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Only in Massachusetts?

Observers of Massachusetts politics (especially those of us fortunate to live outside the Bay State) often say that we simply can not be shocked, can not be surprised, can not be caught off guard by what they do there. But just when you think they can't get any more venial, they find a fresh shovel and keep digging.

Currently, the Bay State is politically adrift. For the first time in almost two decades, the Democrats have recaptured the governorship (while never losing their deathgrip on the US Senate seats (100%), US House seats (100%), and the two houses of the legislature (85+%). But the governor is weak (it says volumes when the Boston Globe, who backed him in his campaign, is arguing he needs a "second chance" barely two months into his four-year term), meaning that the hacks and apparatchiks who run the legislature are unchecked to indulge their baser instincts -- and they're pretty damned base.

But currently, the Massachusetts Senate is giving us all lessons in corruption.

The current Senate president, Robert Travaligni, has apparently had enough of politics. Or, at least, public office. He's expected to resign today to take a high-paying job as a health-care lobbyist. (Just in time for Massachusetts' "universal health insurance" to kick in and send the commonwealth even further down the toilet.) And if the notion of this guy just waltzing from writing public policy to influencing it, his likely successor is currently being investigated for a scandal involving a whole bunch of state money intended for boosting tourism.

Yeah, I know corrupt politicians are nothing unique to Massachusetts. And other states can claim to have far more colorful, entertaining crooks than the Bay State. And there certainly far more elaborate and and ironic schemes. (Hell, in New Hampshire, our official state book on family law was authored by a former state Supreme Court Justice and US Representative who's been divorced, at last count, three times.)

But is there anywhere in the country where the corruption is so flagrant, so blatant, so casual as in Massachusetts?

Before you answer, remember one thing: this is the state that gave us Michael Dukakis, John Kerry,and has inflicted Ted Kennedy on the national stage for 45 years.


Comments (7)

Ask Lance Dutson.===... (Below threshold)
kim:

Ask Lance Dutson.
===========

I think the one who's been ... (Below threshold)
wavemaker:

I think the one who's been getting the free pass all this time is DiMasi -- a North End lawyer with a list of "questionable" clients of Sicilian descent -- who used his position as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee to represent criminals in front of the judges whose pay and working conditions he legislates, and bragged about getting drunk driving charges dismissed, etc etc.

You have to give Massachuse... (Below threshold)

You have to give Massachusetts props for scale, if nothing else.

The "Big Dig" only managed to come in several BILLIONS over budget, and is collapsing on commuters already. And of course there is Teddy K., whose liver is larger than life.

"Coupe Deval" Patrick is just the latest gush in MA's geyser of corruption.

But is there anyw... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
But is there anywhere in the country where the corruption is so flagrant, so blatant, so casual as in Massachusetts? Before you answer, remember one thing: this is the state that gave us Michael Dukakis, John Kerry,and has inflicted Ted Kennedy on the national stage for 45 years.

Dukakis was corrupt, or toleration corruption around him? I'm not a close observer of Massachusetts politics, but this is the first that I've heard that accusation.

My understanding is that th... (Below threshold)
Farmer Joe:

My understanding is that the Duke had to turn something of a blind eye to corruption in the legislature so that Billy Bulger would play ball with him.

But is there anywhere in... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

But is there anywhere in the country where the corruption is so flagrant, so blatant, so casual as in Massachusetts?
I have to nominate Louisiana and DC.

I used to respect Mass politicians, sure they were corrupt, but I always figured they were generally competent. Now, it's like DC without being nearly as funny.

I'd nominate Obama Hussein'... (Below threshold)
John S:

I'd nominate Obama Hussein's home district as the nation's most corrupt. Devil Patrick is in a bad spot. For nearly a generation, Dems in Mass. have blamed Republican governors for all the problems they create. They're not going to drop that habit just because a Dem now is governor. Mass. is headed into its worst recession in 75 years, and Patrick will get all the blame.




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