What is it about my friend John McCormack and campaign panic? He’s actually one of the nicest, mild-mannered people you’d ever want to meet, and yet for the second time in three months, John finds himself at the center of controversy. But at least with Dede Scozzafava, she didn’t have campaign thugs rough him up:

After Coakley finished her answer, she began walking away from the restaurant, and I walked behind her asking why health care industry lobbyists were supporting her at the fundraiser. She didn’t reply.

As I walked down the street, a man who appeared to be associated with the Coakley campaign pushed me into a freestanding metal railing. I ended up on the sidewalk. I was fine. He helped me up from the ground, but kept pushing up against me, blocking my path toward Coakley down the street.

He asked if I was with the media, and I told him I work for THE WEEKLY STANDARD. When I asked him who he worked for he replied, “I work for me.” He demanded to see my credentials, and even though it was a public street, I showed them to him.

John has a good idea who the thug might be, but I’ll let you check out his post at TWS for that twist. Irony alert: it might be the man sent by the DSCC to help with “messaging.” I guess he’s on the job, huh?

Needless to say, just as with Scozzafava calling the cops on John, this overreaction appears to come from a sense of panic. Martha Coakley spent all day yesterday with lobbyists trying desperately to raise money as her campaign sinks in Massachusetts, or as Coakley’s campaign puts it, Massachusettes. John, who is a credentialed reporter with a legitimate media outlet, asked her questions that Coakley should have answered, even with a “No comment.” The fact that people who work either for or with the state’s Attorney General feel free to commit assault and battery on a reporter should tell Massachusetts voters all they need to know about Coakley and her views on public accountability.

Every reporter should be outraged at this treatment — and someone needs to get booked for battery.

Update: Here’s a pretty good photo of the assailant:

Say, doesn’t he look an awful lot like this guy (on the right)?

That would be Michael Meehan of Blue Line Strategic Communications, who has worked for John Kerry, Maria Cantwell, and was sent to Massachusetts by the DSCC to handle “messaging” for Coakley.

You know, a state Attorney General should be the person to enforce the law — especially, as this photo shows, she witnessed the assault and battery …