Sacred Cods and Holy Mackerals

The final days of DiMasi?
November 11, 2008, 8:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Consider the official Sal DiMasi deathwatch as underway.

When you’re a political leader there’s only two ways for your career to end: by your own choice, or at the hands of others.

The smart ones know when to get out on their own terms. The real good ones leave for something bigger or better. Senate President Thomas Birmingham left to run for governor and his successor left for a lucrative career as a lobbyist. For the less-than-good-ones, the decision is easy: they look out their windows, see the villagers gathering the pitchforks and torches and decide its time to look for some cheap airfare on, knowing they will at least be able to come back and visit.

It’s the dumb ones who stay too long and get thrown out.

Tom Finneran, although he made a number of enemies over the years thanks, walked away a few steps ahead of a federal perjury conviction, before he became a complete liabilty to all his friends, and he’s still a common sight up at the State House.

Tom McGee, on the other hand, couldn’t believe that the House he ruled over longer than any other man would ever reject him, and became the first Speaker in state history to be overthrown. Needless to say, you don’t see him around as much.


The trick, of course, is knowing where that tipping point is, when a political kerfuffle turns into a full-blown scandal from which there is no return.

For example, when Finneran hired the late Richard Egbert to represent him on the perjury charge, people knew he was cooked. It was just a matter of time until he secured the Mass. Biotech job and walked out the door.

We may have seen that Egbert moment from DiMasi. The open jockeying between Bob DeLeo and John Rogers didn’t help matters, but DiMasi appeared to grab control back over the spring when he walked into a Democatic caucus, summonsed Andy Shepherd from the American President and told everyone “I’m Sal DiMasi and I AM The Speaker.”

That moment has been long forgotten now that the Boston Globe has reported how he is not cooperating in the State Ethics Commission investigation over the Cognos contract. And now there’s a new story in the Globe that uses Emails to show that DiMasi indeed was well aware of the contract process, to a far greater degree than ever proven before.

And its never a good thing when the Dean of the House descends from his barstool long enough to tell the newspapers that he’s being asked to fill in as an Interim Speaker. (Whether or not he realizes this would be strictly a symbolic move remains to be seen.) 

Well, consider the torches lit.

A fair question to ask who will be around longer: Sal DiMasi or Deval Patrick?

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