Letters to the Boston Phoenix editors, March 16, 2012
NOT SO GREAT
I'd like to thank David S. Bernstein for his story about our state's probation department hiring scandal and what it says about our legislature (see "Sal's Baaaaaack!," Talking Politics, February 24). Bernstein does his usual great job of ferreting out key information from many of the individuals involved, including the opinions and reactions of many of our legislators, and how a mood of panic now pervades our Great and General Court concerning which of them might be indicted. My own 40 years of observing that institution leads me to a single conclusion, a single overriding reason why it is still all screwed up: our House Speaker and Senate president have, over the years, taken all power away from the individuals and now exercise absolute control. The rules have been altered over time to create two all-powerful dictatorships, whose power not only ends up corrupting them, but inevitably corrupts the entire legislature.
The legislature that was created by the likes of John and Samuel Adams, James Bowdoin and the rest of our very wise founders doesn't exist anymore. Legislators getting elected to serve their constituents and this commonwealth is not a reality anymore. The vast majority of them end up serving the two so-called leaders. Because they know that, if they don't kneel down to these two, they'll never get a bill passed; never get any benefits for their districts; never be rewarded with the extra pay, power, and prestige of a committee chairmanship that only these two bosses can assign.
These twin dictatorships must be dismantled. And a whole new spirit, one of service and integrity, must once again permeate the State House. This sea of corruption must once again become a seat of honor and public service.
Because of an editing oversight, our "Square Roots" story (News & Features, March 9) contained two errors. Flour and Central Bottle are on the ground floor of Novartis's Mass Ave offices, not Pfizer's. Also, the former Necco factory property is not part of University Park.
, Samuel Adams, John Adams, James Bowdoin, More