Get It Together, Sal
We like to be there for people when they’re struggling. We shuttle pints of Ben and Jerry’s to them after a bad breakup, and we answer the phone when they need to vent.
But after a while, our patience wears thin and all we want to do is shake them until they start making sense again. With that, we turn to House Speaker, Sal DiMasi.
Listen, we understand that ethics investigations are a part of life when you wield so much power. It’s got to be hard to keep track of who’s on vacation during a vote. But lately, you’ve been uncharacteristically sloppy.
The Globe catches DiMasi in a lie today. Turns out he did meet with developer Jay Cashman to talk about legislation that would have benefited his business.
“It was not my intention to give the impression that I didn’t meet with Mr. Cashman,” DiMasi said. “Whether Cashman was here or not, I believed DeVillars was talking for Cashman’s interests.” John DeVillars, former state environmental secretary, is a consultant working for Cashman.
That assertion differs with what DiMasi said in a Globe interview in April.
“We don’t talk about those things; it was all policy driven,” DiMasi said then, when first asked if he had spoken directly to Cashman about the wind project.
The paper says that as long as the legislation wasn’t crafted to benefit one of Cashman’s enterprises specifically, you should be OK, but can’t you see it gives people pause?
Speaking of that, some of your colleagues are concerned about your unpopular idea to put a casino referendum on the fall ballot.
DiMasi’s surprise proposal kept lawmakers, lobbyists, and State House observers guessing yesterday as to his motivation and strategy. Is he trying to switch positions? Does he think the referendum would fail under well-financed opposition from Connecticut tribes trying to protect their profits? Is he trying to distract from recent accusations about ethics violations?
“I have no idea,” said Representative Brian Wallace, a South Boston Democrat and a casino supporter.
“It’s a mystery to me,” said Representative David Flynn, a Bridgewater Democrat who is close to the speaker.
We’re here for you, Sal. But your sudden lack of political acumen is kind of freaking us out.
Related Note: The Hill and the Hall Report is on hiatus this week.
Photo by John Goodman