The Fall of the House of DiMasi

There is a new tragedy playing at a theater near you, “The Fall of the House of DiMasi”.  The Herald and the MassGOP continue to pile on to the speaker.  While of course the Beacon Hill smells more like Baton Rouge every day.  

First up the Boston Herald has this story about how routinely bills were altered in the House to benefit Sal’s Pals.

Bills benefiting pals of Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi were secretly crafted or altered behind the closed doors of his lieutenant’s powerful committee as the players behind the proposals sprinkled campaign cash among top House leaders, a Herald review has found.

House chairmen who initially dealt with the controversial bills said the measures that left their committees contained no provisions benefiting DiMasi associates.

But a Herald review found that the legislation was either created or modified in the House Ways and Means Committee chaired by DiMasi ally and would-be successor Rep. Robert DeLeo, including:

A ticket-scalping bill that has prompted allegations of unregistered lobbying by longtime DiMasi campaign backer and accountant Richard Vitale

A contract for $13 million for Cognos, a Canadian software company with ties to DiMasi loyalists

A plan to allow wind farms in Buzzards Bay that could benefit DiMasi’s close friend, developer Jay Cashman

A $50,000 arts grant for the Woods Hole Film Festival, which is run by a top DiMasi aide.

“Bills are routinely changed in the process, but the thing that’s unique here is you have major policy initiatives being completely re-written in Ways and Means. That doesn’t reflect the committee process,” said one lawmaker, who requested anonymity. “It’s not transparent.”

It seems like it pays to be a Friend of Sal.  One set of people that are most definitely not Friends of Sal are the Massachetts Republican State Committee, as you may have heard, Chairman Torkildsen The Herald also reported about the GOP’s call for Attorney General Coakley to investigate Sal.

The state GOP yesterday called on Attorney General Martha Coakley to investigate allegations of voting misconduct in the House and recent ethics charges against House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi.

Republican Party Chairman Peter Torkildsen, standing in front of the State House, pointed to recent Herald reports that state Rep. Charles Murphy (D-Burlington) was in the Virgin Islands when he was recorded as taking seven votes in April. Torkildsen said such phantom voting amounted to a civil rights violation that should be investigated.

“When a representative casts a vote for another representative, it clearly violates the civil rights of the people in that district, as it deprives them of honest representation,” said the chairman, himself a former congressman.”

On the record the House Chairmen came out in support of Sal, well off the record see the previous story. Sal DiMasi got himself some problems and they aint going away.

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno