BOSTON — Salvatore DiMasi is the third consecutive speaker of the Massachusetts House to be convicted of a crime in federal court. It begs many questions about the culture of Beacon Hill, and whether it can change.
Scott Harshbarger, a two-term state attorney general, and the former CEO of Common Cause in Washington, D.C., had harsh words for the business as usual on Beacon Hill.
“The fact is that the culture is such that people don’t say no,” Harshbarger said. “This is not just about one person. It is about a culture that has been created that does not invite debate, does not invite dissent, does not invite open and accountable government. And we are all paying a price for that.”
It wouldn’t take a huge effort to turn around that culture of entitlement on Beacon Hill, Harsharger said.
“Its about the character of the leadership here,” Harshbarger said “Are they going to insist that there is open accountable honest integrity in terms of the performance of the public interest?”
House leadership, Harshbarger said, has to say “this is now going to be the people’s house.”