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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Friday, June 05, 2009

Guilt by association

It's payback time.

That's the first thought I have reading today's Globe report that Deval Patrick's deputy chief of staff was warned about "political pressure" over the eventual warning of a contract to Cognos ULC, a deal that resulted in this week's indictment of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi.

Political pressure? Well duh! Any indication that DiMasi was taking money? Any suggestion of improper behavior in the administration?

The warnings came from Henry Dormitzer, who eventually was pushed out as undersecretary for administration and finance, or as the No. 2 to Leslie Kirwan.
Dormitzer also told Morales that there were rumors in the department that the contract was being pushed by the House speaker at the time, Salvatore F. DiMasi, say the former officials, who spoke on the condition they would not be named.
Note the key word -- rumors.

Patrick acknowledged he had personally been interviewed by the FBI and the US Attorney's office seems to indicate its job is done here. That part of the story has played out -- except for the rumors.

That said, Patrick shouldn't dance around the issue. He personally acknowledged the FBI visit, then declined to talk more. Morales has not been made available to reporters -- a decision that would be reasonable in most circumstances. But not this one.

The stench emanating from Beacon Hill is likely to taint everyone who doesn't open the doors and windows. Patrick and Morales should sit down with reporters, tell them what they knew and when they knew it.

If there are a few nicks, tough. The cat and mouse going on right now is not helping him. Patrick already recognized the re-election challenge he faces, hiring an architect of the Obama win to get him through the next one.

Clearing the air here -- particularly if as it appears the administration was warned about simple political pressure and nothing improper -- is crucial in this climate.

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