The major party candidates for Massachusetts Governor squared off in their most heated debate yet Tuesday night, as the candidates traded accusations and vigorously defended themselves.
Republican Charlie Baker denied he was ever a part of a pay-to-play scheme over a $10,000 donation he made to the New Jersey GOP. Shortly after, New Jersey invested 15 million dollars with General Catalyst, a venture capital firm from which Baker is on leave.
During the debate, Baker said he has tried to be transparent about the issue from the beginning.
"I hired an attorney," he said. "The attorney happened to be the former general counsel of Federal Election Commission. I gave him my employment contract and every other document associated with this issue. And I said, if there’s a problem here, please tell me what it is and I’ll be happy to correct it."
And Coakley, for her part, denied last-minute accusations from former inspector general Greg Sullivan that she deliberately avoided investigating charges against former House Speaker Sal DiMasi, who was eventually sent to federal prison.
Coakley said Sullivan's comments are absolutely untrue.
“He’s either flat out lying or flat out wrong,” she said.
Baker has taken leads in some recent opinion polls, and won endorsements from a slew of newspaper editorial boards. During the debate, Baker said he was gratified to receive support from the Boston Globe.
“They believe, as I do, that state government is broken and the next governor in Massachusetts has to be a proven manager with tremendous success in both the public sector and private sector,” Baker said.
Coakley downplayed Baker’s advantage.
“What matters of course is not a newspapers endorsement, or what other polls say," she said. "They’re up, they’re down. I believe this race is pretty close right now.”
The Coakley campaign has also emphasized its get-out-the-vote operation, saying Democrats have a proven track record of getting their supporters to the polls on election day.
The candidates meet in their final televised debate Tuesday night.