Patronage = corrpution

By EDITORIAL  |  November 23, 2010

So far, the defense from the legislature's side — voiced by House Ways & Means Chair Charles Murphy — has been, essentially, that there's no proof of explicit bribery or quid-pro-quo in the way the Probation Department filled its patronage requests.

In other words: if you've got no photos of us stuffing cash into our undergarments, let's all continue to go about our business.

Murphy just last year moved into one of the top budget-control positions, from whence, as the SJC report shows, most patronage requests come.

DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray, of course, have had access for years — in their current positions, and previously as Ways & Means chairs. (So did Senate Ways & Means Chair Steven Panagiotakos, who chose not to run for re-election this year, and is rumored to be in line for his own reward, replacing Marty Meehan as chancellor of UMass-Lowell.)

They have also been central in preventing Patrick from getting in and shutting the fun down.

And now, as the police have finally raided the place, DeLeo and Murray seem to expect that the dealers and patrons will be rounded up, but that they and their fellow lawmakers will be left alone — and allowed to keep their winnings.

And so it came to pass
Is Pope Benedict XVI a back-door man? That's the conclusion of some Vatican watchers who applaud the pope's recent ruling that the use of condoms by homosexual prostitutes seeking to protect themselves and their customers from HIV is AOK.

The optimists suggest that this chink in Rome's total ban on contraceptives could lead to further relaxation of the church's antediluvian position on birth control.

We're not so sure. But since this newspaper often hopes against the odds that common sense will prevail, we'll allow our selves a flash of optimism.

In the meantime, we wonder if the local Catholic community is bracing for a wave of hustlers returning to communion. They may not be sinning no more, but, by practicing safe, sex they are certainly sinning less.

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