Selective Enforcement

There’s a three-way race for the gubernatorial nomination among Massachusetts Democrats, and the Boston Globe has chosen its candidate (former Clinton administration Deval Patrick) and first runner-up (businessman Chris Gabrieli). That means that it’s open season on #3, Attorney General Tom Reilly. And Reilly seems hell-bent on helping them at every opportunity.

On Sunday, the Globe suddenly discovered that (gasp!) some state contractors are apparently hiring illegal aliens to work on state construction projects such as schools, prisons, and the like. And on Monday, they went to the state’s highest law enforcement official, Mr. Reilly, for his reaction.

Mr. Reilly apparently has never heard of The First Rule Of Digging Yourself Into A Hole: stop digging.

Companies using state money to hire illegal aliens to work on state projects? Not his problem. That’s a federal issue. Reilly’s focus is on enforcing Massachusetts law, including wage laws and employee safety.

That would be a credible defense, but the Globe didn’t stop there. They reached out to their sources in businesses and unions, and asked how well Reilly has done enforcing those laws.

Their answers? Pretty shabbily.

Apparently a lot of companies, stung at being undercut by competitors who underbid them based on paying their illegal alien slaves indentured servants employees substantially below “prevailing wages,” as required by law. In fact, one union says they have lodged 100 complaints with Reilly’s office since 2000 — and 86 are still unresolved.

A few folks have said Reilly’s rather selective view towards enforcing the laws of the Commonwealth are grounds to remove him from office, but others point out that he’s not running for another term as Attorney General — and if he loses the primary, he’s pretty much finished politically. But there’s a part of me that thinks a swift boot to the ass on the way out the door would send a great message to others — if you’re the state’s chief law enforcement officer, it is NOT your place to decide which laws do and do not get enforced.

Bill Roggio Reporting From Afghanistan
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13 Comments

  1. crosspatch June 21, 2006
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