No clown this time, but still a circus

On the Town

From the beginning, there were suspicions that Sam Adams was the secret force behind the election complaints against Sho Dozono. No need to wonder why.

Of all the candidates in the mayor's race, Dozono was his only serious competition.

In time-honored P-town fashion, the rest of the field was - no offense intended - a motley collection of vanity candidates who didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell.

Last time out, for example, there were 23 candidates for the mayor's job, including sign painter Scot (Extremo the Clown) Campbell, the late Jim Spagnola, who used to prance around naked on his own cable access show, and Craig Gier, an earnest 22-year-old Franklin High grad who makes wall hangers for Brooklyn Hardware.

As everyone knew from the start, however, there were only two serious candidates on the list - city Commissioner Jim Francesconi and former police chief Tom Potter. The rest were all there for political theater.

This year there are 14 candidates for mayor - and while I wish them all the best, it's obvious that the only two who have a realistic shot at winning are Adams and Dozono.

Or to put it another way, the only member of the field who has anything to gain from forcing Dozono out of the race - which is exactly what the complaints would do, was Adams himself.

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In any case, it's easy enough to see why a few eyebrows were raised when the complaints - technically, appeals of the city auditor's decision to give Dozono $161,171 in public financing - started arriving at the elections office Monday morning.

The first complaint was from a candidate by the name of Beryl McNair, who, bless her heart, works as a patient services assistant at the VA.

Reached by phone, McNair absolutely denied that she'd had any discussions with the Adams campaign on this or any other subject.

The second complaint, which arrived Monday afternoon, was from Craig Gier. Gier, now 26 - which makes him four years older than he was the last time he ran for mayor - sounded even more sincere in his denials.

The third complaint was filed Tuesday by Bruce Broussard, whose name may ring a bell because last election cycle he got caught up running for the City Council and the U.S. Congress at the same time.

Some folks just like to run for office, I guess, and Broussard is one of them. However, I don't think for a moment that he's guilty of colluding with the Adams camp. He's just not the type.

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Not surprisingly, Adams' campaign director, Jennifer Yocom, also denied any such skullduggery.

'We're not behind these appeals,' she said - and quite possibly she was even telling the truth.

On the other hand, it was a matter of record that Yocom had displayed a considerable interest in legal questions surrounding the Dozono poll from the beginning, sending inquiry after inquiry - one of them 17 pages long - to the elections office.

Was the Adams camp behind the first wave of complaints? Did he arrange for them, to make him seem less like a conniving politician when he came forward with his own? We'll probably never know.

Even now that Adams has come out of the shadows to register his own official, well-lawyered complaint, you can't help wondering:

Just how far will this guy go to get rid of the only person standing in his way?