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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Speaker speaks. Finally

Bristol Palin. Full-body scans and pat downs. A budding war in Korea. Thanksgiving Tuesday. Bobby DeLeo sure tried hard to bury the news.

It didn't work. Whether anyone is paying attention is still an open question, but the Probation Department scandal isn't going away any time soon.

Using a variation on the Friday afternoon news dump, a "saddened and upset" DeLeo used the Tuesday before Turkey Day to jettison Rep. Thomas Petrolati from his leadership team and offer his first minimally significant comment about the Ware Report and the Probation Depart Department patronage machine that has its roots in his House.
“The findings of the Independent Counsel . . . are severe, significant and disturbing,’’ said DeLeo. “It is clear the Probation Department cries out for reform and, as the speaker of the House, I intend to lead those reforms.’’
That's quite a different tone from the testimony he offered to independent counsel Paul Ware, when questioned about the hiring policies at a agency that served as an full-employment service from friends of lawmakers.
I look at it as my role as a legislator to be of any assistance that I can with my constituency, whether it’s a recommendation to — for a job, whether it’s to give whatever assistance I have because they’re down and out with housing or they’re trying to go through a state agency to get some help,’’ DeLeo testified.

“That’s my job as a legislator. I mean, it’s to recommend people.’’

I recommend a good lawyer. Dumping Petro is not going to be enough.

But all is not lost for Mr. Speaker. He can always count on the Hack Herald for support.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberal - DeLeo also needs to take another step. He needs to replace Petrolati as head of the Joint Committee on Redistricting.

I realize he has experience, as he did the job ten years ago, too - but really, being at the center of a patronage scandal is too closely related to partisan redistricting for him to continue.

I realize it's cosmetic, and the House leadership will do what it wants regardless of what is good for communities, but even that symbolic step is necessary.

November 24, 2010 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So he is just losing his leadership post, not being forced out of his job? DeLeo is going to lose more and more of the liberal wing of the Democratic party if this guy isn't fired and prosecuted quickly.

November 24, 2010 10:26 AM  

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