It's Not a Campaign Slogan to Say Beacon Hill Is Corrupt

I found it odd that the Herald spent the whole of its piece on Scott Brown’s commencement address at Lasell College arguing whether our junior Senator was actually kicking off his 2012 campaign. No, not really. The speech focused on how absolute power corrupts absolutely, or, put another way, how Massachusetts needs more Republicans on Beacon Hill. These are not fiery campaign slogans. These are facts. Massachusetts does need more Republicans on Beacon Hill. Perhaps more Republicans couldn’t have (allegedly) kept former Speaker Sal DiMasi from accepting cash from lobbyists working out of mangy offices. But maybe more Republicans could have kept me from tacking a news clipping to my cubicle wall.

This isn’t a momentous news clipping, not anything like “Sox Win the Series.” But it hints at what Brown talked about at Lasell: the go-along, get-along culture of Beacon Hill. A few years ago, in response to DiMasi’s alleged malfeasance, Beacon Hill leaders gathered reform some ethics laws. But even then, the public was not allowed to help shape the bill, nor were many legislators. As the piece from the Globe says, “Even Reform Bill Shaped in Secret.” And that’s because there was no one to stand up to the Democratic leaders who wanted a less-than-transparent process for their bill. If there were more opponents to fight this way of business, maybe it would change the conduct of business itself. That’s a fact first — maybe a campaign slogan later. But it’s a fact first. And it’s also one of the countless ways in which one-party rule corrupts Massachusetts politics.