, West Yarmouth resident and businessman Christy Mihos hit the road to pitch his case.
In the last month, Mihos, owner of the Christy’s chain of convenience stores, has effectively launched his campaign, making stops from Dennis to Worcester and back again, reports the Cape Cod Times.
And so far he said he’s found an audience much more ready for change than in his last attempt at the governor’s chair in 2006, when Mihos fell to current Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat.
With 16 months to go until the 2010 election, Mihos, a Republican who ran as an Independent in 2006, sat down recently with the Cape Cod Times to discuss Democrats, Republicans and the changing landscape of Massachusetts politics.
Monday morning briefing
By Hillary Chabot, Monday, July 20, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics
Republican gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos just filed his statement of candidacy July 13 saying he had no political receipts, despite hiring high-profile consultant Dick Morris and putting out radio ads earlier in the year. According to an Office of Campaign and Political Finance spokesman, the ads pass the smell test because they are about issues and don’t tell people to vote for any specific candidate. The lack of payments to Morris, however, could be another story.
FOCUSING ATTENTION: Gubernatorial hopeful Christy Mihos installed a camera in Salem, N.H., shown on his Web site, to show how the sales tax hike will hurt Bay State businesses and to garner publicity for his campaign.
"Driving away shoppers?: Christy Mihos installs camera on N.H. border to show cost of higher sales tax"
By Dave Wedge, Monday, July 27, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics
Bargain-hunting Bay Staters seeking to skirt the state’s new higher sales tax will be on camera at the New Hampshire border as part of gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos’ crusade against Beacon Hill.
Mihos’ campaign has mounted a hidden camera just over the border on Route 28 in Salem, N.H., that will feed live video to his Web site starting today to show how many Massachusetts shoppers are taking their business north.
“Deval Patrick is a good governor - for New Hampshire,” Mihos cracked. “We’re just trying to show how bad tax policy hurts the region and the state. We’re inhibiting economic growth on the border by giving a direct competitor a 6.25 percent advantage. Who in business would do that?”
Called the “MassBackwards” camera, the device is the latest publicity stunt by Mihos to garner attention for his campaign while highlighting an issue that has hit Bay Staters in the pocketbook. Mihos, who is running for governor as a Republican, ran as an independent in 2006, during which he mounted a camera outside his Beacon Hill office that kept watch on the State House.
The MassBackwards camera will monitor vehicles around the clock going in and out of Salem on the shopping center-filled stretch of Route 28. It also includes a car counter but tax dodgers fearful of being nabbed by Big Brother need not fret: The camera doesn’t read license plates or record.
A caption below the camera on Mihos’ campaign Web site, www.christy2010.com, reads: “Live video of Salem, N.H. traffic. View our lost sales. Thanks a billion.”
“It’s sad to watch the steady stream of Massachusetts residents voting with their feet and going to New Hampshire to do their business. But for a 6.25% savings, I would too,” the site says.
The road sees 18,000 cars per day, but Mihos expects that number to leap once the state’s sales tax jumps 25 percent to 6.25 percent Saturday. The Legislature and Patrick also approved tax on alcohol for the first time, which Mihos believes also will drive Bay State residents north.
“We really want to take a look at the increase of cars that are going to be driving up as of Aug. 1,” Mihos said. “This is just bad tax policy and bad for the economy.”
"Christy Mihos blasts Charles Baker campaign: GOP contenders slam foe for ‘walrus club’"
By Christine McConville, Sunday, August 2, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics
The fight is on!
The day after GOP gubernatorial hopeful Charles Baker said he won’t take an anti-patronage pledge, one of his competitors came out swinging.
“We’re coming in to do public service, not self-service,” said Republican hopeful Christy Mihos, who vowed not to dole out state jobs as political favors.
What’s more, Mihos said, if he’s elected governor, staffers he hires who are new to state government won’t even be allowed to join the state’s pension system.
“There’s just not going to be enough money to pay for everyone in the future,” said Mihos, a Cape Cod businessman.
On Friday, Baker, in an interview with the Herald, said: “I’d rather have the right person for the right job, and I care more about that than how they got there.”
Yesterday, Gov. Deval Patrick’s campaign staffers offered an even-keeled reply to that position.
“The governor has always hired people based on their qualifications, and will continue to do so,” said Steve Crawford, Patrick’s campaign manager.
But Crawford did criticize Baker for saying that during Patrick’s time in office, the state has added 7,500 new workers.
Patrick aides called Baker’s calculation “seriously misleading.” They said that since Patrick took office, the number of employees in the branch he controls has 1,200 fewer full-time employees. They also said that the state’s takeover of various sheriffs’ departments has increased the state employee count by 3,000.
“It would be helpful if all the candidates did their homework better, and avoided any misrepresentations,” Crawford said.
The state’s fourth likely gubernatorial candidate, State Treasurer Timothy Cahill, who is running an as independent, did not respond to requests for comment.
"Christy Mihos eyes sports betting"
By State House News Service, Saturday, August 1, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics
Republican gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos wants the state to legalize wagers on professional and college sports, saying the industry could boost the sagging Lottery and flush cities and towns with over $1 billion annually.
Mihos, a convenience store magnate running in the GOP primary against former Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO Charles Baker, said the state should sanction sports betting through the Lottery and called it a fast mechanism to boost local aid.
Mihos said Massachusetts averages $829 per capita spending on the Lottery, far above states like Maryland ($290) and New Jersey ($270). He wants the Bay State to jump into what he called a $400 billion industry when both legal and illegal bets are considered.
The state would have to join a federal suit seeking exemption from the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which grandfathered sports betting in Oregon, Delaware, Montana and Nevada - although Nevada is the only state that currently has legal sports gambling.
Christy Mihos (File) Photo by Ted Fitzgerald
"Mihos wants legalized sports betting"
By Jim O’Sullivan / State House News Service, Friday, July 31, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics
Republican gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos wants the state to legalize wagers on professional and college sports, saying the industry could boost the sagging state Lottery and flush cities and towns with over $1 billion annually.
Mihos, a convenience store magnate running in the GOP primary against former Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO Charles Baker, said the state should sanction sports betting through the Lottery and called it a fast mechanism to boost local aid.
"We could do this very quickly and solve the revenue problem," Mihos told the News Service today.
Mihos said that Massachusetts averages $829 per capita spending on the Lottery, far above states like Maryland’s $290 rate and New Jersey, at $270. He wants the Bay State to jump into what he called a $400 billion industry when both legal and illegal bets are considered.
The Commonwealth would have to join a federal suit seeking exemption from the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which grandfathered sports betting in Oregon, Delaware, Montana and Nevada - although Nevada is the only state that currently has legal sports gambling. Jai alai, horse and dog racing were waivered.
Delaware this year legalized single-game wagers and officials are hoping to have their system in place by August to capitalize on football season, although a federal suit is seeking to block implementation.
In March, New Jersey became involved in a federal suit seeking to declare the 1992 law unconstitutional. Professional sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Association are defending the law.
If the case led by New Jersey succeeds, the state, expecting a debate over slot machines and casino gambling this fall, would have to amend its own laws to allow wagering on sports.
Already, bettors can use online sportsbooks in the United States, as well as traditional bookies. According to the American Gaming Association, bettors placed $2.58 million worth of action on Nevada’s sportsbooks last year and the National Gambling Impact Study Commission estimated that illegal wagers could reach $380 billion per year.
Sports betting could prop up the state’s slumping Lottery, which is predicting a loss of $222 million from gross revenues due to an $8 million reduction in its advertising budget in fiscal 2010. Lottery officials predict $904 million in net operative revenues, a shortfall of $34 million from the estimate on which the budget was based.
The state’s Lottery has teamed up with local professional sports teams to market its products.
Mihos has called for sweeping cuts to state services and a 10 percent reduction in payroll. The gambling revenue would help offset tax cuts he is seeking, including rollbacks of the income tax rate from 5.3 percent to 5 percent and the sales tax rate from 6.25 percent to 5 percent, reducing the capital gains tax, and a full repeal of the estate tax.
"In my world, the revenue should be designated to local aid, because that’s the only way to fix the gap in service funding and getting more local aid to cities and towns would certainly give the cities and towns the ability to look at property tax relief," Mihos said, who favors slot machines at the state’s four racetracks and opposes casinos.
He acknowledged that problematic gambling would likely occur. Corruption in sports is held up as one argument against permitting betting on games nationally.
"In essence Massachusetts put out of business the numbers bookie and a lot of illegal gambling," Mihos said of the Lottery. "This would sort of close the loop. People are going to gamble ... I’m just trying to keep as many of those dollars here for the Commonwealth. It’ll just be a different type of gambling with a different type of bookie."
"Mihos aide: `Financial advantage' key in 2010 race"
By Glen Johnson, AP Political Writer, August 18, 2009
BOSTON --The chief political consultant for Cape Cod businessman Christy Mihos said Tuesday his client lost the 2006 gubernatorial race solely because he ran as an independent.
Conservative commentator and author Dick Morris also predicted that Mihos will beat fellow Republican Charles Baker in the 2010 GOP primary and Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, in the general election because of his opposition to Big Dig spending and the "considerable financial advantage" the multimillionaire brings to the campaign.
"I don't think Baker is going to be a serious problem," Morris told The Associated Press in an interview. "I think he's subject to many of the same negatives that Patrick is. Patrick raised our taxes; Baker raised our tolls."
The criticism harkened back to Baker's work in the Weld and Cellucci administrations, when he served as the top finance official in the Cabinet from 1994 to 1998. During that time, the state sought to finance the $15 billion Central Artery tunnel project, which has triggered toll increases.
More recently, Patrick signed a 25-percent sales tax hike into law.
Yet Morris didn't limit his attack there. He criticized Baker, who went on to become president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, for helping negotiate a state receivership for the troubled insurer and then taking a $1.5 million salary package from the now-profitable company until he resigned in July to run for governor.
"I wonder how popular health insurance companies are," Morris said. "Let's put it this way: I'd rather run a hedge fund."
A Baker spokesman dismissed the complaints.
"Looks like Christy Mihos is back negatively attacking Republicans again," Baker spokesman Andrew Goodrich said. "Christy's negative campaign is one reason elected Republican officials from across the state are flocking to support Charlie Baker and see Charlie as our only hope to defeat Deval Patrick."
Mihos garnered only 7 percent of the vote in 2006, when he squared off against Patrick and Republican Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey. The Christy's convenience store magnate is running as a Republican this time around.
Mihos has hired Morris to develop strategy. He is a newspaper columnist and Fox News analyst who once served as Democrat Bill Clinton's political adviser.
His work with Mihos is not the New Yorker's first venture into Massachusetts politics. He previously ran Ed King's successful campaign against Democrat Michael Dukakis, and also worked on state campaigns to limit property tax increases and elect William F. Weld as governor in 1990 and 1994.
Morris said Mihos's candidacy will resonate with voters because he fought against cost escalation in the Big Dig project while a member of the Massachusetts Turnpike board of directors. The consultant also said Mihos knows how to cut government spending but won't be afraid to spend his own money promoting his candidacy -- perhaps as early as this fall.
He said Mihos lost 2 1/2 years ago only because he ran as an independent.
"It was a basic mistake to think that as an independent in a highly polarized, partisan year," Morris said. "I think that people were not in the mood for a third choice."
"Aides: Mihos will remain in governor's race"
By Frank Phillips, Boston Globe Staff, September 9, 2009
Republican Christy Mihos will stay in the race for governor, after spending a day seriously considering running instead for the Senate seat held by Edward M. Kennedy, two Mihos aides said today.
Mihos yesterday spoke with the staff of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, informing them that he was heavily leaning toward seeking the Republican nomination in the special election to fill Kennedy's seat. Mihos told the Globe last night that he was ''just about there.''
But, in a posting on the Republican blog Red Mass Group this morning, Joe Manzoli, a senior campaign aide, said that Mihos would remain in the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2010.
"Contrary to news reports you may have heard last evening and this morning, Christy Mihos is a candidate for governor of Massachusetts not for the US Senate," Manzoli's statement reads. "Christy has made that abundantly clear from the onset. Christy was approached by some representative of the national committee to consider running for the US Senate seat in the special election. As is sometimes the case, the story was leaked to the media and got on the news last evening. I want to assure everyone that Christy is committed to be the candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 2010 as we continue to fight for the citizens of this great state."
"Christy Mihos calls for deep cuts to state salaries"
By Hillary Chabot, October 5, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics
GOP gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos is demanding a 10 percent pay cut for all state employees to prevent a hit to local aid after Gov. Deval Patrick announced a $212 million revenue shortfall last week.
“The public sector can hardly be held immune from the economic realities of the day,” said Mihos. “The taxpayers who fund state government have themselves suffered job loss and wage reductions. It’s cynicism at best, if not outright arrogance, to suggest that public employees not share in the burden.”
Patrick announced the steep shortfall Friday and said local aid cuts and layoffs are on the table. He will announce the cuts by the end of the month.
Mihos also urged lawmakers to immediately legalize slots at the tracks in an effort to generate more revenue.
“New revenues other than tax increases can be diligently pursued with the right leadership,” said Mihos. “Taxes are already punitive in Massachusetts, and the governor can see that his sales tax increase has had a negative impact, as proven by the dismal, September revenue figures.”
Mihos will face off with Republican Charlie Baker in the primary race for the corner office, and State Treasurer Tim Cahill, an Independent, is also challenging Patrick for the seat.
Photo by Mike Adaskaveg (file)
"Pols & politics: Christy Mihos’ Republican partly"
By Dave Wedge, Sunday, November 1, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics
Christy Mihos has a reputation for being a straight-talker but when it comes to his party affiliations, he’s all over the map.
Mihos was a Republican, then he switched to an independent in the 2006 governor’s race and now he’s back to being a GOP candidate for next year’s gubernatorial election.
One of Mihos’ consultants, Dick Morris, has also bounced around the parties: First he was a Republican, then he was President Clinton’s top strategist and now he’s back in the GOP fold.
And now we see Mihos has paid $28,000 to a Democratic pollster for his GOP primary.
Mihos’ campaign made two head-scratching payments in August and September to MC Squared Consulting, a Kentucky-based polling firm founded by a Bluegrass State Democratic operative. The firm has done surveys for Bay State Dems, including Sen. James Timilty (D-Walpole) and former Worcester County Sheriff John Flynn, but no Republicans, records show. The firm also has done polling for the Kentucky Democratic Party.
Perhaps Mihos just wanted to get yet another opinion from the other side of the aisle.
"Lawsuits: Mihos owes more than $600,000 in bills"
By Jake Berry, firstname.lastname@example.org - January 27, 2010
Gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos, owner of the Christy's of Cape Cod convenience store chain, owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid business and campaign bills, business and former campaign associates have charged in recent days.
On Friday, a West Bridgewater gas supplier filed suit against Christy's of Cape Cod, claiming that Mihos' business has failed to pay more than $600,000 in goods and delivery fees.
That same day, three former consultants to his gubernatorial campaign filed a joint complaint against Mihos with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, claiming a combined $43,500 in unpaid wages.
Officials from the campaign office declined to confirm yesterday whether a complaint has been filed, but Kevin Sowyrda, the campaign's former communications director, said he notified state campaign officials Friday, along with Republican media strategist Rick Wilson of New York and Web designer Geoff Fudge, of Rhode Island.
Reached for comment yesterday, Mihos said that both Wilson, who reported $34,000 in unpaid wages, and Fudge, who is down $2,025, were paid in full, while Sowyrda resigned his post at the end of September — before he was due the $7,500 he is claiming, Mihos said.
Fudge has not yet received payment, he said yesterday. Wilson declined to comment for this story.
"We regretted having to (file the complaint), but Mr. Mihos left us no other choice," said Sowyrda, who claims he worked with the campaign through October, but never received a paycheck. "It's very sad when someone you admired and worked hard for disappoints you."
Campaign spending records show that in August, Mihos had more than $211,000 in his campaign account. After doling out hundreds of thousands in salaries and other expenses, he finished the year with about $3,100 — an amount that has since dwindled to less than $2,000.
By contrast, Timothy Cahill, who is running as an independent for governor, had more than $828,000 in his campaign account after the first two weeks in January, according to state records. Incumbent Gov. Deval Patrick had $644,000 in his account as of Jan. 15, and Republican challenger Charles Baker reported a year-end balance of $1.6 million.
"We didn't do much of anything in December or January because any moneys donated to us would have been taken away from (Republican Senate candidate) Scott Brown," Mihos said. "But we're moving forward now. ... We're hitting the ground every day."
Politics aside, Mihos' business has also struggled to keep up with its bills, according to the lawsuit filed last week in Plymouth Superior Court by Noonan Petroleum Products.
Company officials claim that Christy's of Cape Cod failed to pay $634,000 in goods and delivery fees, according to court records. Michael Mahoney, a Boston attorney representing Noonan Petroleum, did not return calls for comment yesterday.
But Mihos contends the matter is nothing but basic business. Christy's relationship with Noonan Petroleum goes back decades, and the company continues to buy gas from Noonan every day, Mihos said.
"I just signed a check to them for $30,000," he said. "These (issues) happen all the time. ... We're going to work through this like we always do."
Noonan's attorneys have applied to attach a lien on Mihos' Yarmouth home, assessed at about $5.8 million, according to Yarmouth property records, and his business assets. Both parties are scheduled to appear Friday in Plymouth Superior Court.
Mihos sold 11 stores last year to Hess Corp, though Christy's still operates two convenience stores and a gas station around the Cape.
Staff writer Stephanie Vosk contributed to this report.
"Mihos insists he's candidate for Massachusetts governor"
Boston.com - AP - February 5, 2010
BOSTON --Republican Christy Mihos insists he's still in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race.
In an e-mail to supporters Friday, the convenience store magnate said reports of his political death are greatly exaggerated.
Mihos' campaign has been plagued with staff upheavals. And last week a Superior Court judge slapped liens on three businesses he owns after a gasoline supplier claimed he was owed more than $600,000.
The Cape Cod resident has also faced skepticism within the GOP after running for governor in 2006 as an independent.
Mihos faces Charles Baker in the Republican primary.
Gov. Deval Patrick and community activist Grace Ross are competing for the Democratic nomination. Treasurer Timothy Cahill is running as an independent, and Jill Stein is the Green-Rainbow candidate.
"Ex-campaign boss sues Christy Mihos for $44G"
By Associated Press, Local Politics, www.bostonherald.com - March 18, 2010
Republican gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos is being sued by his former campaign manager, who says he is owed tens of thousands of dollars for unpaid services.
Joe Manzoli said Mihos owes him $44,500 for work he did for the convenience store magnate’s bid to win the GOP nomination for governor.
Manzoli’s lawyer, Margaret Melican, said she filed the civil lawsuit yesterday in Worcester District Court after Mihos stopped paying her client. Mihos said he was unaware of the lawsuit. He said he paid Manzoli more then $60,000 and tried to settle amicably with him last week.
“We offered him what we said we were going to pay him and we have not heard back from him directly,” Mihos said in a telephone interview.
Although Mihos has pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money into his run for office, his campaign has been plagued with staff upheavals and financial problems. His latest filing with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance showed a campaign balance of just more than $4,000.
Mihos said he is being targeted because he is a political outsider. He’s running against fellow Republican Charles Baker, who served under former GOP governors William Weld and Paul Cellucci.
Manzoli said he just wants to get paid.
“Everything I talk about is facts and figures,” he said. “Christy can say whatever he wants. I go by the facts.”
"After spot on ballot is denied, Mihos says he won’t run again"
By Noah Bierman, Boston Globe Staff, April 18, 2010
WORCESTER — As Christy Mihos sat in a spare room backstage putting the finishing touches on his convention speech, his wife tried to pump him up.
“This is your time, this is what you wanted,’’ Andrea Mihos said, looking into his eyes. “It’s never going to happen again.’’
She was right. Six hours later, his long-shot bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination ended in resounding defeat to Charles D. Baker, whose lopsided victory yesterday will keep Mihos off the primary ballot. Mihos said moments later that he would not run for office again.
“Not with this wife,’’ Andrea Mihos said, acknowledging that she had had enough of his political adventures.
Mihos himself sounded almost as relieved as he sat on a folding chair, surrounded by a half-dozen supporters. “I’m going back to being Christy from Christy’s again,’’ he said, referring to his life as a Cape Cod convenience store owner.
“Thank God,’’ Andrea shot back, smiling at her husband of 35 years.
But although his months of campaigning and exhausting all-out push to make the ballot — including two days of missed meals — was rewarded with a blowout in the delegate vote, Mihos said it had all been worth it.
“Running for political office, that’s the best time I’ve ever had in my life,’’ said Mihos, 60.
Baker’s campaign lodged a strong effort to keep Mihos off the September primary ballot, distributing fliers highlighting his statement in a 2006 interview that he would vote for Democrat Deval Patrick if he was not running himself. Many delegates interviewed on the floor yesterday faulted Mihos for running as an independent in 2006, saying it damaged Kerry Healey’s bid for governor.
Before the vote, Mihos tried to drum up support for keeping him on the Republican primary ballot, saying it would be a chance to attract media attention to the party in the coming months.
“Are we up for a primary or not?’’ Mihos asked a group of Duxbury delegates on the convention floor.
One of the delegates, Paula Harris, offered a shrug and a polite smile in response.
“I can’t lie. I’ve never played poker well,’’ she said in an interview after Mihos moved on to canvass others. “I think Christy has a lot of great things to say. I think he hasn’t channeled it well . . . we need a united front.’’
Greg Dulchinos of Chelmsford was the rare delegate who said he wanted Mihos on the ballot “mainly just to give him a chance,’’ he said. “I know he sometimes stooped a little low, but . . .’’ he continued, trailing off without finishing the thought.
Mihos’s advisers, in preparing for yesterday’s big convention speech, were trying to help him hone a pitch that would avoid giving the pro-Baker crowd a chance to boo him, and preparing him to respond in case they did.
“It’s body language,’’ said Greg O’Brien, an old friend from Cape Cod who has been advising Mihos on communications. “People need to see the confidence, the excitement.’’
The speech he wound up giving, after taking the stage to the tune of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,’’ avoided any references to the state’s health care plan as “Romney Care’’ or “Baker Care,’’ phrases edited out to avoid enflaming the crowd.
It included several lines designed to win applause, including antitax promises, critiques of the Big Dig, and pledges to eliminate some tolls. There were a few ovations, and no boos. “We’ve got the banners, the signs, we’ve got the music,’’ Mihos said from the stage. “But this isn’t about that. This is about you.’’
Mihos cast his opponents as the party establishment, arguing that the people, regardless of party affiliation, want choices.
“Do they want a primary?’’ he said of party insiders during an interview. “I don’t think so. They just want another suit.’’
Though his campaign has been dogged by financial problems and a steady parade of advisers leaving in frustration and confusion, Mihos remained a threat to make the ballot until the end. When the vote count came in, he pledged his support to Baker, calling him a “real Republican.’’
“It’s all over,’’ he told his wife and son, Christy Mihos IV. “Let’s go home.’’
- Jonathan Melle
- Amherst, NH, United States
- I am a citizen defending the people against corrupt Pols who only serve their Corporate Elite masters, not the people! / My 2 political enemies are Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., nicknamed "Luciforo" and former Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. / I have also pasted many of my political essays on "The Berkshire Blog": berkshireeagle.blogspot.com / I AM THE ANTI-FRANK GUINTA! / Please contact me at email@example.com
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