Wednesday, April 1, 2009

In case we din't know... we are billions in the whole here in Mass

Mr. Speaker has come out from behind the curtain with some sobering news. All this while the City of Malden is looking at the pensions of people who never even really worked. The Senate is now taking up pension reform, to include those who collect a pension AND collect a pay check from the Sate... I'll bet some of you know of a hired gun named Simmon, who is Devals stimulus fund overseer here in Mass... oh boy, another hot potato for Deval.

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo painted a dire picture of the budget for the next fiscal year yesterday, warning a breakfast meeting of business leaders that cuts will be in the billions and that federal stimulus money will not be enough to solve many of the problems.

"I want to warn you that the cuts that are required to balance this budget . . . will cut to the very core of government's purpose and mission," DeLeo said at the meeting of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

"It is almost impossible to overstate how dire the situation is for us," he added.

DeLeo also said the state should avoid tapping the state's reserve fund and should "not become captive to one-time revenue" by relying too heavily on federal subsidies approved by Congress as part of its economic stimulus package for states.

"This money, while a blessing, also creates a giant gap in local and state budgets when it inevitably dries up," he said. "Massachusetts cannot become captive to onetime revenue."

After the address, DeLeo told reporters that House lawmakers are reluctant to go along with Governor Deval Patrick's proposal to raise hotel and meals taxes. That money would account for at least $155 million.

Rember John Buonomo? he resigned in September

This guy is the poster child for eliminating the system that got him his job. And to make matters worse, voters in Framingham actually voted for him after he was indicted last year.... I wonder how many other elected officials take money out of their war chests for personal use.

John Buonomo, the former Middlesex Register of Probate who resigned last year after allegedly stealing office funds, faces new charges of funneling more than $100,000 of his campaign finance money for personal use.
John Buonomo resigned after State Police footage led to his arrest in the theft of thousands of dollars from copy machines.
Buonomo, 57, a Somerville politician who has been living in Newton, was indicted by a Middlesex Superior Court jury yesterday on charges of larceny, personal use of campaign funds, and willfully misleading investigators. He is slated to be arraigned at a later date.
The owner of a Somerville printing business, Marc Piro, was also indicted for allegedly scheming with Buonomo to set up fake transactions that allowed Buonomo to withdraw funds from his campaign account. Piro, 46, of Wilmington and the owner of Guy T. Piro & Sons, , is slated to be arraigned at a later date.

And now the Feds step in on DiMasi

For those of you who have followed thsi DiMasi case from last year may remember when I bet a blogger that DiMasi would be indicted in 90 days... well, I was off by a day or two, but the facts are going to come out, although in secret now, a few weeks from now, we should start to see some revelations that could take out DeLeo and some of his people and perhaps, a few select Reps and Senators. This story has legs and look for it to ignite another fire storm of public distrust.

A longtime aide and political operative who served as chief counsel in Salvatore F. DiMasi's State House office is cooperating under a grant of immunity with federal authorities investigating the former House speaker and several friends and associates, according to two people briefed on the development.
Related coverage

The immunity agreement means that the aide, lawyer Daniel Toscano, must answer questions, without fear of prosecution, before a grand jury about what he knew of alleged efforts by Richard Vitale, lobbyist Richard McDonough, and others to advance their business interests with the help of the speaker's office.

Toscano's cooperation was confirmed by one current and one former state official; both insisted on anonymity because federal grand jury proceedings are secret.