"Scandals? We don't have no scandals. We don't need no stinkin' scandals," as an updated bandito might say.
In what might be ruinous in more moralistic times and places, consider the likes of:
- The Mayor's top aide deleting thousands of emails, including those likely relating to subjects of federal corruption cases.
- A mayoral candidate with a long history as Council president in foiling public access to public meetings and records.
- A Senate candidate who refused to prosecute or even investigate corruption.
- A Councilor running for re-election under federal corruption indictment.
You might suppose that such cases would be the end of the reach for public office...not here, not now.
It's true enough that Bostonians have always enjoyed the entertainment value of our rascals. Think 1904, when we re-elected James Michael Curley as an alderman when he was serving a prison term for fraud. That appears not to be the exception, rather setting the tone. While our mayors and legislators look ethical enough in contrast to some in Illinois or Louisiana, many are not examplars of, say, the Boy Scout oath and law.
This all drives to rhetorical questions. For example, do voters care and should they care that elected officials favor expediency over duty?
My bet is that if you ask an individual voter, you'd get a resounding claim of morality and concern. Then asking about a specific candidate, you'd hear equivocation and excuses.
It has become increasingly plain that a little guilt is like a little gilt — just decoration.
Tags: massmarrier, Boston, Massachusetts, scandal, election