Don't discount the Russian espionage angle in the investigation of the President's Day weekend burglary of the New Bedford Elections Office at City Hall.

Too many people for far too long have looked down on the city of New Bedford. This third-rate burglary is another way for the city to highlight its national importance. The residents of the city and the surrounding communities should see it the Russians' way (if it was the forces of Putin that broke into City Hall) and embrace their relevancy in the world.

We have been told the Russians meddled in the 2016 elections and they are going to do it again in 2020. They aren't going to do it the same way they did it before, obviously. Putin and his gang of KGB thugs are willing to do anything, including assassinations, so what would stop them from breaking into an American elections office in a small but important city?


But why pick New Bedford?

The Congressman from this district is William Keating. The longtime prosecutor has recently been elevated to a position in the House that would naturally draw the attention of Russian intelligence and their boss in the Kremlin. Representative Keating, with the Democrats taking over of the House, has become the chairman of a subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee with direct jurisdiction over the United States and Russian affairs.

As chair of the subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment, Congressman Keating will have the ability to influence the manner in which the Kremlin funds its operations: oil and gas sales to Europe. The whole house of cards that is the Russian economy is dependent on the sale of energy and it is also how the Russians influence domestic politics in Europe.

Congressman Keating has been a constant critic of the Russian attack on our elections. Rep. Keating was also recently appointed to the House Armed Services Committee, making him an important link between United States' military policy and the affairs of Russia in the House of Representatives.

Defeating a Congressman like William Keating would be a big win for Team Putin. Far from concealing their role, the Kremlin would want the world to know they were able to influence the election results in the world's greatest republic.

The way to defeat Keating would be to flip the results in New Bedford from Democrat to Republican. The only way to do that would be to tamper with the computers and the electronic records prior to the voting in 2020.

The nerve center for voting in New Bedford is the city's Election Office.

The defeat would be temporary as long as the city continues to have paper ballots, but the propaganda win for the Russians would last forever and it would send a shockwave around the world.

New Bedford's election results are worth the attention of the Kremlin and this "third rate burglary" is worth the attention of the FBI.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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