Category: Archive

Outcry over Flynn’spetition is nunsense

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Jim Smith

BOSTON – For several days last week, the 8th Congressional District candidacy of former Boston mayor and U.S. ambassador to the Vatican Raymond Flynn seemed to be in serious jeopardy. A Boston Herald newspaper review of signatures on his nomination papers concluded that many of the names listed were written in nearly identical handwriting.

Burton Nadler, an attorney on retainer for one of Flynn’s opponents, Sen. George Bachrach, was mulling a legal challenge to Flynn’s candidacy, having told the Herald that he had confirmed “numerous cases of similar handwriting which could indicate voters did not sign the papers themselves.”

On Friday, voters told reporters that two of Flynn’s opponents, Bachrach and former talk-show host Marjorie Clapprood, were quietly rallying behind the proposed legal challenge while hoping to knock Flynn out of the race. On that same da,y a portion of Flynn’s nomination papers was published in the Herald, listing six names written apparently by the same hand.

One of the names published in the Herald belonged to Julia Kelleher, better known as Sister Julia Kelleher of the Mt. St. Joseph Convent in Brighton. “One of Flynn’s people dropped off the nomination papers here like some of the politicians do, and a lot of the sisters signed it,” Sr. Julia told the Echo Monday. “Our penmanship’s very similar because we use the Palmer method and teach it our students. Some of the sisters were quite upset to see their names in the paper alongside the insinuations that the signatures weren’t legitimate.”

On Friday evening, the nuns contacted Channel 4 TV, which put an end to the simmering signature controversy in its 11 p.m. news.

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“The whole thing seemed unfair to us and to Flynn,” said Sr. Julia, who will be vacationing in Ireland next week. “After all this, I think he’ll be getting quite a few votes from in here.”

Recent polls show Flynn leading in the crowded race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II.

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