Gov. Patrick slams ‘misleading’ newspaper ad

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Apr. 29, 2013

A newspaper ad featuring a photo of Gov. Deval Patrick and a candidate for the vacant First Suffolk Senate seat is “misleading,” Patrick said Sunday.

“This past week, a group calling itself Communities United PAC published a misleading ad in a local newspaper implying that I had endorsed Nick Collins in his race against Linda Dorcena Forry and Maureen Dahill for the Democratic nomination for the 1st Suffolk District in the State Senate,” Patrick said in a statement released by his political committee on Sunday. “That is not true. I have not endorsed anyone in the primary because I intend to support the successful Democratic nominee in the general election -- whoever that is.”

The full-page ad ran in the Bay State Banner, a weekly newspaper that covers the African-American community in Boston. The ad, which bills itself as an open letter and outlines the reasons Communities United endorsed Collins, shows Patrick and Collins standing together in a picture on its right-hand side. Communities United is chaired by William “Bill” Celester, a former candidate for state representative.

Collins, a state representative from South Boston, is in a three-way Democratic primary with Linda Dorcena Forry, a state representative from Dorchester’s Lower Mills neighborhood, and Maureen Dahill, a South Boston Democrat and entrepreneur. Dorcena Forry is married to Reporter editor Bill Forry.

The winner of the April 30 primary will face Dorchester Republican Joseph Ureneck in the special election slated for May 28. The seat opened up after longtime state Sen. Jack Hart, a South Boston Democrat, decamped for a job at a law firm.

In his statement, Gov. Patrick added: “I hate shady campaign tactics. Overcoming them will depend on voters participating and making their voices heard. I urge all eligible voters in Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park and South Boston to get out and vote on Tuesday, and to send to the state Senate a strong, progressive partner to help build a better Commonwealth for all of us.”

Leonard Lee, treasurer for Communities United, said they have contacted the Banner and asked them to remove the picture from advertisement, though the newspaper has already been distributed. The ad, which features members of Communities United standing with Collins, also remains on the Banner’s website as part of digital replica of last week’s edition.

“It’s just a general photograph,” Lee told the Reporter on Monday morning, when asked about Patrick’s statement. The photograph was meant to demonstrate the “diversity of the people [Collins] knows,” Lee said.

The governor’s name “wasn’t even mentioned in the ad,” Lee added.