There is no excusing the Speaker from not paying attention when his long time friends and supporters offered to pick up some of his personal expenses or offered him gifts, even if it was “perfectly legal”. He just didn’t think how it would look on the front page of the paper, and how even these perfectly legal activities would further erode the public’s confidence in government.
There is no excusing his long time personal friends for exploiting their friendship with him for their own personal gain as ‘strategists” advising special interests trying to influence public policy. I doubt they thought for a second how they were betraying the trust of their long time, now very powerful friend.
It is tragic, in my view, that the Speakers long record of legislative achievements are damaged by ethical “questions” that triggered multiple investigations and may have prompted his resignation.”
Hence my advice to ambitious political leaders in the same Globe article.
“I would hope and pray that every member of the Legislature who wants to grow up to be a leader pays attention,” said Judy Meredith, a longtime human services lobbyist. “They should pay attention to their relationships when they take a loan or golf fees.”
We need the lobbying reforms so we have the information to pay attention. And then we have to find the time and the information we need to start paying attention.
Crossposted at ONE Massachusetts