Commissioner Statement on Renovation Contradicts Cahill’s
“It’s been a rough stretch here for Tim Cahill. First he had to change his story about the office makeover because the truth makes him uncomfortable, and now one of his defenders has admitted we were right about it all along.”
– Tim Murtaugh, Republican Governors Association
Massachusetts Lottery Commissioner Derek Davis today took to the news media to defend candidate for governor Tim Cahill from charges of fiscal irresponsibility during his time as State Treasurer, charged with administration of the Lottery. Unfortunately for Cahill, Davis directly contradicted Cahill’s recent claims that taxpayers did not foot the bill for a $1.3 million renovation of Lottery offices, including flat-screen TVs and lime-green art deco sofas.
“It’s been a rough stretch here for Tim Cahill,” said Tim Murtaugh, spokesman for the Republican Governors Association. “First he had to change his story about the office makeover because the truth makes him uncomfortable, and now one of his defenders has admitted we were right about it all along.”
The RGA began running television and radio ads last week, pointing out areas where Cahill has mismanaged his duties as treasurer. The ads specifically highlight a nearly 50-percent jump in administrative Lottery expenditures and the lavish refurbishing of the state offices.
Cahill’s explanation of the renovation and who paid for it has been a case study in the evolution of public statements.
Cahill originally told the Boston Globe in 2008 that the landlord performed the renovation, but that taxpayers picked up the cost of an increased monthly rent: “He said the lottery’s landlord agreed to pay for the renovations and in return raised the rent by $41,243 a month for five years.”
An increase of $41,243 a month over five years projects to a total cost to taxpayers of $2,474,580, significantly more than the $1.3 million reported by the Globe.
Following the airing of the RGA ads, Cahill gave WRKO radio a new and improved version of the story:
Manning: “Another thing they say in this ad, costs have skyrocketed at the Lottery. He spent a million bucks on office renovations.”
Cahill: “Incorrect. Money was spent to renovate the office, but that was not taxpayer money. That was spent by the landlord.”
In an effort to salvage some part of Cahill’s tattered reputation on fiscal issues, Lottery Commissioner Derek Davis today held forth with the news media to clarify Cahill’s position on the renovation. As Davis helpfully explained, “the million dollar renovations to the office were necessary because Bay State residents ‘deserve a hospitable environment.’”
The Massachusetts Republican Party has issued a public records request to Cahill’s office seeking documents related to the lottery’s lease.