Dianne Wilkerson follow-ups in the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald today focus on the possibility that more public officials will be sucked into the mess created by her alleged bribe-taking and spectacular arrest. Given the number of officials with whom Wilkerson interacted, there’s no doubt the feds are going to be talking with many, many people.
In the Herald, Laurel Sweet and Hillary Chabot are pretty explicit about the possibility that investigators will try to flip Wilkerson. In the Globe, Matt Viser reports on the blizzard of subpoenas demanding records from officials such as Boston Mayor Tom Menino, Boston City Council president Maureen Feeney, City Councilor Chuck Turner, Massachusetts Senate president Therese Murray and state Sen. Michael Morrissey, D-Quincy, among others.
“This is by no means a suggestion that anyone else is involved in shaking down cash or paying it,” writes the Outraged Liberal. “It is a simple statement that some other big names … could very well get dragged into what is likely an ongoing Wilkerson investigation.”
Wilkerson’s accusation that the timing of her arrest was politically motivated is interesting because (a) it probably was, but (b) what was U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan supposed to do? If he had sat on this until after the election, and Wilkerson had won re-election against Democratic primary winner Sonia Chang-Diaz, that would have been politically motivated, too — and the public would be justifiably outraged if all this had come out once Wilkerson had been safely returned to the Senate.
More interesting still is what effect the Wilkerson affair will have on Question 1, the ballot measure that would repeal the state’s income tax. Wilkerson alone probably wouldn’t make a difference — as the Globe’s Scot Lehigh observes, Wilkerson was a train wreck years ago, and it’s sickening that it took so long to clear her off the tracks.
But if any of her high-profile friends emerges as a player rather than a victim, that would be a mighty powerful argument for Question 1. Never mind that we’re the ones who would suffer from catastrophic cuts in education, police, public works and on and on. This isn’t about logic — it’s about anger.