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DiMasi Indictment Just Tip of the Iceberg Says Green-Rainbow Party

Responding to the recent indictment of former Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi, the Green-Rainbow Party called for a “deep overhaul” of the political system on Beacon Hill.  Party Co-chair Eli Beckerman called the indictment “the tip of the iceberg”, asserting that “influence peddling is a way of life on Beacon Hill, and very little of it ever results in an indictment.  It’s costing taxpayers billions of dollars and crippling the ability of state government to effectively deal with mounting problems in virtually every sector of public life.”

“Urgently needed legislation gets sidetracked while legislative leadership puts their greatest efforts into doing favors for their friends. “ Beckerman noted. “ Catching one of them in an illegal act once in a while doesn’t address the massive flow of money that goes from special interests into campaign accounts.  This money is shaping the state budget, tax policy, and the laws under which we live.  It creates an atmosphere of corruption that inevitably undermines the public interest.”

John Andrews, secretary of the Green-Rainbow Party, recalled “In 1998, the voters of Massachusetts tried to clean up Beacon Hill when they voted by a 2-1 margin for the Clean Elections Law.  After stalling for several years, the Legislature repealed that law in an unrecorded voice vote.  That act of arrogance ensured that dirty money would continue to control the legislative agenda.  It’s time to revisit the question of Clean Elections and ask how we can ensure that legislators aren’t trading the power of their offices for campaign donations and personal political gain.”

Green-Rainbow Co-chair and former gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein commented that “When I ran for governor, I refused to accept donations from lobbyists or corporate officers who employed lobbyists.  I felt it was something that I had to do if I was sincere about serving the people who elected me.  How can politicians ask people to trust them if they’ve been accepting gifts to their campaign warchests in private – and incurring obligations to special interests with agendas to push? We desperately need to restore the promise of public service, and government in the public interest.

Stein noted that “Some people want to just walk away from state government in disgust.  But we can’t afford to do that.  We’ve got too many problems at the crisis stage –  such as skyrocketing health care costs, an unfair tax system, a floundering economy, and environmental meltdown. The corrupting power of money in the Legislature is blocking urgently needed action.  We need a state government that will help us solve these problems – we can’t afford to have a government that works only for the well-connected few.

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