Republicans like to talk a lot about business. Charlie Baker says he’s a businessman, and he has business guys talk at his rallies about how bad taxes and regulation are and how they’re killing business. Just about every Republican candidate running for office in MA has something in his or her bio about what an awesome business whiz he or she is. But gosh, look a little deeper, and you start to understand the real reason why Republicans don’t like government regulation.
Because it makes it harder to cheat.
As today’s Globe reports, Joseph DiStasio, a “small businessman” touted by Charlie Baker as someone whose business was killed by the mean ol’ Patrick administration turns out to have been fined by the Attorney General’s office for serious wage law violations and sued by his former partner for “siphon[ing] company funds to purchase luxury items and to cover personal expenses.” According to a claim filed by American Express, DiStasio racked up about $40,000 in personal charges just before he filed for bankruptcy. Here’s the bit about the wage law violations:
Last month, Coakley’s Fair Labor Division issued a citation against Able Tree Service, alleging that it cheated its workers out of more than $268,000 in wages between July 2007 and December 2008. During that time, the office found, the company had intentionally paid its 68 employees less than the legally mandated wage rate for work removing more than 2,000 trees for the cities of Newton and Braintree and the town of Southborough. The DiStasios, who are appealing the case, were ordered to pay the lost wages and were slapped with a $97,500 fine.
Read the whole story.
Astoundingly, even after being advised of this, Baker campaign spokeswoman Amy Goodrich declared that Team Baker is “happy to provide a platform for him.” She wouldn’t say whether they knew in advance about DiStasio’s embarrassing problems. (IMHO, they almost certainly did not, otherwise they never would have put him up – my guess is that the campaign just got caught with its pants down. Someone in the vetting department needs to be fired.)
You know, like Ms. Goodrich, I’m happy to have the Baker campaign providing a platform for fine fellows like Mr. DiStasio. Because I want Deval Patrick to win in November.