Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Treasurer's Corrupt? Oh, Happy Day!

A sign of the blind loyalty -- if not zealotry -- that infects much of the Massachusetts blogosphere today. Tim Cahill is in for a rough ethical ride:

State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill is facing a state ethics inquiry for awarding a $21 million state lottery contract to a company that was secretly paying Cahill's close friend and fund-raiser, Thomas F. Kelly, tens of thousands of dollars in consulting fees, according to multiple people who have been briefed on the investigation.

Investigators from the state Ethics Commission interviewed Cahill this month about his decision in 2004 to award the contract to Scientific Games to make scratch tickets, despite a recommendation from his own staff that Scientific Games receive less state work, said two of the people who have been briefed. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity because Ethics Commission investigations are confidential.
Now, some people would be upset that Treasurer Cahill may be corrupt. You do not want the guy controlling the money to be the one who has trouble being honest with money. Most people would be upset, but not for many Bay Staters....

When this news broke over at BlueMassGroup, an editor rated the posting of this news item as "excellent". Now, I like David and his ideas an awful lot, but either he was blown away by somebody else's ability to copy-and-paste from the Globe as I have done, or he thinks that it's excellent that our treasurer is in hot water. Or he's thrilled to have a potential opponent for Deval out of the way.

Massachusetts Liberal salivates "stick a fork in him", and amusingly maintains that Deval's Ameriquest phone call wasn't about favors, when that's exactly what it was about.

The Internet comments alongside the Globe story already include calls for resignations . Granted, many of them are reactionaries who want to turf out every incumbent they can find and kill the income tax, but it doesn't take much to find the satisfied liberal in the comments.

Critical Massachusetts has picked up on something that I did as well -- how strange it is that soon after openly standing against the governor, Cahill's past is being explored. Just as Sal DiMasi was harassed by a drip-drip-drip after standing against the governor's casino push, now Cahill is being chased mere weeks after letting slip that he was challenging the governor. Same m.o., too -- breathless Globe coverage of vague questions being asked about decisions taken years ago, as if it were Sal or Tim stuffing envelopes into their suitcoats.

Of course, buried in the celebrations is that this ethics probe is a resurrection of a decision made five years ago -- in other words, around the same time that Coca-Cola's poisononous business practices were finally coming up against the ethical limits of Deval Patrick. Regardless, this happening once is insignificant, twice a pattern, and should there be a third time, it will be obvious that we have a problem. If Terry Murray has any ambitions (and she should), for her sake she'd better keep them to herself.

The most stomach-turning thing about all this is that given the choice of Deval, Cahill, Charlie Baker, and Christy Mihos, I'd still vote to re-elect. Call it Deval By Default.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

this stuff with Cahill is more or less old news. I wouldn't rule out an opponent PR piece, but either way, this isn't a totally new revelation.