Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The plots thicken on the Hill

So... we now have 4 house reps who will block any action on the Hill unless Deloe fesses up and accounts for the 378,000 in legal fees (our tax dollars) which are being paid to lawyers to defend DIMasi. These four reps, who supported John Rogers as speaker last year have requested an independent, outside audit of the fees charged by the attorneys. So far, 30 members of the house have meet and are questioning DeLeos lack of planning and goal setting.

By last night, DeLeo aides circulated a letter that accompanied a subpoena for House records from the US attorney. The letter said, “You are hereby requested not to disclose the existence of this subpoena,’’ and aides implied they were not releasing details of the legal bills because it would provide details of the subpoenas. The letter, though, stated they were not required to comply with the request.

The dissension is expected to continue today. Representative Matthew Patrick, Democrat of Falmouth, said he would introduce another order today and vowed to shut the House session down if he cannot get a vote. Under the rule, any member can block action when the Legislature meets in informal session.

Look for this to take down DeLeo very soon as he leaves the State House for other opportunities in State government.

The Patrick administration filled more than 1,300 state jobs this year - including a librarian for cons, a painter for hospitals and a “game biologist” - in a hiring frenzy that has watchdogs questioning whether the governor has a tight grip on hiring in the face of a dire fiscal crisis.

A Herald payroll analysis also indicates scores of the lucky job-seekers also gave generously to Gov. Deval Patrick’s election campaign.

The hiring flurry is alarming state budget observers who slammed the governor for dishing out plum posts - including 20 that carry salaries of $100,000 or more - with no apparent rhyme or reason.

The list of new hires obtained by the Herald shows jobs spread out across executive offices:
# A $78,000-a-year teacher and a $47,400-a-year librarian for the Department of Correction, two of 200 prison employees hired;
# A $31,000-a-year painter for the Department of Public Health, which also added a physician specialist for $210,500 - the top-paid hire this year;
# A $44,307-a-year game biologist for the Department of Fish and Game;
# And a $206,000-a-year commissioner of higher education and a $117,000 elementary education administrator.

In all, the state has added $46 million in new hires from January to November, the Herald review shows.

The governor’s aides defended their actions, noting that the administration has since laid off 236 of the recent hires.

Pay as you go.. with Deval. What is he thinking?

A state investigation has concluded that staff engaged in “pervasive, systemic cheating’’ on MCAS tests at a Springfield charter school where scores skyrocketed last spring, the state’s commissioner of elementary and secondary education said yesterday.

Another black eye for the MCAS supporters.


At December 15, 2009 at 11:51 AM , Blogger Framingham resident said...

I don’t read the Herald because I think they for the most part are a gossip tabloid, but when they get their teeth into something, they really come through with the facts and the proof to back it up. The story on the Governor filling all these jobs while telling us about the need for emergency budget cuts is one of the times when the Herald is worth reading. Thanks for putting this up on the blog as I would probably have missed it otherwise. Now what is going to happen? Sounds like his office is already defending itself, saying it has laid off some of those people already, my question is, did those people who worked for a short time and then get laid off by the Governor qualify for any type of benefits for their time working for the state? Pretty sure they are at least getting unemployment, which comes from their last employer, which in this case is the state, so we are paying these guys still because of what the Governor did. What other costs did we incurr?

At December 15, 2009 at 12:14 PM , Blogger Frustrated in Framingham said...

Now here is a piece of information with some teeth in it. May be politics that started this with those who did not want Deleo in power, but whatever the reason, there is some light now being shined on the goings on at the state house and maybe, just maybe, we will see some action. How can any of the sitting reps side with Deleo that this course of action he set up is a good one? As for the governor filling positions and not recognizing the budget issues, I suspect you are right on target on that one Jim. Look around you. There are people everywhere who just do not get how bad this economic crisis is. And right next to those people are their neighbors who put their kids to bed hungry every night. This is a huge riff in America right now. The middle class no longer exists, it is simply the haves and the have nots, and the haves just are blind to the situation of the have nots, and I would venture to say with some certainty that Patrick is amoung the haves. This is going to cause huge problems, as it does in other countries where this type of class distinction is so huge. If the administration can not figure out how to get more jobs and more people back to work soon, then the damage will be done for so many that it will not be something we will see fixed in our lifetime.

At December 15, 2009 at 12:19 PM , Blogger Abra said...

Am I reading this right the US Attorney sent a supeana and the speaker of the house is saying we are not going to comply with that supeana? There has got to be some sort of method in place to stop this complete disregard for the law by the people on the hill. I sure hope the AG does not back down to these morons. The morons who us even bigger morons elected to office. When you say from the AG are you talking about Coakley? Unless this is being investigated by someone outside the political umbrulla in MA we have no shot of getting anything fixed here.

At December 15, 2009 at 12:27 PM , Blogger Angry in Framingham said...

This stuff actually makes me feel sick. What the hell is going on that we don't know about if we know and accept this type of behavior from our politicians? I hope the AG locks all these people up and throws away the key.

At December 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM , Blogger Arnold said...

46 million in new hires since November?? The economic downturn started in October so all of these new hires happened after the downturn. Clearly the governor at that point new the state was in trouble. Apparently he did not care about the mental health and home care services that were going to be cut in order to pay the salaries of these new hires. How does that guy sleep at night?

At December 15, 2009 at 2:36 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

The Feds are the primary investigators into DiMasi's wheeling and dealing. They issued the subpoena and Deleo issued his statement to the House Reps. IF... any of them talk... it might implicate more of the reps into the DiMasi case... WHICH could derail many plans by those who are lining up to make moves on the Hill.

I'm trying to understand how the feds can tippy toe around Beacon Hill. At some point, at DiMasi's trial, ALL of the people connected to this scam, will have to surface... THEN... we will ALL know, who on the Hill was in bed with DiMasi, which could be substantial.

At December 15, 2009 at 3:31 PM , Blogger Alpha Dog said...

Nice to see you back writing more often. I had gotten out of the habit of checking here every day but glad to be doing that again. Interesting stuff going on at both the state and town level. Nice to see you reporting on this. Don’t always agree with you but do appreciate your point of view.

At December 15, 2009 at 4:32 PM , Blogger Can't think of a name said...

Good things feds are overseeing this operation. Coakley is in bed with the rest of them and won’t go after any of her cronies with an election coming up. This state is a mess and no one around here who can clean it up. We need new people in office in 2010. we should all consider running or at least voting. Hell my kids could do a better jobs than the people in power up there now.

At December 15, 2009 at 5:26 PM , Blogger Just wondering said...

The reps and the governor either have no conscience or are living on some planet other than earth.

At December 16, 2009 at 10:22 AM , Blogger Brian V. said...

Curious what you think the outcome of this AG investigation will be? Seems that this could be the impetus that will open the door to allow some light to shine on the sneaky and behind closed door behavior that seems to be so prevalent in this state on the Hill. To be honest I think the only way to clean up the Hill is to make the goings on up there transparent. Seems like that should be a pretty simple thing to do but given how much they have to hide, and how long they have gotten away with hiding it, I think it is going to be an interesting fight between the power of the federal AG and the power of the MA legislature.


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