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Political Circuit

Protege honors judge at portrait unveiling

Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, right, will appear Saturday at an event for Deval Patrick. Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, right, will appear Saturday at an event for Deval Patrick. (Rebecca Cook/ Reuters)
June 6, 2010

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The unveiling of a portrait of US District Court Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf in the federal courthouse in Boston Friday prompted soaring tributes to the jurist from friends ranging from the cellist Yo-Yo Ma to Scott Kafker, a former law clerk of Wolf’s who now sits on the state Appeals Court.

Despite the many dignitaries on hand, no tribute was more moving than that of Hilani Morales, a freshly minted 26-year-old graduate of Northeastern University School of Law. Some of the several hundred judges, lawyers, and politicians teared up as she recounted how she met Wolf 10 years ago when she interviewed for a summer fellowship at the courthouse for public high school students from Boston and Springfield.

Morales grew up in an unstable home in Dorchester, was a ward of the state, and was told by her own father “every day in my life that I wouldn’t amount to anything,’’ she said at the event, which marked Wolf’s 25th anniversary on the bench.

Wolf, appointed in 1985, helped approve her appointment as a fellow and has become a surrogate father to her.

“Throughout law school, he was my number one cheerleader, even in my first year, when I swore I would drop out every other week,’’ she said.

On May 28, she graduated from law school. Her father was not there, but Wolf was.

“You should have seen the look on Judge Wolf’s face,’’ she said. “He was glowing.’’

Wolf, 63, praised Groton artist Mary Minifie for his portrait, which will hang in the courtroom of the late Judge Reginald C. Lindsay.

“I think you’ll agree that, given what she had to work with,’’ he said, “Mary did a brilliant job.’’

— Jonathan Saltzman

Laker, Celtics team to fund-raise for Patrick
There will be a two-hour respite in the Celtics-Lakersrivalry next weekend when Lakers’ legend Earvin “Magic’’ Johnson joins with Celtics star Ray Allen, coach Doc Rivers, and team co-owner Steve Pagliuca to host a fund-raiser for the reelection campaign of Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray.

The event will be at the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday night, the eve of game five — yes, we are confident there will be one — of the best-of-seven NBA championship series, the 12th between the two storied franchises. Tickets start at $100, and it’s $1,500 to attend an “exclusive prereception’’ event.

Johnson, a Hall of Famer, is part of the ABC broadcast team for the series.

Alex Goldstein, Patrick’s campaign spokesman, said that “whether or not Doc or Ray are able to attend will depend upon the finals schedule, but the governor is grateful to have their help and support and wants them to focus first and foremost on winning [the team’s] 18th championship.’’

We can’t argue with that.

Meanwhile, newly filed campaign finance reports show that Republican Charles D. Baker continues to take in more than his rivals, but that state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, despite a drop-off in fund-raising, still has the most cash on hand. In May, Cahill raised $103,706 and spent $84,373, leaving him with more than $3.4 million. Baker raised $375,075, spent $281,853, and had more than $2.3 million on hand. Patrick’s campaign took in $224,588, spent $218,008, and had a little more than $1 million in its account.

— Brian C. Mooney

Puppet video endorses Mary Z. Connaughton
Mary Z. Connaughton, Republican candidate for state auditor, may be cornering the plush vote in this year’s election. She was endorsed online by a fiscally conservative puppet who is “sick and tired of all the spending both at the Massachusetts State House and in Washington.’’

The YouTube video, which was reposted on the blog Red Mass Group, shows the puppet in front of a toy adding machine, extolling Connaughton’s virtues as a professional auditor and comparing her to a pit bull, with K-9 picture supplied, as jaunty music plays.

About halfway through, the turtleneck-clad puppet appears angry: “It’s got to stop! We don’t have any money!’’

Connaughton said she did not produce, conceive, or pay for the video. It was put up by a fan, whose YouTube site includes several similar ads on a host of topics.

“I’ll accept the Muppet vote,’’ Connaughton said.

Though the puppet in the video bears some resemblance to the candidate, it is probably a coincidence. The same puppet can be seen in other videos denouncing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling on US Representative Barney Frank to retire, and questioning the nationality of President Obama.

— Noah Bierman

Tweet of the week
About that upcoming fund-raiser for Patrick: Amy Goodrich (@Amy_Goodrich), a communications specialist with the Charles D. Baker campaign, wasted little time Friday, after news of the event broke, to needle the governor for cavorting with Magic Johnson in the midst of another epic Lakers-Celtics series. She asked Friday, “Is A-Rod next?’’

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