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TMCNet:  Boston Herald Howie Carr column [Boston Herald]

[January 04, 2013]

Boston Herald Howie Carr column [Boston Herald]

(Boston Herald (MA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 04--By now many of us figured Sal DiMasi would be kicking up daisies. Stage 4 throat cancer is supposed to be a death sentence. But then, Larry Baione, another old pal of Sal's, certainly lingered on a long time as his family filed tearful pleas with the judge: "My father may be no angel but he'll soon be with them, Your Honor, if youse don't let him ..." But instead of shedding his mortal coil, Sal is trying to redefine bribery. Which is of course his prerogative, since that's what he was convicted of, taking $65,000 in payoffs from a Canadian software company for whom Sal ramrodded through a $15 million contract.


Now comes Sal's latest filing, by his attorney that you and I are paying for, one Tom Kiley.

As at trial, Kiley is arguing that there is no such thing as bribing a legislator. What you might call a bribe, he says, is in fact "the everyday occupation of the nation's part-time state and local lawmakers." Bribery. It's not a crime anymore. It's just an "everyday occupation." Who can argue with him It does seem to happen just about every day. Stealing probation jobs, committing voter fraud, taking bribes -- these are all indeed "everyday occupations." It was just a funny coincidence that his law partner suddenly started getting thousands of dollars a month from the software company Mistah Speakah was going to the mat for. And for those thousands, his fellow lawyer was only asked to perform one service: Pass the money on to Sal DiMasi. Not that there's anything wrong with that, you understand.

Really Then why did Sal's law partner, Steve Topazio, flip in about 10 seconds Ditto, the salesman who put together the bribes, er, supplemental income.

How ironic that this document was filed Wednesday, on the legislative swearing-in day when all the former House speakers -- the ones who aren't doing time, that is -- gather in the House chambers. This year's lineup included Felon Finneran, Bob Quinn and David Bartley. Good Time Charlie Flaherty was MIA; good career move. And Tom McGee was too busy assuming room temperature.

McGee, in retrospect, got lucky. Remember his whip talking on an FBI wire about how he'd had to deliver 50 large to McGee, and the bum "left me holding the bag with the Speaker." Losing the next election for Speaker gave McGee time to let the G-men forget ... and the statute of limitations expire.

Not that he had anything to worry about. Because, as the lawyers we're paying for to defend the indefensible wrote: "Mass. Law authorizes salary supplementation for Mass. Legislators." Yes, it does. So how much does Sal make at Buttner making license plates ___ (c)2013 Boston Herald Visit the Boston Herald at www.bostonherald.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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