OPINION | Barry Richard: Scandals Envelop Beacon Hill Once More
The Massachusetts Legislature is again knee deep in controversy and scandal as two members face investigations that could lead to suspensions if not expulsion from the Senate.
Most recently 55-year-old Brockton Democrat Mike Brady announced he would be going away for a few days of alcohol treatment after getting busted for driving while looped in Weymouth a week ago. Senator Brady chairs the Joint Committee on Revenue and serves on the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security as well as the Special Committee on Addiction Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Options.
This is Brady's second OUI and Republican leaders smell blood. New Senate President Harriet Chandler (D) says any disciplinary measures could be doled out after Brady clears the courts.
Chander's rise to the throne is the result of our second scandal. Former President, Democrat Stanley Rosenberg had to hand in the gavel after his young husband, Bryon Hefner was accused of groping men and of claiming to have influence because of his relationship with Rosenberg. Hefner has since been indicted and Rosenberg is under investigation to see if he really did allow the presidency to be exploited by his hubby. He now faces a primary challenger.
The three previous Speakers of the House were forced from power due to corruption. One even went to prison.
Lawmakers passed sweeping ethics reforms in 2009 that were supposed to clean up state government. It's gotten worse. Late last year we reported on several lawmakers who were still putting in for and collecting stipends even after their huge money grab pay raises were intended to end the practice. Allegations of sexual harassment still swirl around the State House as a probe into that time-honored tradition continues.
Folks, we've gotta do it. We have to clean house. We need candidates to come forward and voters to get engaged. Fellow citizens of Massachusetts, we have to work until every last one of them is voted out.