< .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Massachusetts Liberal

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

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sweet deal

Hey, Richard Vitale. I have some bills I'd be happy to have you pay off.

Let's start with the acknowledgment that Vitale's assistance to House Speaker Sal DiMasi's in-laws is legal -- because the state's ethics laws don't include in-laws in the scope of relatives of elected officials covered by the law.

Let's also acknowledge that those laws are not, as DiMasi has suggested, among the toughest in the nation.

And let's go to a basic question: would your accountant pay off legal bills for you, your siblings, cousins or in-laws, no strings attached? If so, I'd love the name.

The web of circumstances and questions building around Vitale and DiMasi just keeps getting deeper. It may explain why Vitale's attorney has pushed -- so far successfully -- to keep sealed a list of particulars against his client put together by Attorney General Martha Coakley.

There is no evidence, based on the Globe story, that DiMasi knew about Vitale's generosity. There is no publicly available evidence that Vitale profited from the relationship -- in an illegal way.

But there is plenty of evidence that DiMasi continues to be tainted by the slow drip of information.

It will be fascinating to see who he names as head of the House Ethics Committee when those appointments are revealed. Or how quickly lawmakers take up the proposals authored by a special panel named by Gov. Deval Patrick.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home