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Boston and Beyond

November 20, 2012

Before ads ran, Cahill suggested his campaign was lost

BOSTON — Tim Cahill’s number two at the state Treasury was a volunteer on his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, though a conversation with the candidate at his Quincy headquarters shook her desire to continue helping, she testified on Monday.

Former First Deputy Treasurer Grace Lee said she visited the headquarters the day of the state primary, Sept. 14, 2010 and when Cahill arrived at the offices following a radio interview she spoke to him about Treasury business, including concerns that she said then-executive director of the Massachusetts State Lottery Mark Cavanagh had raised about a series of Lottery ads that were in the works.

After an email exchange with Cahill’s campaign finance director Scott Campbell, Cavanagh had spoken to Lee, reiterating his concerns about a series of state-funded Lottery ads set to run before the election where Cahill was a candidate for governor.

On Tuesday, Lee testified that Cahill knew his campaign was lost when she spoke with him on primary day. Speaking with Lee, Cahill had an “irritated tone” and raised voice as he explained that Cavanagh’s concerns had already been addressed, Lee testified.

“I already talked to Mark about this. This has nothing to do with the campaign. I’m still the state treasurer and I have to do my job,” Lee said in court, paraphrasing Cahill’s remarks. About the decision to run ads touting the Lottery so close to the election, Cahill said, “I’m damned if I do; damned if I don’t,” according to Lee.

The exchange, which took place days before the Lottery ads were authorized, discouraged Lee, who soon afterwards texted a friend, “I’m done.”

“I was a volunteer and I thought that the conversation was a little rough,” Lee said, explaining her state of mind to prosecutor Eileen O’Brien, who is no relation to the other prosecutor in the case, James O’Brien.

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