Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jon Golnik keeps "Stiff Upper Lip." Will he be "Shot Down in Flames?"

I don't know which day would be worse...the day in May, 2001 when Jon Golnik (R-Carlisle) was arrested--shirtless and under the influence after attending an AC/DC concert--and charged with DUI, or the day in September 2010 when, two weeks before the primary, he is trying to explain that incident away.

We start our coverage with today's story in the Eagle-Tribune, which broke the story yesterday:
Republican congressional candidate Jon Golnik was arrested in 2001 and accused of impaired driving on his way home from a rock concert, but denies an allegation in a police report that he admitted to smoking marijuana.

"I drank beers and drove," said Golnik yesterday. "I never smoked grass. I never smoked marijuana."
Maybe more interesting than the 10-year-old DUI charge is the fantastic series of stories that came out of the sentencing recommendation written at the time by Golnik's attorney. In the memo, the attorney wrote that Golnik did, in fact, use marijuana on the night in question, and that he was on "an emotional rollercoaster" because his brother claimed that he had been forced out of Russia because of a spying incident involving the brother's roommate.

For his part, Golnik explained that he was not covering up the old arrest, but that he didn't figure it would come up:
When asked why he didn't come out and speak about his arrest earlier in the campaign, Golnik said: "It happened almost 10 years ago. ... I didn't think it was going to impact this race."

"I've always let people know that I'm not perfect and I don't know everything," said Golnik. "It's not going to impact my passion and enthusiasm that I've brought to this race.
Interestingly, the story also made its way to Michael Moynihan of Reason Magazine, who just last week penned a profile of Golnik's opponent Sam Meas (R-Haverhill):
But as the race comes down to the wire, Golnik’s opponents—it's unclear which ones—have been doing significant oppo research. This morning I received an anonymous email with a 22-page document attached—one that was also sent to various local media outlets in Massachusetts—containing court and police records detailing a 2001 arrest, in which Golnik was nabbed for driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. A Golnik staffer confirmed the authenticity of the documents; the Meas campaign strenuously denied having anything to do with the document dump.
If the Meas campaign "strenuously denied" being involved with the tip, that means Moynihan asked. Which also means that Moynihan probably had the same idea had when it was learned that Moynihan had been among the outlets to receive the anonymous email: Why would the senior editor of Reason magazine receive this information unless the emailer already had his contact information from a previous interaction? According to the Meas campaign, it was just coincidence that Meas had recently been profiled by this out-of-town writer. ( did not receive the email).

Moynihan also posts a couple of images of the police reports and notes that Golnik sports a shamrock tattoo on his right thigh.

At least it appears that Golnik got to see a good show (if you're into AC/DC). The show the night of May 4, 2001 was held at the then-named Fleet Center, and concert-goer Matt Aucoin penned a review for
I was expecting a decent show, and I was expecting them to live up to their title as being the "loudest concert ever." What I got was a thrilling spectacle, full of just plain simple dumb fun.
Indeed. Aucoin included the full playlist in his review, which can be also heard nearly in its entirety at an NFL stadium on any given Sunday.

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