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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

No tears formula

The normally verbose Tom Finneran has been rather silent since the Supreme Judicial Court upheld the decision to strip him of his license to practice law after pleading guilty to lying under oath.

Smart move. His friends should try the same approach.

John A. Stefanini, Finneran’s former legal counsel in the House, said Finneran had been “presented as a trophy’’ by the US attorney’s office because of his prominent position in public life.

“It’s sad that public pressure and the substantial and significant long arm of the Justice Department have forced the court into this posture, owing to his public visibility,’’ Stefanini said. “It’s sad for him; it’s sad for the system.’’

Sad for the system? Let's see now. The Speaker of the Massachusetts House tried to use the redistricting process to redraw the lines to dilute the votes of black and Hispanic residents in districts much like his own. He then lied under oath about his participation.

What is sadder for the system?

The public does not trust elected officials to work on their behalf. Finneran was caught in a lie in a case where it could be argued he was working on his own behalf. It came during a time when he was the most powerful elected official in the Commonwealth, even though he was elected by voters in one district and therefore unanswerable to anyone else.

So he tried to fix the game so he wouldn't have to worry about answering to his own constituents.

Tommy should wisely continue to keep his own counsel -- and advise his friends to do the same.

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