Welcome to the fourth annual Boston Phoenix Memorial Day Roast of Massachusetts politicians! I love looking around the room every year, seeing so many familiar faces of elected officials. Your being here tells me that you're a good sport, and more important, that US Attorney CARMEN ORTIZ still can't convince the grand jury to indict.
There's a gift bag for each of you this year. I see a number of you have already put on the shirts that say: "My former Speaker won a free trip to Worcester and all I got is this lousy T-shirt, thank God."
Which reminds me: I keep getting asked the same question about my new Massachusetts Politicians with Animals Tumblr (mapoliwithanimals.tumblr.com). The answer is no, it doesn't count to get a photo with the guy everybody on your cell block calls "Mad Dog."
But we didn't have to set many places at our under-indictment table this year. Sorry, TIM CAHILL, off on your own once again.
Cahill, as you probably know, is accused of misusing funds from his public office for political purposes. His treasurer's office allegedly ran TV ads that helped Cahill in his gubernatorial race, which is odd because, the way I remember it, nothing helped Cahill in his gubernatorial race.
Cahill's defense is that he thought that's what the phrase "Galvin-izing voters" means.
Yes, Secretary of the Commonwealth BILL GALVIN, I'm talking about you.
The most common reaction on Beacon Hill to the Cahill indictment was confusion. They had already been surprised to learn that they aren't supposed to use their public office to get government jobs for cronies and contributors. If you're also not supposed to use it to help win elections, pols are asking, what's left?
None of that is important, though, compared to the critical question facing the citizens of the commonwealth: whether US Senate candidate ELIZABETH WARREN has any 19th-century Cherokee ancestors.
The poor woman hasn't been able to enjoy her dinner tonight — every time she opens her mouth for a bite, Senator SCOTT BROWN tries to swab her cheek for DNA.
And who's that guy who grabbed Warren's fork out of her mouth and ran? Oh, I'm told it's the private investigator State Representative DAN WINSLOW hired to investigate STAN MCGEE.
In case you missed that one: when the state's new gaming commission named McGee interim executive director, some people brought up concerns about an old accusation of assault on a 15-year-old boy. Winslow, a Republican, actually hired a private eye in hopes of rooting out the prurient details.
McGee promptly withdrew from consideration, suggesting that Winslow may have ushered in a new era in which opposition-party lawmakers keep investigators on retainer, ready to sic on any appointee — ensuring that nobody seeks a public appointment ever again.
Winslow was only doing publicly, for media attention, what goes on behind the scenes more often than we'd like to think. As for Warren, it seems that every conservative in the country is now digging through her lineage — and her recipes from two decades ago, some of which might have been cribbed.
No, seriously: when Warren's detractors learned that she submitted a few recipes to a cookbook in 1984, they naturally devoted investigative resources to uncovering other publications where those recipes might have previously appeared.