Toohey Caught Cheating at League Forum – Rhoton Snubbed

By: Tom Duggan – October 16, 2012

PHOTO GALLERY OF EVENT

The Haverhill League of Women Voters held what they called a candidate forum last night among candidates for State Representative and the 1st Essex Senate District seat.

Karin RhotonBefore the debate was over, however, several members of the audience walked out in protest when the moderator announced that State Rep. Candidate Karin Rhoton (seeking the 14th Essex State Rep Seat) would not be allowed to participate because her opponent Diana DiZoglio did not show up.

Lynne Quinlan of North Andover said the she could not stay and watch the debate saying it was “just not right”. 

“Karin came prepared and ready to participate in the conversation and she is being penalized because her opponent has not shown,” Quinlan said.

“And it’s wrong. It’s absolutely wrong. Karin made the effort to actually show up and did her homework to discuss these issues and she is here and she is being penalized. Incredibly upset about it. It’s just not fair. Karin’s not going to get to speak. I’m appalled by this policy and I am not staying.”

State Representative Linda Dean Campbell had no opponent and she was allowed to participate.

League President Eva Valentine defended the policy of not allowing candidates to participate if their opponent does not show up saying “it’s a policy of the League so that it doesn’t appear as thought we are favoring one candidate over another.”

But some in the audience were not buying it.

“The candidate who had no opponent was allowed to participate but the candidate who has an opponent who didn’t show up was not. That’s just absurd,” one audience member told League President Eva Valentine.

“I don’t buy for one minute that this has anything to do with appearance of favoritism, that just doesn’t make sense,” one male audience member said on his way out.

Toohey Caught Cheating

Throughout the “candidate forum” held at the Haverhill Library Monday evening Haverhill City Councilor Bill Ryan, who sat in the front row, a few short feet from his son-in-law (Republican candidate Shaun Toohey) was observed giving answers to Toohey while other candidates were speaking.

Ryan in previous debates was much quieter and only mouthed answers to Toohey but in the League of Women Voters Debate he vocalized talking points to Toohey angering two of the other candidates.

“He was cheating, and I don’t want to go on the record because I don’t want to make this entire race about his cheating but he is cheating” one of the Independent candidates told the Valley Patriot afterwards.

This is the sixth time the Valley Patriot has observed councilor Ryan helping Toohey cheat in a debate/forum.

At a Chamber of Commerce debate held at DiBurro’s last month, Ryan was seen and heard by our Valley Patriot reporter who sat just inches from Councilor Ryan throughout the entire event.

“I saw him giving the answers to him from the front row and I didn’t say anything but he was giving him answers,” another candidate said.

At the end of the debate, one Toohey supporter (his mother in law and the wife of Haverhill City Councilor Bill Ryan) attacked a reporter calling him “fag and faggot” after complaining about the coverage Toohey received in the newspaper.

“You realized you are making gay slurs in front of a group of people? Right?” the reporter responded.

“Oh you don’t like faggot? How about Sissy? Do you like that better? No, you are a fag, want me to say it again?”

State Representative Lenny Mirra observed the exchanged but walked away without responding.

 

111 Responses to "Toohey Caught Cheating at League Forum – Rhoton Snubbed"

  1. Pennie Hale Lacouture   October 16, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    I find it disturbing that someone would call anyone a fag. It says everything about the person hurling that word, and nothing about who they're saying it to. And Lenny Mirra observed the exchange and walked away? I understand avoiding conflict, but I DO NOT understand observing such an event and not stepping in to offer support to the person receiving the verbal insult. That is just decent human behavior.

    • Christine M Prescott   October 16, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      That guys get the prick of the year award!

    • Mark Gray   October 16, 2012 at 6:52 PM

      I am unimpressed with ALL of them. Disappointing.

  2. Pennie Hale Lacouture   October 16, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    I find it disturbing that someone would call anyone a fag. It says everything about the person hurling that word, and nothing about who they're saying it to. And Lenny Mirra observed the exchange and walked away? I understand avoiding conflict, but I DO NOT understand observing such an event and not stepping in to offer support to the person receiving the verbal insult. That is just decent human behavior.

  3. Russell Pitt   October 17, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    What a jerk. If you aren't intelligent enough to answer the questions on your own without answering like a puppet, you shouldn't be allowed to run.

    • Mona Perez-Mendibles   October 17, 2012 at 8:14 PM

      Russ u r so right!

  4. Tracy Carroll-Grygiel   October 22, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    If I were Shaun Toohey, I'd be offering up some kind of mea culpa for his blatant lack of ethics. It is abhorrent that Toohey's MIL is even let out of the house. How obscene! I'd be embarrassed and ashamed to have that old bag in my political corner.

  5. Tom Lang   October 22, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Time to call Haverhill City Councilor Bill Ryan's wife at home and tell her what we think about bigots who call people "fag" and "faggot!" 978-521-1130

    • Aaron Matthew Arnwine   October 22, 2012 at 9:42 PM

      ugh – but lets not forget that the dems in the house of representatives like to call gop candidates things like sissy and fruitcake as well. but if I was there I would have slapper her face – what trash.

      • Kerry Fitzgerald   November 2, 2019 at 10:06 PM

        Please. You’re watching too much Fox News.

    • Aaron Matthew Arnwine   October 22, 2012 at 9:43 PM

      slapped

  6. Ellen Anaya Lockheart   October 22, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    This is in the public eye, and sorry to say people like this should never have been in politics. There are a lot of homophobic Americans who think they are doing the world a favour by being bigoted, hateful lying and manipulative SOBs

    • Ellen Anaya Lockheart   October 22, 2012 at 10:29 PM

      What it is accomplishing is scaring the rest of us who actually want to do something more important with our lives. It is really depressing how low these right wing bangers are willing to go to show how bad behaviour gets rewarded.

  7. Heather McNeil   October 27, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    The Haverhill League of Women Voters has apologized to both Ms. Rhoton and Ms. DiZoglio for a miscommunication. Ms. DiZoglio did, in fact, contact a member of the Haverhill League to inform them that she was unable to make the forum well in advance of the event. However, that message was then not communicated to other League members running the forum nor to Ms. Rhoton. We sincerely hope that voters will look to other forums, a variety of news sources, the candidates' websites, and even contact the candidates to find out about them and their positions on various issues. It is up to all of us to be active and engaged.

  8. Heather McNeil   October 27, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    The Haverhill League of Women Voters has apologized to both Ms. Rhoton and Ms. DiZoglio for a miscommunication. Ms. DiZoglio did, in fact, contact a member of the Haverhill League to inform them that she was unable to make the forum well in advance of the event. However, that message was then not communicated to other League members running the forum nor to Ms. Rhoton. We sincerely hope that voters will look to other forums, a variety of news sources, the candidates' websites, and even contact the candidates to find out about them and their positions on various issues. It is up to all of us to be active and engaged.

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