Democrat DiZoglio Pushes for State Legislature Audit
Did we elect one good apple last November?
I had strongly hoped that Anthony Amore would be our State Auditor so that there would be one Republican keeping tabs on Bacon Hill. However, it appears that his Democrat opponent might actually be a watchdog.
It has been more than 12 years since we were promised an audit of the Massachusetts legislature—the belly of the beast on Bacon Hill. During the 2010 State Auditor’s election, Mary Connaughton, the Republican candidate, made the audit a wedge issue. She pushed it so much that Democrat Suzanne Bump finally had to say, “Me too!” Unfortunately, Bump edged Connaughton and like a true Democrat promptly forgot her promise to do the audit.
Now our newly elected Democrat State Auditor Diana DiZoglio is pushing for the audit. Is this theater or is it reality? Time will tell. If she is serious, then she might need a food taster.
Of course, the Senate President and the House Speaker are adamantly opposed. They don’t want the public to see how our tax dollars are spent, because the legislature is one of the most secret government agencies in the Commonwealth. They are exempt from both the open meeting and the open records laws. Committee votes are kept secret.
If you ever try to watch session and the debate over amendments, you will find that is all done behind closed doors. The final state budget is usually passed without being available for public review for 24 hours. That’s how we get secret blue ribbon commissions calling for legislative pay raises.
Bacon Hill doesn’t want the public to know what is happening.
Did you see our new Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll on Jon Keller’s TV show this weekend? Cleary, she is not a profile in courage. Driscoll refused to answer the question whether she supports the audit of the legislature. She knows that the public supports it while Bacon Hill will eat her alive if she supports it. Right now is an especially dangerous time for her as the House is preparing the annual state budget. They could find significant “savings” in Driscoll’s office meaning her funding gets slashed.
I never trust a Democrat, but if this is not a Lucy with the football moment, DiZoglio will have a real battle on her hands. She will stand alone on Bacon Hill. Our new woke Governor, the Treasurer, the Secretary of State and almost all members of the General Court, including most of the handful of Republicans left, will not support this effort.
But if DiZoglio truly has the guts to hold the legislature accountable, then I have a few more suggestions for audits such as: the MBTA pension system, out of state usage of EBT cards, home addresses for welfare recipients, the Registry of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Transportation, and credit card usage at UMass.