You may have already seen the signs, towed behind planes in Palm Beach County: "Beware thug prosecutors," "Dump McAuliffe for prosecutor, vote for Elmer Fudd," "Smile if You Think Mikey McAuliffe Is a Putz." The Palm Beach Post got to the story of those planes -- and the millionaire funding them and the former state senator helping to coordinate the whole thing for his own political gains.
The Post's story centers on the current candidate for state attorney, former state Sen. Dave Aronberg, and the backroom dealings that went into setting up his run for state attorney. There are betrayals, lies, questions of bribery, and accusations of wearing wires. There's no way to accurately sum up a 5,000-word feature (plus supporting documents) without missing stuff, but here's what you have to look forward to if you put the time into reading the story:
-- Martin O'Boyle is the money behind the operation: The story makes the 60-year-old Deerfield Beach entrepreneur look like a petty, impetuous old man throwing a prolonged, strategic tantrum because his 19-year-old daughter was arrested on DUI charges and then-State Attorney Michael McAuliffe wouldn't meet with him to talk about throwing out the charges.
-- Aronberg is the guy who helped steer O'Boyle's anger toward the state attorney's race. For example, it was Aronberg's idea, the Post reports, to stage a fake protest outside McAuliffe's office using signs that reference a murdered 6-year-old. One of O'Boyle's aides hired actors to hold signs with slogans designed by Aronberg.
-- In addition to Aronberg receiving help from O'Boyle's assistant in filing records requests looking for more dirt on McAuliffe, Aronberg eventually asked O'Boyle for an $80,000 campaign donation. O'Boyle demurred, and the two fought over whether Aronberg would make that DUI arrest go away if he were elected.
-- Eventually, O'Boyle got mad enough at Aronberg that he just gave the Post everything -- though only he knows if it's actually everything. Aronberg's opponent, Robert Gershman, is certainly looking better after this thing came out. He also happens to be representing O'Boyle's daughter in that DUI case. He has complaints of his own about shady dealings, as does Circuit Judge Krista Marx, who says she was threatened by Aronberg supporters as she was considering a run herself. Check out the Post's story for more.