Selectman Steve Gaumer votes against condemning fake signs

YARD SIGNSaying the board was spending too much time talking about the obvious as opposed to doing the work of the people, selectman Steve Gamer voted no on the board’s condemnation of fake signs put up the day before the annual elections that stated voting for now selectman Karen Quigley would result in former town manager Mike Coughlin’s return to Cohasset and would reignite the Cat Dam issue.

Select chair Fred Koed read from the Mass General Laws, pointing out that any person publishing false statements against candidates for public office, designed to defeat that candidate, could be fined $1000 or spend 6 months in prison. On a vote of 4-1 the board voted to condemn that kind of behavior.

Gaumer said he had already spent an hour and a half of his time being interviewed by Detective Greg Lennon regarding the fake signs; he was not going to give any more time to the issue. He said he was certainly supported Mass General Laws, but did not appreciate having to answer questions for one and a half hours about the fake signs.

The fake signs were put up during the early morning hours on the Friday before the Saturday annual election. Now selectman Karen Quigley spent most of that Friday fielding phone calls from irate citizens who said they had not given her permission to put her signs on their lawns. Neither the Mariner nor the Ledger would cover the story and/or allow Quigley to deny that the signs had been put up by her campaign. Tinytown Unleashed did cover the sign story and allowed Quigley to state that the signs did not reflect her opinion and were not her campaign signs.

Later in the evening former selectman candidate Russ Bonetti addressed the board, saying he found it difficult to believe that the board’s condemnation of the fake signs was not unanimous. Bonetti said Detective Lennon too interviewed him. “Do I think there are bigger fish to fry? Yes, but the signs needed to be investigated and it should have been a 5-0 vote.”

Jack Keniley, selectman Gaumer’s campaign chairman, said the Gaumer campaign had decided up front to run a clean campaign. “I wish I could say the same for the other campaigns.” Keniley then said he would be happy to release to the board political emails sent out by the other campaigns. He said the emails he had collected were shocking, and “There’s a whole other side of this.” He added that there  were rumors that the Quigley campaign itself had put out the fake signs.

Koed said this was the first time he had seen election fraud in Cohasset, “And I hope it’s the last time.” He added that he was very familiar with election fraud. “Free speech is having citizens put the signs up themselves.”

Responding to Keniley, Koed said the shocking emails Keniley wanted to show the board weren’t going to put anyone in jail for 6 months.

Selectman Quigley said the fake signs were not put out by her campaign.

© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed