To win the primary, the newcomer overcame the election eve arrest of his brother, Cameron, and campaign field director Thomas J. Vallely, both then 22, in the basement of a Lowell building that housed the headquarters of Kerry and another Democratic contender, state Representative Anthony R. DiFruscia of Lawrence. It was almost 2 a.m. - 30 hours before the polls opened - when the two were arrested on charges of breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny.
That day's Sun blared a memorable, double-deck headline: "Kerry brother arrested in Lowell `Watergate."' DiFruscia, getting some extra ink in the campaign's waning hours, had drawn the parallel to the break-in at Democratic headquarters in Washington three months earlier.
The Kerry camp declared it a setup, saying that the two responded to an anonymous phone call, minutes earlier, threatening to cut the campaign's 36 phone lines on the day before its get-out-the-vote effort. Lowell Police arrested the pair in an area near the trunk line for all of the building's phones.
To this day Kerry becomes animated talking about the episode, convinced it was part of a conspiracy against his insurgency. He said he does not know who was involved. He dismissed as ridiculous the charge that DiFruscia was a target. "He didn't figure in the race," said Kerry.
But some of Kerry's claims in the Lowell break-in are wildly at odds with the facts.
"That headline was held open. That page was held open, according to [Sun] typesetters, at 1 o'clock in the morning," Kerry said. "That doesn't happen at a newspaper, you know that. And that headline was out there on the streets the next morning, first thing."
The Sun, however, was an afternoon paper, and its first deadline was hours after the arrests, in plenty of time to write the story for that day's editions. The Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence also reported the arrests that day, in a smaller story under the headline "Shades of Watergate?"
Kerry's brother today declines to elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the arrests and the charges, which were dropped a year later.
"It was an impulsive, rash thing that we did and that John Kerry ended up having to deal with," said Cam Kerry, now a partner at the Boston law firm of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo. "That's all we're going to say on that one."
Vallely, a former Marine who served in Vietnam and later became a state representative in Boston, had more to say.
"I kicked in the door," he said, and then, police swarmed the area. Vallely said DiFruscia's office was of no interest; the Kerry phone lines were. In hindsight, he said, "We probably were overreacting to someone who was joking." http://www.boston.com/globe/nation/packages/kerry/061803.shtml
I'm hoping that Howie Carr knows some interesting tidbits about our horse-faced Senator. I know Howie thought it pretty funny that Kerry keeps talking about "special interests". I guess he's the King of "special interests". Howie, if you're a lurker, which I'm pretty certain you are, start spilling the beans on John Forbes Kerry.
"But some of Kerry's claims in the Lowell break-in are wildly at odds with the facts."
And this is from the Boston Globe!