Friday, June 5, 2009

They Said It!

Sal's Pal Says DiMasi 'Had Trouble Telling People the Truth'

House Dems Claim Ignorance, but Coakley Exposed DiMasi Weeks Before House Vote

Boston - The 135 House Democrats who voted to re-elect Sal DiMasi as House speaker in January knew the now-indicted ex-rep was caught in a lie by Attorney General Martha Coakley in December. And at least one House Democrat now says he voted for DiMasi even though he admits the speaker "didn't always speak the truth to people."

Mass GOP Executive Director Nick Connors said: "The 135 House Democrats chose to re-elect Speaker DiMasi despite the mounting evidence of unethical conduct that was publicly known at the time. The House Democrats chose to circle the wagons and try to protect the now-indicted speaker instead of protecting the interests of the people of Massachusetts by choosing a new, ethical leader. The people of Massachusetts have been demanding good, effective government, and the Democrats have failed to deliver."

House Democrats Had Reason to Doubt DiMasi's Word

State Rep. John P. Fresolo, D-Worcester, says DiMasi had trouble with the truth:
"He had trouble telling people the truth. He didn't always speak the truth to people," Mr. Fresolo said. "I felt that firsthand every time he dealt with me. He didn't tell me the truth. So it doesn't surprise me," he said of the indictment.

"Charges met with shock, dismay," Telegram & Gazette, June 4, 2009.

Coakley's December indictment contradicted DiMasi's claims: Last April, DiMasi told the Globe that he didn't know that Richard Vitale, his longtime friend, personal accountant, and former campaign treasurer, represented the Massachusetts Association of Ticket Brokers. Neither he nor anyone on his staff ever discussed the group's interest in pending legislation, DiMasi said in an interview.

Then last month, Attorney General Martha Coakley indicted Vitale for violations of state lobbying and campaign finance laws. In the indictment, Coakley said Vitale communicated directly with DiMasi and his top lieutenant Thomas Petrolati, the speaker pro tempore.

Those two accounts simply do not add up.

"DiMasi's apparent deception," The Boston Globe, January 4, 2009

Yet, many Democrats still deny knowing anything:

Rep. Barbara L'Italien (D-Andover):
"There was absolutely no substantiation of anything (in January), and so I have to act with the facts that are presented before me," said State Rep. Barbara L'Italien, D-Andover, "and there were no facts, so I did cast my vote for Sal DiMasi." (

Rep. Harriet Stanley (D-West Newbury): Rep. Harriett Stanley, D-West Newbury, said the media, not prosecutors, were leveling the allegations against DiMasi at the time of the vote to make him speaker for a third term. "You only can go on the information that you have at the time. It was a really tough vote," she said. (

Rep. Barry Finegold (D- Andover): "If what happened yesterday came out three months ago, my vote would have been different," said Rep. Barry Finegold, D-Andover. (

Rep. Dean Campbell (D-Methuen): "I'm constantly, as an elected official, confronted by innuendo upon which I do not base any of my votes," said Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, D-Methuen. Campbell said DiMasi "emphatically denied" the allegations prior to the vote to re-elect him. (

Rep. Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston): State Rep. Carolyn Dykema, D-Holliston, who also voted to reappoint DiMasi, said, "The decision I made at the time was a thoughtful one. I made it based on the information available at the time. What I heard was rumor and innuendo." She added about the indictment, "As a legislator, it makes it harder for my constituents to trust that I'm working in their interests." (

Rep. Denis Guyer (D-Dalton): Still, Guyer said he doesn't regret having voted for DiMasi for speaker. "When I voted for Sal DiMasi in January, it was rumor, it was speculation, it was speculative," Guyer said. "A lot of what we were hearing was in the media. I looked at Speaker DiMasi's record - a 30-year legislator." (