Once again, we learn that a Republican without sleazy campaign tactics is like a night without stars.

The Boston Globe reports:

[Massachusetts] Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley, who spent part of her career prosecuting child abuse cases, lashed out Thursday at a new television ad accusing her of not doing enough to protect children and demanded that Republican candidate Charlie Baker disavow it. He did not.

The tough new ad — created by the Commonwealth Future Political Action Committee, which supports Baker — and Coakley’s angry reaction to it are among the most personal episodes of the governor’s race to date.

‘The ad is meritless. It’s intentionally misleading. It’s deceitful. And it’s outrageous,’ Coakley, the state’s attorney general, said Thursday morning at her campaign headquarters, her voice at times strained with anger. ‘If he doesn’t pull it, it means he accepts it and that he endorses it.’

And what is the Commonwealth Future Political Action Committee?

As Blue Mass. Group noted last month:

As discovered by [Boston Magazine political reporter David] Bernstein in August, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) PAC created a fake front group to hide their money in supporting Charlie Baker. The Commonwealth Future PAC that you have been seeing on television with [former Mitt Romney aide] Beth Lindstrom which tries to sound like a Massachusetts group is really a front for national Republicans…

More recently, the RGA created a second front group called the American Comeback Comm Massachusetts Independent Expenditure PAC and you guessed it, it has nothing to do with Massachusetts. At this point the sole donation was from the RGA which was put towards mailers for Charlie Baker…

So why are they hiding, setting up front organizations to hide their money, well if you didn’t know the RGA is mainly funded by the inner bowels of Republican sleaze, Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson as their top donors. Their 2014 election cycle top donors also include Harold Simmons of Contran Corp and Bob Perry of Perry Homes, if those names sound familiar they created the Swift Boat Vets.

(Blue Mass. Group has more on the background of this case, and has some keen observations about the sleazy attack on Coakley from former Massachusetts Democratic Party head John Walsh.)

Now why would the Kochs, through these front groups, be so interested in the outcome of this particular race? Well, as we noted back in August:

[During his 2010 gubernatorial race] Baker tried to woo climate-change deniers and floated the idea of abandoning the state’s commitment to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the highly successful northeastern US cap-and-trade effort. While Baker now claims that human-caused climate change is real, he’s still bashing the Cape Wind project as aggressively as he did four years ago, and is still palling around with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who pulled his state out of RGGI—and who himself pals around with the Koch Brothers, as Brad Friedman noted in Mother Jones three years ago.

Baker hasn’t laid out any plans to address climate change. Isn’t it obvious that his plan is to do what his backers tell him to do, and go after RGGI the way his buddy Christie did?

“Moderate Republican,” my foot. Coakley should not be moderate in her attacks on Baker’s buddies, and the agenda they’re so obviously fixated on implementing in Massachusetts.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.