Howie Carr column ping
Wave of pol flights to lobbying makes it special time of year
by Howie Carr/ Boston Herald
Is it my imagination, or is Gov. Deval Patrick doing pretty much nothing?
Inertia in government is not a bad thing, you understand. Mostly the governor likes to talk about hope and opportunity. He must be hoping for an opportunity.
Youve heard a lot lately about casinos. But there is no casino bill. Maybe next week - wink wink, nudge nudge.
Youve read about the proposal to consolidate the transportation agencies. There is no MassTrans bill. The only bills are for the new drapes in the Corner Office, the Coupe Deval and the gas. But its gas well-wasted, if it keeps Deval on the road and away from the State House.
He said he was going to cut your property taxes and he hasnt done it. Thats the bad news. The good news - he hasnt raised them either.
But even by modern State House standards of sloth, the Patrick administration is setting the pace for others to follow - or not, as the case may be. For instance, after nine months in office, Deval just got around to picking his final Cabinet secretary. To fill the utterly worthless job of running the Office of Elder Affairs, he selected the utterly worthless state rep Mike Festa of Melrose. Does this mean there will be yet another special election?
Theres a special almost every Tuesday now, whenever a rep quits to become a lobbyist, or to have a cup of coffee in the Patrick administration before he becomes a lobbyist. Whats odd about this proliferation of lobbyists is that there are fewer solons than ever to actually lobby. All a lobbyist needs is the ear of either the Senate president or the House speaker and hes all set - at least to block legislation, which is what most lobbying comes down to: stopping somebody else from getting whatever it is your client wants.
So its understandable that hacks further down the totem pole are quitting to become lobbyists. And the League of Women Voters and other goo-goos feel they have to be replaced, even though 99 percent of them werent doing anything at the State House anyway except collecting per diems.
Next Tuesdays special features Anthony Gallucio of Cambridge, a two-time OUI loser last seen breathing a sigh of relief after dodging a third driving under. Now hes running unopposed for a gerrymandered 617-area-code Senate seat vacated by a guy who quit to go to work for a health insurer.
Then on Oct. 16 its the special election to fill the seat of U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan, who bailed to fatten his pension at UMass-Lowell. On Oct. 23 its the final fight to replace East Boston Rep. Tony Petrucelli, who won still another special election to replace Senate President Bob Travaglini, who quit to become a lobbyist.
Meanwhile, Travs brother, who runs the state pension system for globe-trotting State Treasurer Tim Cahill, got a massive pay raise this week. Its a kiss for the thoroughly mediocre job Mike Trav has been doing, the theory being that if he hadnt gotten that extra $120K, he might have bailed. Let him quit - Ill bet we can find someone else who can lose $30 million in public funds in a single hedge fund.
Then theres Speaker Sal DiMasi. Hes against casinos, for reasons no one can fathom. When Sal DiMasi emerges as the conscience of the Legislature, youve got even more problems than usual. I spotted Sal a couple of weeks ago, leaving a breakfast time at a major downtown law firm. He was accompanied by Paul Scapicchio, a former Boston city councilor who quit to become a, well, you know what hes doing now.
Then theres the president of the Senate, Therese Murray. She digs Russia, dont ask me to explain it. Its like Sal being against casinos - a sorrowful mystery. One of her senators, Bob Havern of Arlington, just quit to become a lobbyist. Stop me if youve heard this one before. I believe theyve scheduled a special election.
Wow, they are crawling out of the woodwork against Todd today. A couple of derisive comments so far. Woo hoo!!!
He’s talking about a painter that paints with his behind, and someone took the opportunity to call him an @$$.
Another said “the Todd Fineburg radio network” and Todd said “not quite yet”. Very interesting. Then the guy said something subtly derisive, which was good.