So Dianne Wilkerson allegedly accepted thousands of dollars of bribes in an undercover sting operation, related to a liquor license for a nightclub, starting in 2007 and continuing into this month. This is not just being sloppy with your OCPF paperwork, or not getting around to filing your tax returns on time. Those failings on her part were serious, and were part of the basis for our endorsements of Sonia Chang-Diaz both in 2006 and this time around.
But this is different. If proven (and, according to the Globe, the FBI has audio and video, including a still photograph showing “Wilkerson allegedly stuffing a $1,000 payoff into her bra during a meeting with an informant at No. 9 Park restaurant … The 10, $100 bills were not in an envelope and clearly visible in the photograph dated June 18, 2007”), this is out-and-out criminality. It’s genuine, honest to goodness, old fashioned corruption of a kind, and on a scale, that hasn’t been seen from a MA elected official in quite some time.
Remarkably, having allegedly been up to her eyeballs in bribes starting in June of 2007, Wilkerson still found it appropriate to stand up in front of her Democratic party colleagues in Denver, at the MA delegation breakfast, and make the seemingly heartfelt speech that I heard her give only a couple of months ago. At that time, she knew she was facing a tough primary challenge. She took the podium and spoke passionately about her remarkable family history and her supposedly burning desire to represent the poor and underserved. She actively sought out and obtained the endorsement of many of the good Democrats in that room, as well as many who weren’t present (such as the Governor and the Mayor of Boston, to name just a couple).
And yet, if the allegations are proven, she was on the take the whole time. If this is true, she profoundly betrayed her colleagues and her constituents.
I’m astounded by the hubris and the hypocrisy. But I guess I’m hopelessly naïve when it comes to this kind of thing.