Town and Tribe--What do Hull and the Wampanoags have in common?

What do the Town of Hull and the Mashpee Wampanoags have in common?

William Delahunt should remember that pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered

The Town and the Tribe are both in the same congressional district, and they have both received federal earmarks for their pet projects. 

In both cases it was former congressman William Delahunt that got them the money.  

Now both the Town and the Tribe employ citizen Delahunt to lobby on their behalf for more federal pork and consultant fees for their lobbyist.

Delahunt tries to clean up his act

Well, at least half of it

After stories this week here and in the Boston Globe, former Congressman William Delahunt has decided not to accept $15,000 a month for six months, for a total of $90,000, which he had in the pipeline for his lobbyist group.
      Delahunt’s first earmark for the town of Hull was for $951,500 and a second earmark was for $750,000, for a total of $1.7 million.
      Federal databases show Delahunt was the lone sponsor of two earmarks for the project during his final two years in office. Earmarks are legislative provisions channeling federal money to a specific project, often derided as “pork-barrel’’ spending.
      Read the latest Boston Globe story here.

Is this legal? Probably.

But is it smart? Probably not, and here's why.

No more pork for Hull

The Town of Hull is trying to get more funding for renewable energy projects, and their lobbyist, the former congressman, would have to get the current congressman to go along with new earmarks or  support for federal programs money.

It's bad enough if Delahunt is seen trying to profit form his work in Congress, but it's really bad if Delahunt is seen working against the new Congressman's reelection. 

Bottom line - There is no chance that present congressman Keating will be supporting  Hull's new request if former congressman Delahunt is doing the asking. 

That means no more pork for you, Hull.

Hull's $15,000 a month stipend for Delahunt to get a few hundred thousand dollars of federal earmarks is small potatoes compared to the stakes (pun) for the Mashpee Tribe. 

King  Keating's War

The work Delahunt is doing for the Indian tribe involves getting a mega-million dollar casino built for them in Southeastern Massachusetts. 

By a quirk of fate, the new congressman (Keating) now represents the whole of the region in which the tribe would be allowed to build its casino. 

Federal recognition of the tribe has to go through Rep. Keating,  and a casino compact has to go through Governor Patrick. Lest we forget, Delahunt was the Governor's least favorite congressman, since he was the only one to oppose the Governor's pet project, Cape Wind.

Delahunt is hedging his bet with Keating by keeping his options open with potential congressional candidates, E. Samuel Sutter  of Fall River and Rob O'Leary of Barnstable.

Can he help get a casino built in Southeastern Massachusetts and at the same time play king-maker in the next congressional race? No casino high-roller would ever take that bet.

While Delahunt is playing with house money, the Mashpee Wampanoags are betting Delahunt can get it done, but do they know that Delahunt is knee-capping Keating?

It's not enough that Delahunt gets more than one pension at taxpayers expense, now he's taking taxpayer dollars from Hull and future casino revenues from the Mashpees.

You know what they say,  pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

To read all the Politics Etc. column in chronological order click here.
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