This is a fascinating jaunt through the history of Massachusetts political corruption. Featured in today’s Boston Globe Magazine.
Crooked and Crookeder
Yes, Massachusetts politics today is littered with bums and cheats. But the state was once more corrupt than it is now.
It was the first session of the 186th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts — God save it! — but last January 7 was not the ordinary opening of an ordinary legislative year. A few moments earlier, the Democratic caucus in the House — which is to say, virtually the entire House — had voted to install once again Salvatore DiMasi as speaker. This despite the fact that DiMasi had been beset for six months by accusations that he had been at the center of ethically dubious, and possibly criminal, lobbying efforts by his friends and close political associates on behalf of everything from a computer company to ticket brokers.
On the dais, chuckling with the House chaplain, DiMasi was joined by former speakers of the House, including his immediate predecessor, Thomas Finneran, who’d been convicted of obstructing justice, and Finneran’s predecessor, Charles Flaherty, who’d been convicted of tax fraud. Within the month, DiMasi had resigned from the House. Within six months, on June 2, he had been indicted on federal charges of using his influence to steer two state contracts, worth $17.5 million, to Cognos, a Burlington-based software company. Click here to continue reading on boston.com…