Sohn and Shays
In late November, Christopher Shays was still absorbing the shock of having lost his bid for re-election after 22 years in Congress when he made a troubling discovery: Tens of thousands of dollars had disappeared from his campaign treasury.
The news got worse, according to an adviser to Mr. Shays: The man Mr. Shays entrusted to run his political operation for nearly a decade had been quietly draining the account and had spent nearly $200,000 on Red Sox tickets, limousine travel, mysterious withdrawals at the Foxwoods casino and a donation of more than $1,000 to his synagogue.
The campaign manager, Michael Sohn, has not (yet) been charged with a crime…
In an interview this week, Mr. Shays said, “To lose an election is difficult; what happened since then is unimaginable…”
Mr. Sohn began as an intern for Mr. Shays and eventually became one of his most trusted advisers, Mr. Shays said. As campaign manager, he helped lead Mr. Shays to victories through a series of tough elections over the past decade before the congressman’s defeat in November.
It was a tough period politically for Mr. Shays, who until his defeat was the only Republican from New England in the House of Representatives. Democratic leaders in Washington had made him a target for defeat, pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the district, while the national Republican Party…left Mr. Shays to fend for himself.
Criminals beget crime – to wax Old Testamentish. Washington corruption and cronyism – even when working for a reasonably straight arrow style Republican like Chris Shays – has got to rub off on your brain.
You see the wheeler dealers skimming money and favors, the government accepts it, Congress stays clammed up about it, newspapers never do more than vaguely allude to it – why expect everyone to live up to civics class standards?
Part of changing requires changing the landscape.