Tag Archives: robert deleo

Attorney General Baddour Downing Cole Cynthia Creem Patronage Jobs Rush Williams Walsh

Rep. Thomas Petrolati Trying to Block Investigation of the Probation Patronage Scandal

Thomas Petrolati

The Globe on Sunday has a very important article about Rep. Thomas Petrolati’s attempts to thwart the investigation into the patronage scandal at the probation department.

Petrolati is at the center of some of the most egregious patronage abuses. His wife Kathleen is a top manager at Probation. A former aide, Andre Pereira, and the husband of his current aide, Colleen Ryan all have Probation jobs that pay more than $74,000.  Scores of financial supporters have also received jobs at the Probation Department. And Petrolati is a close friend of Probation Commissioner John “Jack” O’Brien, who was suspended in May after the Globe revealed a pattern of political favoritism in hiring.

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Mariano Lowell

Bob Monty on Rep. Ron Mariano's Campaign Finance: Through the Looking Glass

Ronald Mariano

Anyone who is interested enough to look through Rep. Ron Mariano’s (D-Quincy, Weymouth, Holbrook and possibly the planet Mars) campaign spending reports for the first reporting period of 2008 will find that he spent $5,713 for ”lunches and dinners with legislators” – those dreaded part-time lawmakers – and most were paid with his AMEX credit card. Some were in very intimate North End Italian settings of all places.

You’ll find all that you need in his campaign finance reports here.

For the same time period he gave about $200 bucks to charities – proving once and for all the old axiom that ”Charity begins at home” – or at least on ”home” cooked meals at pricey Boston restaurants. Many of them are among the well-known cozy Italian cucinas… uhhh, sorry, I hinted at that above.

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Creem Rudnick Eugene O'Flaherty Patronage Jobs Winslow Nacewicz

Senate Reacts to Probation Department Scandal

Cindy Creem

Reforms likely to pass the Senate but not Robert DeLeo’s House of Representatives.

Following Sunday’s Globe exposé of patronage hires at the Probation Department, and yesterday’s move by the Supreme Judicial Court to suspend Probation Commissioner O’Brien, the Senate today proposed a budget amendment to reform some the Probation Department’s most egregious  structural problems, with a proposal that reduces some of the Legislature’s influence in Probation Department hiring.

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Casinos and Slots Tim Cahill

Casino Interests Try to Take Advantage of $100 Million State Infrastructure Investments

William Flanagan

For 10 years now officials in Fall River have lobbied the state to invest in the development of a biotechnology park in the area – the SouthCoast BioPark. And over the past few years the state has invested about $70 million dollars on road improvements for the industrial park, including a new highway ramp off Route 24.

Meanwhile in the background casino interests have been working to build support among local officials to turn SouthCoast BioPark into a resort casino. By “working” I mean making campaign contributions to Fall River mayor William Flanagan.

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Budget Patronage Jobs Rush Williams Walsh

Rep. Mike Rush Gets Political Payback on Justice Robert Mulligan – May Force JCAM Move to Charlestown

Charlestown District Court

Legislative Payback to Judges is Part of Long Standing Tradition

Rep. Mike Rush sponsored a budget amendment that was adopted into the House budget that directs Justice Robert Mulligan to move the offices of the Chief Justice for Administation and Management (CJAM) from prime downtown office space to a dingy 3rd floor office space at the Charlestown District Court. The amendment was inserted by Robert DeLeo in a closed door session, without public debate.

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Casinos and Slots

Casino Bill Roll Call and Flip Floppers

The biggest problem with the Massachusetts House of Representatives is that representatives are more afraid of crossing the Speaker than crossing the voters. They will take votes which they know are unpopular with voters in their district and which they don’t agree with themselves in order to make sure that they are in the good graces of the current Speaker.

Today the Speaker is Robert DeLeo. DeLeo’s father Al spent 50 years working the floor of the Turf Club at Suffolk Downs. Protecting and expanding gambling in Massachusetts is a personal mission for DeLeo. And, as Speaker, DeLeo controls who in the House gets to be part of his ‘leadership team,’ who gets the committee chairmanships, and who gets invited to the closed door meetings where the real policy of the legislature gets decided.

Legislators are more afraid of the consequences of crossing DeLeo on this issue than they are of crossing the voters.

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Casinos and Slots

Casino and Slots Bill Passes the House

Robert DeLeo

The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the casino bill on Wednesday with a veto-proof 120-37 vote margin. The bill would authorize up to two resort style casinos and up to 750 slot machines at each of the state’s four race tracks.

Supporters say this will will bring in thousands of construction jobs and would capture $1.1 billion that Massachusetts gamblers spend in nearby states. The question is, who captures that money, and where does it go afterwards? The answer is simple – first the state takes its cut of the money in taxes, after that the rest leaves the state in the form of pure profit for out of state gambling interests from Nevada and New Jersey. In fact the casinos are likely to take in more than just what is currently spent out of state and send it out of state.

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Budget Creem Rudnick Cynthia Creem Eugene O'Flaherty

O'Flaherty and Creem get Another Award from the Lawyer's Lobby

Reps. Murphy, DeLeo and O'Flaherty rewarded for their service to the lawyer's lobby

The Equal Justice Coalition has recognized a number of legislators for their service to the legal community. They are:

  • House Speaker Rep. Robert DeLeo
  • Rep. Charles Murphy
  • Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty
  • Sen. Steven Panagiotakos
  • Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem
  • Sen. Patricia Jehlen

The Equal Justice Coalition is a lawyer’s lobby group which advocates for state funding for legal aid for civil actions by poor clients, to pay for representation in domestic violence actions, divorce actions, child custody etc.

EJC successfully lobbied for $10 million dollars of state funding for the legal community. According to their own press release, when it looked like legal aid would suffer the same budget cuts as our schools:

In published letters, 38 managing partners of law firms, and 107 general counsel attorneys went to bat for legal services. Lawmakers have listened, apparently rescuing MLAC from disaster. Lobbying for legal-aid is no easy task…

And today those lawmakers were rewarded.

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Alimony Reform CORI Reform Eugene O'Flaherty Shared Parenting

CORI Reform Blocked by Rep. Eugene O'Flaherty Again

Rep. Eugene O'Flaherty

Representative Eugene O’Flaherty is House Chair of the Judiciary Committee. In that position he has the power to block any legal reform he doesn’t like. No matter how popular the reform, or how much public or legislative support it has, if he doesn’t like it, it doesn’t go through.

And there is a long list of popular reforms that he’s been able to block for years. Many eventually get through – but not before a lot of damage is done.

This year O’Flaherty is blocking:

  • CORI Reform (H3523),
  • Shared Parenting (H1400)
  • Alimony Reform (H1785)

Each of these bills have been introduced for the past several years. All of them have wide popular and legislative support. Many legislators have legitimate differences over over these bills – but they have never gotten an opportunity to debate them – because O’Flaherty has already decided – they aren’t coming out of committee. Whether you are for them or against them, I think all people of good will believe that these are the types of issues which should be debated before the entire legislature, and where legislators, as representatives of the people can vote their conscience.

But Rep. O’Flaherty doesn’t think so. And even though he represents only the city of Chelsea, he is happy to decide these issues for everyone. His answer is “no”.

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Budget

Who Signed on to the Resolution to Fund Local Aid?

Rep. Robert DeLeo puts the State ahead of your town.

Last week a group of legislators lead by House Minority Leader Rep. Bradley Jones drafted a resolution to level fund local aid. Passage of this resolution would have gone a long way toward protecting cities and town from more budget cuts. Our towns have already taken a disproportionate share of budget cuts last year.

As we reported earlier, this resolution was not even allowed to  be heard on the floor of the legislature. By avoiding a vote the leadership provided political cover for Senators and Representatives who are willing to balance the state’s budget mess on the back of our schools, police and fire departments again this year.

Because there was no vote, we will never know for sure everyone who was against this resolution. We can be certain that at the very least Rep. Robert DeLeo, Sen. Therese Murray, and Sen. Steve Panagiotakos had to be against it because they have wide discretion in what makes it to the house floor and on all budget matters. read more »