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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Transparent fraud

Sean Bielat insists he kept a secret because he didn't want it to be a "distraction" from his campaign against Barney Frank and the "politics as usual" he claimed Frank represented.

Yep, it would have been quite a distraction to learn Bielat was using campaign contributions to pay himself a salary, using the cash from out-of-state people who had been ginned up by the right wing yak machine to think Bielat was a breath of fresh air.

Bielat was in full excuse mode when the Globe caught up with his post-election filing of what is, to be fair, perfectly legal under our corrupt campaign finance laws:
“The fact you are calling me is indicative of how much of a distraction from the campaign and from the discussion of the issues of the economy and jobs it would have been,’’ he said. “I did not want that distraction.’’
In other words, Bielat did not has own unpleasant truths hampering his attacks on Frank's own alleged lack of transparency.

I've written at some length about Bielat's preference for hyperbole over reality but I must say I never expected such an outright piece of deception, particularly from someone who based his whole campaign as being different from today's grimy political scene.

But maybe I am being a bit too harsh. After all, Pam Wilmot, the longtime director of Common Cause Massachusetts, which monitors political finance issues, says:
“In all my time of observing Massachusetts campaigns, I have never heard of this happening before."
Bielat, who gave up a $162,754 salary, offers the usual poor mouth that he is "not wealthy" despite a salary most working men and women would consider quite substantial. And he shows no remorse in collecting cash from true believers who would likely rebel if they knew how he intended to use their cash.

It's also interesting to note there is not a peep today from the Mad Hatters of Herald Square, who used their Tea Party Newsletter to build up Bielat while attacking Frank.

I guess they only look at Republican campaign filings.

Bielat says he's still undecided about another challenge to Frank. I think a lot of potential supporters may have made up their own minds today.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea that it is legal is what is disturbing to me. What if he pays himself from the campaign, now is unemployed and goes to collect unemployment. He can get extensions until the next election and then extend the cycle. And I'm on the conservative side.

February 12, 2011 11:29 AM  

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