Tuesday, March 24, 2009

MassGOP Research Briefing

If House Speaker Robert Deleo cares about ethics, why is Rep. Tom Petrolati on his leadership team?

Today, House Speaker Robert Deleo (D-Winthrop) will hold a press conference at 2pm to discuss ethics reform. (State House News Service, 3/24/09)

Speaker Deleo claims he cares about ethics: "Too often, the public has come to see people in government playing by a different set of rules than the rest of the world," said DeLeo in his e-mailed statement yesterday. "I look forward to working with Governor Patrick and Senate President Murray as we fix the way the people's business is done." (Boston Globe, 3/24/09)

Why is Rep. Thomas Petrolati (D-Ludlow) a member of the Speaker's leadership team?

In February, Speaker Deleo renamed Rep. Petrolati "speaker pro tempore": Yes, despite his thick-as-thieves relationship with ex-Speaker Sal DiMasi, Rep. Thomas Petrolati (D-Ludlow) will keep the fabricated post of ``speaker pro tempore'' under DeLeo. And where Petrolati goes, controversy follows. He is caught up in the ongoing probe into ticket-broker legislation that helped usher DiMasi out the door, and he helped engineer the last redistricting plan, the one a federal court ruled was rigged to protect incumbents. (Boston Herald, 2/13/09)

Rep. Petrolati is embroiled in the Vitale Ticket Brokers Scandal that forced former Democrat Speaker Sal DiMasi to resign: But Coakley's office said Vitale had repeated contact about the ticket brokers' legislation with both DiMasi and a key lieutenant, House Speaker Pro Tempore Thomas M. Petrolati. Vitale was paid $60,000 by the ticket brokers association, while attempting to keep his work on their behalf secret, authorities said...In another instance, Vitale forwarded e-mails from the ticket brokers to a personal e-mail address of DiMasi, according to Coakley. Investigators also allege that Vitale used a courier service to deliver printed copies of e-mails from the ticket brokers to Petrolati's office. (Boston Globe, 12/19/08)

In April of 2008, the Boston Herald also reported the Rep. Petrolati took 13 campaign contributions from convicted felons: House Speaker Sal DiMasi's second-in-command, Rep. Thomas Petrolati - a driving force behind major legislation on Beacon Hill - has accepted thousands in campaign contributions from reputed mobsters, bookmakers and a who's who of corrupt Springfield pols, a Herald review has found. Among the criminals who've contributed to Petrolati, the House speaker pro tempore, is Frank Colantoni, who served 12 years in connection with the 1989 mob hit on Patriarca crime family capo William Grasso. Colantoni, who has a rap sheet dating back to 1983, donated $500 to Petrolati's campaign in 2006, records show. (Boston Herald, 4/11/08)

VIDEO: A Boston Herald Reporter confronts Rep. Petrolati about his felon donors

Petrolati once told a grand jury under oath he didn't know what river the Tobin Bridge spans: Head of the redistricting committee, he said under oath that he didn't know where Charlestown is in relation to Chelsea or which river the Tobin Bridge passes over. (Hint: The bridge is also called the Mystic-Tobin.) (Boston Magazine, 12/04)