In corruption title fight, taxpayers get KO’d
Which branch of the Massachusetts legislature is more corrupt – the House or the Senate?
It’s a tough question, like asking which cop shop is more bent – the Mass. State Police or the FBI. The MSP admits to committing massive overtime fraud and welcoming kingpin drug dealers and perjurers with open arms, while the FBI engaged in an attempted coup against the duly-elected president of the United States.
So it all depends, I suppose, on what kinds of behavior you find most appalling.
Let’s go down the various categories, and see which august Beacon Hill body comes out on top, or bottom.
Leadership: The House, of course, has three consecutive speakers who are convicted felons, and the current one was an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal probation-department indictment. On the other hand, recent Senate presidents include the brother of a serial-killing gangster, who was succeeded by the nephew (and namesake) of a gangster, who was succeeded by a precinct captain of a corrupt Boston mayor, after which came a woman whose name was mentioned in that same probation department scandal that ensnared the unindicted coconspirator, followed by the very ethical Stanley Rosenberg, consort of the Pee Wee Herman lookalike. EDGE: EVEN.
Public drunkenness: Reps. Brian Dempsey and Paul Kujawski behaved disgracefully (Kujo allegedly did number one on a state trooper’s boot). But more recently in the Senate we have Anthony Galluccio, who got a bad tube of toothpaste. And then last week there was Sen. Michael Brady, of whom it can be said, “What made Milwaukee famous, has made a loser out of him.” EDGE: SENATE.
(After his second bad ice cube in Weymouth, Brady in fact may deserve the Sen. Denis McKenna Lifetime Achievement Award for Impersonation of a Kennedy. Senate President William Bulger once accurately described Sen. McKenna when he said of the advice he received before junketing to China: “They told us not to drink the water. So I had to drink beer in the morning, beer in the afternoon and beer in the evening. I felt like Sen. McKenna.”)
Dodgy campaign contributions: Ex-Rep. Garrett Bradley (whose wife was given a hack state judgeship after the traditional nationwide search) donated hundreds of thousands to various statesmen, after which he suddenly resigned (and the hack pols returned at least $200,000). No one in the Senate even comes close to the squalid South Shore sleazemeister. EDGE: HOUSE.
Nickname for an indicted solon: Ex-Sen. Brian “Multiple Choice” Joyce, D-Milton. EDGE: SENATE.
Largest legislator’s cash stash discovered by feds: $1 million, in Bristol County safe-deposit boxes rented by Ex-Rep. John George, a convicted embezzler now imprisoned at Devens FMC. (Bureau of Prisons #: 96292-038.) EDGE: HOUSE.
Most dogtrack-ready leadership: Senate President Harriette Chandler, age 80, majority leader Cynthia Creem, age 75. House Speaker Bob DeLeo, age 68, Majority Leader Ron Mariano, age 71. EDGE: SENATE.
Heterosexual sexual abuse: Rep. Diane DiZoglio says that as a State House aide, she was forced out of her job for complaining about harassment on Beacon Hill. And ex-Rep. Carlos Henriquez did a stretch at the Billerica House of Correction after assaulting his girlfriend. EDGE: HOUSE.
Homosexual sexual abuse: See indictment of the “spouse” of Sen. Rosenberg, the Pee Wee Herman lookalike 38 years the solon’s junior. EDGE: SENATE.
Most corrupt district: Many contenders: the Roxbury Senate district had three consecutive convicted felons. Lowell’s had a couple of felon solons, and the Mission Hill House district had an income-tax evader succeeded by a bag lady stalker. And Everett – well, don’t get me started. EDGE: EVEN.
Best alleged kickback: 704 pounds of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee to Multiple Choice Joyce, according to the federal indictment, once again proving that Joyce truly lived by the three rules of life at the State House: 1) Nothing on the level. 2) Everything is a deal. 3) No deal too small. EDGE: SENATE.
Conclusion: SENATE wins, by a nose. But wait ‘til next year, House. Soon enough, someone we’ve never even heard of now will be a solon, and he will be lugged by the cops for OUI, probably in Weymouth.