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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Vital(e) statistics

Richard Vitale has filed paperwork saying he isn't a lobbyist and hasn't take any money to get the Massachusetts House to change the way tickets can be re-sold in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Association of Ticket Brokers says it paid Vitale $60,000 in 2007 -- and will file a 2008 spending report later this year.

It appears someone has some 'splainin' to do. And it better a whole lot more convincing than George Regan's insistence that Vitale was a "strategist" and:
“No apportionment has been made to determine what amount, if any, is attributable to any lobbying, or if such lobbying activities were in fact performed.”
Vitale's filing with the Secretary of State's office did not include a list of clients but he has said he was paid to plot strategy help win passage in the House of a bill that would essentially deregulate their industry.

Secretary of State William Galvin has already declared that the law sees no distinction between providing strategy and lobbying. Sounds like lobbying to me too.

This is only getting worse for Vitale and his friend, House Speaker Sal DiMasi. The Charlestown accountant has already been shown the door by the firm he helped to found -- Regan's insistence on a "long-planned retirement notwithstanding. DiMasi is now getting drawn deeper into a vortex that, this time, appears not to be of his own making.

It would seem the wisest course of action would be for Vitale to file an amended lobbying report -- and pronto. List all clients and payments and let's not split hairs over strategy, counsel and lobbying.

If this lingers until the deadline for the 2008 reports, the damage to Vitale's friend DiMasi will be irreparable. And we know the vultures are already circling over him too.

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