State Representative John Fresolo, a Worcester Democrat, is the subject of a House investigation that includes allegations that he took lascivious photos of his privates and sent them to a State House computer, several State House sources said.
Fresolo is also suspected of inflating his travel reimbursements. He submitted per diem slips for 220 days of travel from Worcester to the State House, but no one on Beacon Hill remembers seeing Fresolo that frequently.
Fresolo is now on paid administrative leave but could be forced to resign.
Fresolo, a Democrat, told NewsCenter 5 that his attorney has instructed him not to answer any questions.
"On advice of counsel, I have no comment," he told NewsCenter 5's Janet Wu seconds after pulling into his garage and getting out of his car.
Asked if he was being investigated by the House Ethics Committee, Fresolo said, "Again, I have no comment."
Fresolo denied he would be resigning.
"No, I'm not going to resign," he said as he walked into his house and shut the door.
The clock is obviously ticking. So who is going to run in that district? Fresolo ran uncontested last year. The district, 16th Worcester, includes the following chunks of the city of Worcester: Ward 5: Precincts 1, 2, 4, 5; Ward 6 (all), and Ward 8: Precincts 1, 5.
Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, said the governor's aides did nothing wrong.
"In leaving office, the governor's staff complied with the law and longtime executive branch practice," she said. "Some employees exercised the option to purchase computer equipment when they left. They did so openly with personal checks." [...]
Mark Nielsen, who was Romney's chief legal counsel, bought his hard drive on Dec. 12, 2006, just over two weeks before Patrick administration officials took over the governor's office.
"The longstanding practice in the governor's office was to give employees the option to buy old equipment when they were leaving office, and certain employees, including me, did that," Nielsen told the Globe. "But those purchases were in conformance with the law and with longstanding executive branch practice." [...]
When asked why he would want to purchase his hard drive, he said, "Employees were given that option and it was my understanding that it was a longstanding practice in the governor's office."
When asked about replacing the remaining computers and wiping the server clean, he said, "All I can tell you is we fully complied with the law and complied with longstanding executive branch practice. Nothing unusual was done."
It's clear that Team Romney has been well-trained to repeat the phrase "longtime/longstanding executive branch practice" and to go to great pains to say it over and over again, as though repeating it enough would make it the truth.
Top aides to the three Massachusetts governors who preceded Mitt Romney - all of them Republicans - said yesterday they know of no instance when state employees purchased their computer hard drive as they left the administration, as 11 of Romney's aides did in 2006 as he was laying the groundwork for his first presidential campaign.
The aides from the administrations of William F. Weld, Paul Cellucci, and Jane Swift all said they were not aware of such purchases being made previously.
"I don't remember anybody buying their hard drives. I don't remember anybody buying anything," said Stephen P. Crosby, who worked for Romney's two predecessors and handled the transition between Jane Swift's outgoing administration and Romney's incoming one, and who was also co-chairman of Governor Deval Patrick's budget and finance transition team. "I can't even remember anybody discussing it. It certainly wasn't [standard operating procedure] in any way. That's almost unthinkable. It seems inherently a bad idea. You almost think you'd want to have a record of everything going on for the public."
Terry Dolan, who worked in six administrations and handled office transfers for many of them, said it was rare for departing employees to purchase state property - and unheard of for them to purchase computer equipment.
"That had not happened prior to the end of the Romney administration," said Dolan, who worked as director of administration in the governor's office from 1985 to 2008. But Dolan said Romney's staff was "careful and methodical" and "so we acceded to that request" for the purchase of hard drives. "I can't conceive that they would have done anything that was illegal," she said. [...]
But officials in prior administrations said they were not familiar with such purchases as a long-standing practice. Peter Forman, who was Cellucci's deputy director of finance and chief of staff to Swift, said he had not heard of administration officials buying their hard drives.
"Nobody offered it to me any more than they offered any other furniture," Forman said. "Why would you want to buy your computer? It's an old computer, it's a used computer. I certainly didn't do it. And I'm not sure why anyone would, if it's all centrally backed up."
Why, indeed? Further, Team Romney is in Circling-the-Wagons mode:
The Romney campaign yesterday declined requests to explain why the hard drives were purchased, leaving it unclear whether they were trying to keep information confidential. Nor did the campaign respond to questions about whether Romney had used a computer that contained one of the purchased hard drives. His former special assistant, Natalie Crate, purchased three hard drives but it is unclear whose she purchased. Crate did not return messages seeking comment.
The expression: "It's not the act, it's the cover-up." comes to mind. The longer that Team Romney refuses to cooperate or provide answers to very simple questions, the more Mitt invites increased scrutiny, as well as increased charges of hypocrisy for someone who all of a sudden claims to be a model of consistency. Further, it continues to feed the, um, "longstanding" memes about Mitt that he will do anything to get elected and that he can't be trusted.
What's the word when one person copies another person's words without attribution? Oh, right: plagiarism:
In a message to students, the Massachusetts senator uses the exact words as remarks delivered by the former North Carolina senator at her campaign kickoff in 2002.
Brown's staff acknowledged yesterday the words originally were Dole's and said their presence in Brown's message was the result of a technical error.
A technical error? Since when is plagiarism a technical error? Scott Brown is becoming the lame excuse Senator. His right-hand man creates a dummy Twitter account to espouse inflammatory rhetoric? It's just "inserting levity." He votes against a Job bill literally chock full of Republican proposals? It's not "bipartisan." And now Scott Brown is caught plagiarizing - and it's a technical error. No big deal Nothing to see here!
And it wasn't just a simple accident - Scott Brown attentively left off Dole's biographical info from the passage:
Aside from the omission of an opening line -- "I am Mary and John Hanford's daughter" -- in Dole's speech, the Bay State Republican's language is the same throughout.
Given Brown's comfort with plagiarism, it's fair to ask the question, "How much of Brown's book Against All Odds is plagiarized?" Odds are, not more than a few passage, if any, are plagiarized. But who knows?
When then-Senator Joe Biden was accused of plagiarizing a passage in his 1988 Presidential campaign stump speech (which, fact is, wasn't plagiarism - he routinely credited the passage and forgot one time and was slimed with the plagiarism label), he withdrew from the 1988 Presidential campaign.
Will Scott Brown, having been caught for plagiarism here, do the decent thing and withdraw from his 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate? Will he resign from his seat? Probably not. Just business as usual for the Lame Excuses Senator.
UPDATE: In a totally expected but nonetheless shockingly cowardly display, Scott Brown relies on the old Washington D.C. trick: "Blame the intern!" Said Brown:
It was a summer intern that put together the site, we corrected it once we found out
It goes on:
Brown did not say whether he had ever seen the pasage [sic] on his website or whether he previewed the lifted words before they were posted in his name. The passage, which was directed to students visiting his site, was the sort of political autobiography that is meant to inspire. ...
Brown said today that a young intern launched the site when his office had "very little time and resources to put things up." ...
He scoffed at the notion that further investigation was needed into how the text ended up on his site.
What a courageous leader Scott Brown is. Blaming the lowly summer intern! Any other staffers or volunteers he'd like to throw under the bus while he's at it? It's the intern! It's the lack of time and resources! Please don't investigate! Scott Brown is wearing out the victim card and demonstrating great political cowardice and a lack of responsibility in the process.
U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, resigned from office today. He was pressured out not by constituents, not by the media, not by Republicans, but by fellow Democrats. He resigned after he admitted to behavior that was unquestionably sleazy, but broke no laws and did not involve sexual relations with someone who was not his wife.
Meanwhile, U.S. Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, has not resigned from office, despite behavior that was not only unquestionably sleazy, but also criminal (since soliciting prostitutes is a crime in Louisiana) and hypocritical (since he ran on family values and then cheating on his family with hookers). Not only has he not resigned, but Vitter has not even paid any kind of penalty for breaking the law.
This is one of the many reasons why nobody should take the leadership of today's Republican Party with an ounce of seriousness.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, are calling for an investigation into Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) over the series of sexually explicit conservations and lewd photos he exchanged with a half-dozen women during the last several years," Politico reports.
Said Pelosi: "I am calling for an Ethics Committee investigation to determine whether any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules occurred."
Here's my challenge to you, fellow RMGers, go find me the numerous quotes from Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell calling for investigations into Republican Senator David Vitter or calling for David Vitter to resign after his much-worse scandal that also included breaking the law, sexually cheating on his wife, family values hypocrisy, and hookers. Then explain to me the difference between Democratic integrity vs. Republican integrity.
Mary Z is going to be an excellent State Auditor. Bump is toast, The Herald:
Gov. Deval Patrick's former labor secretary Suzanne Bump - who's vying to be state auditor - defended her hiring of a paroled killer who served 24 years for the Satanic cult slaying of a young hooker, hailing the ex-con's turnaround as a "success story."
"I consider Robin Murphy's story a success story and an indication that the system of rehabilitation and re-entry works," Bump said yesterday of hiring Murphy in 2009 to a customer service job in the state unemployment bureau.
Bump, who is running for auditor against Republican Mary Z. Connaughton, said Murphy came to the labor department's attention through Bump's husband, Paul McDevitt, who was working on a reform program for ex-cons with Catholic nuns. McDevitt urged her to apply for the post, Bump said.
The frightening thing is that if Mary Z wasn't such a thoroughly outstanding candidate, this ridiculous bumbling crooked hack could (theoretically) have actually got elected Auditor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
PRESIDENT OBAMA has been caught in a shocking cheating scandal after being caught in a Washington, DC Hotel with a former campaign aide, sources say.
And now, a hush-hush security video that shows everything could topple both Obama's presidency and marriage to Michelle!
A confidential investigation has learned that Obama first became close to gorgeous 35 year-old VERA BAKER in 2004 when she worked tirelessly to get him elected to the US Senate, raising millions in campaign contributions.
A cheating scandal didn't sink the Clinton Presidency. What say you RMG would one sink the Obama Presidency?
(The party of corruption strikes again. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
The ruins of One-Party Rule In Massachusetts!
As it turns out, Tim Cahill and the Democrats do have something in common.
Four weeks after the Independent gubernatorial candidate was fingered for sending illicit fundraising solicitations to official State House email addresses, the state Democratic Party is defending as a mistake similar emails disseminated by party chairman John Walsh.
"It has come to our attention that a very small percentage - about 1 percent - of emails sent by the Party went to government email addresses," Democratic Party executive director Stacey Monahan said in a statement to the News Service. "This was totally inadvertent and the fault of the Party. We will be contacting OCPF to ask for guidance on next steps, we will be apologizing to anyone who incorrectly received the email and we have taken immediate steps to identify the email addresses and make sure they are deleted from the file so this does not happen again."
GOP State ED J. Nassour is on the case. Thankfully.
Over the last 24 to 48 hours dramatic changes have occurred in the coverage of the Gates vs Crowley incident. Suddenly everyone is talking about getting them to sit and talk. The Boston Globe wants to know what it would take to get Gates and Crowley to sit down and talk about how each made a regrettable mistake. 'Why can't we just give peace a chance?'.
This is not a sign that we have suddenly found the ugly smell of racism intolerable and we all now want to talk of harmony. No indeed. It is not about harmony at all.
The Globe has been shining light on the glaring pay to play scheme taking place in the Treasurer's office. The most recent one today about Shea's huge pension at 49 yrs old. http://tiny.cc/qLLEW The other came in May click here: http://tiny.cc/4Uh5z What no one is reporting is the fact that this runs much deeper. All the interested parties from the May article who gave Cahill thousands also gave the current Norfolk County Treasurer thousands, thus ensuring when Cahill runs for Gov. and his hand picked successor follows him to the big gig, he will continue the dreadful process of selecting the asset managers who get the lucrative state contracts. It is already in motion. Joe Connolly, Norfolk Treasurer has been telling anyone willing to listen he will likely go for Cahill's job should he run for Gov. If there was ever a time for a third party it is this Gubernatorial election.
With a string of Democratic lawmakers being wracked by scandal in recent months, Republicans are gearing up to seize the moment.
"I think the Republican party is going to be able to make some gains off this," said GOP strategist and Herald blogger Holly Robichaud. "People are going to be looking for an alternative and this is the time to strike."
State GOP executive director Nick Connors said the party has seen a flurry of activity in recent days and is preparing for a busy election cycle.
"We've definitely seen a lot of energy related to (the scandals) and we anticipate being able to capitalize on it," Connors said.