Keller @ Large: What Impact Will DiMasi’s Conviction Have On Beacon Hill?

BOSTON (CBS) – What impact will former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi’s conviction have on Beacon Hill?

What does DiMasi’s conviction mean for state government and politics going forward?

WBZ’s Jon Keller recently sat down with two pundits, political editor Glen Johnson and Boston Phoenix political columnist David Bernstein, about the political fallout.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Johnson argues that while there are a large number of Beacon Hill lawmakers that are honest public servants, there is a growing problem with corruption in Bay State politics. Johnson specifically cites former state senators Dianne Wilkerson and James Marzilli, in addition to DiMasi and two previous Mass. House Speakers.

Bernstein described how surprised he was to see Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo act so defensive after DiMasi’s guilty verdict came down. Both politicians were quick to say that DiMasi’s actions did not reflect “business as usual” on Beacon Hill.

“It was almost like their behavior in the aftermath of this verdict almost was perfectly in keeping with what got us into this mess, which was rather than dealing with something honestly…most of them hid, let the leadership come out and take the heat for them,” said Bernstein.

More from Jon Keller
  • The Owl

    Is it, perhaps, that De Leo and Murray have enough skeletons in their closets that they would rather not have come under scrutiny?

    Could be.

  • BostonIrish

    How about: There are far too many of them playing with taxpayers’ money, and most see “business” as their own little Ponzi Scheme?

    Glad DiMasi is convicted. We need more sent down the proverbial river.

    P.S. – Happy Father’s Day, Jon.

    • Jon Keller

      Thanks BostonIrish, same to you and all dads here.

  • chilitokid

    Instead of asking other political pundits this question why didn’t Keller ask the Attorney General why all these politicians are being arrested and she had nothing to do with any of it? Why is she being paid? Why isn’t she being relieved of duty because she apparently doesn’t do her job? Makes me really scratch my head and wonder!! I’m just so tired, along with other taxpayers, as to why this type of political corruption continues to happen? It will be interesting to see if DiMasi cuts a deal and brings down a few more. There also should be a Law that no one from Boston College can become the Speaker of the House because we all know their track record!!

    • debra

      I have noticed that with state officials there is a reluctance to take on corrupt state reps/ senators. It is always the US Attorney’s office. My theory is that they are afraid to take them on since they dont want to get the powers to be angry at them and lose their budget.

  • tsal

    I’m not exactly clear on the question being asked, Jon, and perhaps you could clarify. Do you believe that the majority of Beacon Hill lawmakers are corrupt and that Murray and DeLeo were remiss in admitting that is the case? My confusion is that I don’t understand why the comment that these people do not represent the majority is being defensive unless of course the belief is that they do in fact represent the majority.

  • DrStrangelove

    Hahahahahahahahaha (taking a breath) hahahahahahahahaha Jon, this IS business as usual on Freakin’ Hill. Now if we could actually stop, drop, and roll these politicians into real, hardcore prisons then THAT would be something different coming out of the State House.

  • lou

    Has any politician actually made a difference?

  • BostonIrish

    lou, yes. Barney Frank. He took Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and led them into bankruptcy in a pretty serious way. Then got re-elected.

  • BostonIrish

    lou, yes. Obama. He appointed Tim Geithner to be Secretary of the Treasury. The “HACK” of Goldman Sachs then went on a tirade emptying the Federal Reserve and helped rescue all of his Wall St. buddies. QE1, QE2, and maybe a QE3 as well. The policies are proving over and over again to do nothing for the American People. Wall St. is surviving.

  • taxedout

    What impact…….Not a Thing!!!!!

  • DrStrangelove

    Irish – Stop that! Everyone KNOWS that everything in the world is George Bush’s fault. Democrats run us into housing bankruptcy? It’s Bush’s fault. Obama refuses to pull troops out of Middle East? It’s Bush’s fault. Toilet backed up because your kid stuffed her Barbie doll into it and flushed? It’s Bush’s fault. Has the Obama administration taught us nothing (other than where Kenya is)? Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! Democrats are the Jan Brady of the political world, Republicans are Marcia, and Tea Partiers are Cindy.


    There is not one Speaker of the House that I can recall that listens to the people. Like their federal counterparts, they listen to the special interest groups and lobbyists.

  • Henry Marcy

    Whether or not the manner in which the Cognos contracts were procured is consistent with business as usual on Beacon Hill is, in my view, dependent upon the extent to which legislators involve themselves in the Executive role (that is, the Executive has the responsibility to determine the manner in which legislative direction is carried out). All too often, throughout Massachusetts State Government, through earmarks or through insertion of clauses in the legislation itself — or via that arm-twisting phone call — legislators intrude upon and influence Executive implementation of legislative policy. At times, but certainly not in every instance, these efforts by individual legislators may be in exchange for some sort of personal gain. Clearly then, if not before, a line has been crossed (and DiMasi’s conviction is indication that he crossed that line).

    Analogous to the question provoked by the procurement process in the instances of the Cognos contracts is the question: Was the Probation Department’s hiring process business as usual throughout Massachusetts State Government. In my experience, as a hiring manager, the answer is unequivocally “yes”.

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