But perhaps most damning is Capuano's sheer hypocrisy in soliciting and accepting so much money from lobbyists, and getting earmarks for their clients, while heading the effort to reduce lobbyist influence. It's not illegal — heck, it isn't even out of the ordinary — but it sure makes it easy to tar Capuano as the Democrats' lead ethics hypocrite.
"I hold myself to the highest standards because of my work leading the Speaker's ethics-reform efforts," says Capuano in his statement to the Phoenix.
Local high-powered back-room operators doubt that the controversy will cost Capuano his seat. The former Somerville mayor is extremely well-liked in the district, and has powerful allies who will stand by him.
But, depending on how things unfold, it could impair his designs on a statewide campaign for US Senate. For now, it's a waiting game to see what the feds discover.
To read the "Talking Politics" blog, go to thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
: Talking Politics
, Barack Obama, Michael Capuano, John Murtha, More