There has been a coup d’état on Beacon Hill that will usher in our third State Senate President in just eight months.

Ways and Means Committee Chair Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced in March that she had enough votes to secure the presidency. Yesterday, she and Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester) made it official.

Spilka will assume the presidency on July 23rd. Chandler had planned to remain in the position until a new president could be elected in January.

The revolving door in the upper chamber is all part of the endless culture of corruption that continues to envelop the State House. Chandler assumed the presidency when Democrat Senator Stanley Rosenberg was forced to step aside while an ethics investigation was launched, following criminal allegations against his husband, who has since been indicted.

Three of the last four Speakers of the Massachusetts House, all Democrats, were forced to resign under a cloud of suspicion. One actually went to prison.

The culture of corruption has existed on Beacon Hill for years. Lawmakers will pass ethics legislation from time to time to at least give the perception that they care about good, honest government. Since the lion's share of them run unopposed from term to term, there is no solid reason to believe that the cycle will end anytime soon.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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