OPINION | Chris McCarthy: Rosenberg Finally Does the Right Thing
After months of investigations and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, former State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, a Democrat, has resigned his seat.
It was all over once the official report on Senator Rosenberg and his husband Byron Hefner, commissioned by the Senate Ethics Committee, went public.
Rosenberg has been hanging onto his job from a basement lair in the State House. He agreed to "temporarily" step down as Senate President and give up his ornate office. He also lost his tremendous salary and power to control the budget on the Senate side of the legislature. As of tomorrow, he will have finally given up his basement hideout and his last paycheck from the Senate.
It wasn't that long ago that rumors were flying that Stanley would soon be back as the Senate president once the dust cleared, and he was proven to be as much a victim as all the other victims of his husband. Stanley seemed to have a reservoir of support in the Senate with some members. Maybe they felt sorry for him, or appreciated his tremendous work to get them a pay raise. Maybe they didn't want to see the first openly gay Senate president destroyed by a sex scandal.
The details of the report published yesterday are extremely disturbing, and there was no way Rosenberg's colleagues could tolerate him in the chamber or in the Democrat Caucus. First, Democrat and openly gay Attorney General Maureen Healey called for his resignation, and soon followed the same call from Republican Governor Charlie Baker. When it rains, it pours, and five Democrat members of the Senate demanded Stanley resign, too.
Details from the report include:
1. "Senator Rosenberg was aware that Hefner made racist comments in person and via text message to others, including to a member of his staff. He recalled two incidents in particular in which Hefner viciously attacked his staff member in a series of texts and on a telephone call." (Page 62)
2. "Hefner expressed a desire to “roofie” a Senator and make a sex tape" (Page 69)
3. "we conclude that, as a general matter, Senator Rosenberg acted unreasonably in allowing Hefner largely unfettered access to Senate information both through direct access to his email account and through their personal communications about Senate business." (Page 64)
The report is lengthy, and I don't want to ruin it for you by giving away all the details here when you should curl up on the couch with a barf bag and read it yourself.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.