Sal And Deval: Score One for the Governor

1205337103Much has been made of the relationship between House Speaker Sal DiMasi and Gov. Deval Patrick. DiMasi, the more experienced politician, stomps on the naive dreams of the neophyte Patrick, and typically comes out looking like the winner in these exchanges.

But this week Gov. Patrick scored a victory.

On Monday, the Globe reported that DiMasi was deeply involved in an unusually rushed bidding process for performance management software.

DiMasi personally met with the state’s chief information officer to push for the kind of software that Cognos produces. A middleman in the deal, Joseph Lally, portrayed himself to key state officials as DiMasi’s friend. A longtime DiMasi friend, Richard McDonough, was hired as a lobbyist for Cognos and was paid $100,000 by the company.

DiMasi denied any wrongdoing, but Patrick wasn’t going to let it slide. He notified Cognos parent company IBM that the state wants its money back.

Patrick’s chief information officer, Anne Margulies, did not raise the subject of political influence. She wrote that the state is immediately terminating its agreement with Cognos, which was recently bought by IBM.

“Because the procurement process followed here did not adhere to the applicable statutory requirements, the agreement is void and unenforceable,” she wrote.

It’s like real live government. In Massachusetts.