Sal’s Pal Faces a Slap on the Wrist

1214928470Cognos and one of its lobbyists, Richard McDonough, failed to disclose their relationship until Secretary of State Bill Galvin demanded an explanation as to why House Speaker Sal DiMasi’s friend was pushing for lucrative software deals on Beacon Hill. Now that the company admits it paid “hundreds of thousands of dollars” for McDonough’s services, Galvin’s bringing the hammer down.

By fining McDonough $200 for each year he failed to register.

We’re no math geniuses, but for a guy who makes “hundreds of thousands” annually, $200 per infraction isn’t much of a threat. That would make the total possible fine McDonough would face for failing to register from 2004 to 2006 a whopping $600. To put that in perspective, that’s the equivalent of getting six tickets for parking in front of a fire hydrant in Boston.

Don’t blame Galvin. He says the fine is the most he can levy against McDonough under the state’s lobbying laws. And while we know our legislators love a free steak dinner, it might be time to consider revising those laws to actually punish wayward lobbyists.