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New Chapter in the DiMasi Story

Today former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi was indicted for “conspiracy, honest services mail fraud, aiding and abetting, and honest services wire fraud” related to the awarding of a multi-million dollar contract to Cognos software. For most of us, this isn’t a shock.  The Globe has been writing investigative stories about this for a year and the story lines all lead to the speaker.  Still, it’s a milestone in that it moves the issue from a story to a courtroom.  Whether the story ends in a jail cell is up to a jury at this point.

This is not water under the bridge. The people who put DiMasi in power are all still in power themselves, and they need to be called to account.  DiMasi was re-elected to his speakership just five months ago, and resigned three weeks after that.  Each of us needs to call up our representative and ask them why they voted to make DiMasi their leader.  Read my post from January, when I asked what our legislators are made of: We all knew he was ethically compromised, but they elected him anyway.  Why?

I’m particularly unhappy with my legislator, Jay Kaufman.  Kaufman didn’t just vote for DiMasi.  He nominated him, complete with glowing speech.  He even went on a publicity tour to shore up DiMasi’s reputation.  Check this quote, given after one of DiMasi’s claims of innocence:

“This should put an end to the questions about the speaker’s integrity and about his seriousness of purpose, ” said Representative Jay Kaufman, Democrat of Lexington and chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Service. “But cynics and skeptics abound in this business, and all of us in it know that.”

End of questions about his integrity, Jay?  Really?  A grand jury still has some questions.  So do I.  And they’re questions about you.


Comment from Quantum Mechanic
Time: June 2, 2009, 11:24 pm

Hopefully the GJ will put people like Kaufman in its crosshairs.

Comment from dunster
Time: June 2, 2009, 11:36 pm

I haven’t seen anything that suggests that Kaufman broke the law (and I hope I didn’t imply that). But I am suggesting that Kaufman was spineless and shameless in his support of DiMasi’s re-election.

Comment from Quantum Mechanic
Time: June 3, 2009, 12:19 pm

No, *you* didn’t imply it. However, MA being MA, I wouldn’t for a second be surprised to find out that the reason Kaufman was being such a staunch DiMasi defender was because he was getting his back scratched by DiMasi somehow. Cui bono, buddy.

The MA Legislature is like Major League Baseball — you’re hopelessly naive if you say “well, *my* guy could never be doing it.”

Comment from Scott
Time: June 3, 2009, 12:57 pm

I’m with you on this. I live in Wilmington where Jim Miceli is our rep. He, just like Kaufman, praised Dimasi when re-electing him to speaker. He was quoted in the globe as saying Dimasi had done nothing wrong and people were unfairly trying to link him to corruption. Well Jim it looks like everyone outside of the State House was right and saw the signs. Now you and Kaufman need to explain yourself. I know I wont forget this and when Miceli comes up for re-election I will proudly put his competitors campaign sign on my lawn and talk to my neighbors about why they should not vote for Miceli.

Comment from M J. Hanley
Time: June 3, 2009, 10:36 pm

This blogger is quite shakey. He is a supporter of many in town crazies from Arlingotn and the Kaufman camp and circle of his supporters. All of the sudden he is “shocked” by the “spanking” rep.’s support for the North End scumbag???
Sounds like my former neighbor is running for cover. This is truely a disengenous blog.

Comment from dunster
Time: June 3, 2009, 11:00 pm

MJ, there’s nothing sudden about this post. The proof is right here on this website. Read the posts tagged “Arlington” and read the posts tagged “Massachusetts” and you will see that I’ve been demanding a more ethical government, from Romney to Patrick, Marzilli to Kaufman to Donnelly, ever since I started writing in ’03. You’re welcome to post your comment here, but your statements are easy to disprove with a couple of clicks.

Comment from red
Time: June 6, 2009, 1:45 pm

I saw this blog-item pulled to the Homepage of the other day. I’ve attended Jay Kaufman’s Open Houses in the past and think him an excellent communicator. I do admit, howevre, I never could reconcile his role in nominating Dimasi with his past positions, especially as they related to the pre-Dimasi leadership. I know Jay monitors and posts to blogs (Blue Mass Group–e.g., his (dis)interest in Havern’s vacated seat). Perhaps Jay can take the initail post on this topic head-on and explain his position and motivating factors on these matter. Jay: the floor is yours.