Monday, September 19, 2005

One Week, Two GOP Scandals

Last week, we in the Commonwealth were treated to two Republican scandals. The first involved none other than our Lieutenant Governor and possible 2006 Republican gubernatorial candidate Kerry Healey. According to the Globe, Healey's husband benefited to the tune of $1 million from tax credits under a Romney economic development program. That in and of itself would be unremarkable under a Republican administration, but a Department of Revenue report came out last October claiming that the credits were "handed out as favors" to recipients. That report was mysteriously withdrawn five days later and disappeared into the political ether. Here's what the Blue Mass. Group has to say about that:

DOR denies that it withdrew the report because of pressure from higher-ups. Uh huh. And if you believe that, I have some lovely waterfront property in Brooklyn that you might be interested in.
More recently, Massachusetts Republican Party vice-chairman and chair of the Brockton GOP, Larry Novak (seen here relaxing after burning some evidence?) has resigned after being arrested for allegedly laundering over $100,000 of drug money for one of his clients. Novak, who of course was running for Brockton City Council on an anticrime platform, is also under investigation by US Attorney Michael Sullivan for allegedly advising that same client to file false affidavits in court in an effort to get his prior state convictions overturned.

Chimes at Midnight wondered aloud where that drug money was headed -- was it destined to line the state GOP coffers? Indeed, records show that Novak loaned himself over $100,000 for his 2004 race against state Senator Robert Creedon. While Novak is a wealthy attorney, one has to wonder if any of that money came from unseemly sources. No worries, Mass GOP spokesdroid Darrell Crate tells us that the charges against Novak "have absolutely no connection to the Republican Party" and that they are "probably" going to return Novak's political donations. How reassuring.

A lot of people in Massachusetts disagree with Republicans on policy, but vote for them because they think the Democrats are corrupt. The events of last week should remind them that no party has a monopoly on scandal.