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The Religious Affiliation of Massachusetts Attorney General
Scott Harshbarger


Massachusetts politician Scott Harshbarger is the son of a minister. He is a member of the Church of the Brethren.

Self-submitted biographical information published in Congressional Quarterly, from: "Candidate Profile from Congressional Quarterly: Scott Harshbarger", in "All Politics" section of CNN.com website (http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/1998/states/MA/G/scott.harshbarger.html; viewed 1 December 2005):

Scott Harshbarger (D) of Westwood
Challenger
- Born: December 1, 1941, New Haven, Conn.
- Education: Harvard U., B.A., 1964, L.L.B., 1968.
- Military Service: None.
- Occupation: Lawyer.
- Family: Wife, Judith; five children.
- Religion: Church of the Brethren.
- Political Career: Middlesex County district attorney, 1983-90; Mass. attorney general, 1990-present.
From: Philip Dhingra, "Who is in Bernard Goldberg's 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America? And Why?", written 8 August 2005 (http://www.philosophistry.com/specials/100-people.html):
40. Scott Harshbarger (Mass. Attorney General)
Harshbarger built a child-abuse case against a day-care center's owners using solely testimony from forty children. Upon investigation by the show 20/20, the testimonies appear forced by Harshbarger. Harshbarger was relentless in keeping the accused behind bars, and he remains as a force in the general climate of child-abuse hysteria.
From: "Scott Harshbarger and the Amirault Case" webpage on Zpub.com website (http://www.zpub.com/un/un-sh.html; viewed 2 December 2005):
[Stories about Scott Harshbarger and the Amirault "child abuse" case:]

.... the mockery of reason and justice -- that began when District Attorney Scott Harshbarger mounted a sensational case of child sex abuse against the Amirault family, owners of the Fells Acres Day School in Malden. That was 1984. Today, Scott Harshbarger is the president of Common Cause, spokesman for all the latest in progressive-liberal enlightenment, and Gerald Amirault remains in prison, where he has been for nearly 14 years, with 20 years or more left to serve. "Governor Cellucci's Chance", The Wall Street Journal Thursday, April 20, 2000

"Why Swift should free Amirault" (http://boston.com/dailyglobe2/229/oped/Why_Swift_should_free_Amirault+.shtml) by James M. Shannon, Boston Globe, 8/17/2001

"Former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger made a political career by framing the Amirault family on child sex abuse charges." [from] "The Private Use of Public Policy" (http://www.independent.org/tii/news/ibd_roberts1.html) by Paul Craig Roberts

Massachusett's Scott Harshbarger, who built the fictional case against the Amirault family. Issue # 97 (http://www.crimlaw.org/defbrief97.html)

From: Michael J. Ring, "1920s Election, 1990s Style", published on 7 April 7 1998 in The Tech (Massachusetts Institute of Technology newspaper), Volume 118, Number 17 (http://www-tech.mit.edu/V118/N17/ring.17c.html; viewed 2 December 2005): The American nation has always struggled with the contrast between the Puritans and the party-goers. The Yankee work ethic and emphasis on societal intervention contrasts with the Jeffersonian ideals of personal liberty and individual freedom. Throughout the political history of our nation, these differences have manifested themselves not only in the conflicting ideologies of candidates, but also in conflicting backgrounds, personalities, and characters...

In this election, the Puritan is the Democrat, Attorney General L. Scott Harshbarger. He is expected to dispose of his three primary challengers. The party-goer is the Republican, Acting Governor A. Paul Cellucci, who will likely turn back a bloody primary challenge from Treasurer Joseph D. Malone.

Scott Harshbarger and Paul Cellucci could not be more different in style and personality. Harshbarger is the son of a minister while Cellucci the son of an auto dealer. Harshbarger went to Harvard while Cellucci studied at Boston College. Harshbarger is a member of the Church of the Brethren while Cellucci worships as a Roman Catholic. Harshbarger is perceived as a political outsider, having aggressively prosecuted both Republicans and Democrats during his tenure as Attorney General. Cellucci is seen as a political insider, having been continuously involved in Beacon Hill politics since his election as State Representative in 1976.

Many of their respective stances follow naturally from their backgrounds. Harshbarger has made tobacco crackdown a personal crusade; he has frequently challenged the industry in court. Cellucci is a follower, rather than a leader, on the issue. The two also strongly differ on gambling. Harshbarger is vehemently opposed to a Native-American-developed bingo hall in the economically depressed city of Fall River and has promised to make full use of the courts to stop gaming expansion in Massachusetts. Cellucci supports the Fall River bingo hall agreement reached by his predecessor, William F. Weld.

On this issue of gaming one can see a clear difference between the trustworthiness of the two candidates, and again our tale twists back to 1928. In that year questions of honesty dogged Al Smith, a son of New York's Tammany Hall machine. Smith himself was not a corrupt ward boss, but he paid dearly for the sins of political corruption and peddling committed by his predecessors, such as William Marcy Tweed and William Croker. In our modern-day examination, however, the ethical questions dogging Cellucci were not created by his predecessors but by himself. And there are plenty of questions to which the citizens of the Commonwealth should demand answers...

Scott Harshbarger offers a breath of fresh, honest air from the maddening insanity surrounding Paul Cellucci. He makes the tough decisions and sticks to them. The Attorney General is unafraid to go to Fall River and express his disdain for the bingo hall. He has relentlessly prosecuted dishonest politicians, both Republican and Democrat, during his tenure as Attorney General.

In fact, Harshbarger is disliked by many Democrats for the fair and honest way in which he executed of the office of Attorney General. Ray Flynn, former mayor of Boston and another Democrat gubernatorial candidate, is said to be furious at Harshbarger for his investigation of the Flynn machine, a probe which ended in the conviction of several members of Flynn's inner circle. But who among the objective citizenry would say Harshbarger was wrong to prosecute fellow Democrats if they were breaking the law? Indeed, the Attorney General is a man of valor and honor who executes his duties with a sense of justice and decency, not patronage or pay-back.

Like the federal election of seventy years hence, this year's Massachusetts gubernatorial election will offer two candidates who sharply contrast in personality and character. Seventy years ago, the American voters turned away from Al Smith because of the faint whiff of corruption and dishonesty which surrounded him and picked the more puritanical Hoover. Considering that surrounding Paul Cellucci is not a trace but an overwhelming stench of hypocrisy, broken promises, and ethical questions, we all must hope the citizens of this Commonwealth show the same disposition as those who employed presidential suffrage seventy years ago. The clear choice in this race for integrity, prudence, and discretion is Attorney General L. Scott Harshbarger.

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Webpage created 1 December 2005. Last modified 5 December 2005.
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