It took a lot of hard work to do it, but today Massachusetts politicians scored an improbable trifecta. Salvatore DiMasi was convicted of mail fraud and wire fraud (6 counts) and conspiracy (5 counts). Who he? The former speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 2004. He got the post when Thomas Finneran, the previous speaker, had to resign because of convictions for perjury, and obstruction of Justice. Finneran took over in 1996 for the previous speaker Charles Flaherty who was convicted on a federal felonay tax charge. He’d been speaker since 1991.
Let Illinois try to compete with that . A 20 year history of continuous leadership of a legislative body by convicted felons in training.
When I was in grad school 50 years ago in this fine state, my recollection is that a political figure named Iannello (sp?) went to jail because a bridge he was involved in building, sank. The voters in his district thought he was such a fine fellow that they elected him from jail. This, according to my memory.
But even if memory has failed, the citizenry was following a fine tradition, having elected James Michael Curley to the position of Alderman while he was in jail for a fraud conviction (1904). An early example of on the job training. He became mayor of Boston, serving 4 four year terms over the period 1914 – 1950, only to land back in the sneezer for a conviction of mail fraud.
Amusingly, Finneran and Flaherty never served any time (they must have been smarter than Curley). We’ll see what happens to DiMasi.
No wonder they call Massachusetts a blue state.
“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctively native American criminal class except Congress.” — Mark Twain