This morning’s Boston Globe has a pretty good piece on political corruption in Massachusetts. The former House Speker, Sal DiMasi, is looking at some very hefty corruption charges, and the evidence seems very solid. DiMasi, if convicted, would be the third consecutive Speaker to be convicted on felony corruption charges, following Tom Finneran and Charlie Flaherty.
The Globe cites two other prominent Massachusetts politicians who have also recently been convicted of corruption — former State Senator Dianne Wilkerson and former Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner. And they also talk about how the DiMasi scandal has affected Governor Deval Patrick.
But in all the words about corruption, one word is never mentioned. One term that is essential to the story, one word that ties all six of these prominent elected officials (sitting and former) together.
Massachusetts is as close to being a one-party state as there can be — discounting Senator Scott Brown, the Democrats hold the entire Congressional delegation, every single statewide elective office, and a supermajority (over 85%) of each House of their legislature. So, in that sense, it’s understandable that they don’t mention the corrupt pol’s party affiliation — in the Bay State, it can pretty much be assumed.
But it still smells funny.
What is less excusable is the Globe’s failure to mention how it has endorsed and given major support to each of the above-mentioned pols over the years. They endorsed all of them, repeatedly. It championed them and their causes. It covered for them when they got caught in “mistakes” and “errors in judgment” until they got too big to ignore.
And there is one other point that needs to be hammered home. DiMasi has been indicted by a federal grand jury. Finneran and Flaherty were convicted in federal court, as were Wilkerson and Turner.
What’s so significant about that? Because it means that none of them were brought down by the state officials whose job it is to fight that kind of corruption. Officials such as Attorney General Martha Coakley, who the Globe fought for tooth and nail when she ran against Scott Brown for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. In Massachusetts if you’re a politician and thinking about indulging in corruption, the message is clear: don’t sweat the state officials; they’ll turn a blind eye. No, it’s only the feds you gotta worry about.
Then again, considering how close an ally Governor Patrick is to President Obama, and Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder has shown little interest in corruption charges that don’t benefit them directly.
Your Democratic party at work, folks. This is exactly what you get when the Democrats completely own a state. And you know just how rancid the state is when the Boston Globe — the party organ of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts — comments on the stench.
Update: Why didn’t anyone point out I forgot to actually link to the Glob column?