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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Monday, January 12, 2009

A rose by any other name

Well, I'm certainly glad Thomas Kelly straightened that out.

The friend and fund-raiser for Treasurer Tim Cahill says he engaged in "business development services" when he worked to bring Bingo Innovative Software's product before the Lottery Commission run by Cahill.

Just like Richard Vitale served as a "business strategist" when he advised Massachusetts ticket brokers on an anti-scalping bill approved by the Massachusetts House.

No lobbying on the part of either gentleman. Nope. Heaven forbid.

Kelly, who was also providing "business development services" to Scientific Games, a Bingo Innovative competitor seeking Cahill's ear on the same subject, was looking at an extremely lucrative payday if Bingo Innovative got the contract.

Almost twice as much as Richard McDonough, another associate of House Speaker Sal DiMasi received for his business assistance involving Cognos ULC.

Secretary of State Bill Galvin, who regulates "business development services" and "business strategists" is pretty clear on the topic.
"When there is a tie-in to a particularly government decision to the payment of a success-fee, you come perilously close to a kick-back or corruption act," Galvin said. "That's why Massachusetts law has prohibited these types of payment arrangements for more than 100 years."
So I guess the Legislature really doesn't need to tighten up lobbying laws. Only those that relate to business development and strategy involving government decisions.

Glad we could clear that up.

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