Cape & Islands State Senator Dan Wolf isn’t taking issue with the Ethics Commission ruling, which he says was made according to the law, but he is asking the board to create an exemption so businesspeople like him can own private companies, do business with the state, and hold office as long as they don’t receive special treatment, and it’s all done out in the open.
The Ethics Commission has done this more than a dozen times for other state employees.
144 Christy's Markets never questioned on conflict
Twice candidate for Governor Christy Mihos of Yarmouth told us that "In 1990 my former company Christy's Markets was the largest Massachusetts State Lottery Agent in the state doing about $100 million per annum."
The chain once included 144 stores found throughout eastern Massachusetts until May of 1998 when he sold 132 of them to 7-Eleven. However, Mihos retained 12 Christy's on Cape Cod along with some real estate holdings.
Mr. Mihos said, "In 2006 Christy's of Cape Cod was also a state lottery agent. In both capacities, we held the state's funds, operated the state's machines and were tied into the state server, stored lottery supplies and paid out winnings direct from our funds. Not once did a state official put us on notice about any potential conflict of interest or suggesting that a problem might exist going forward."
Held three state liquor licenses and never questioned
He added, "Further, I had three retail alcohol licenses awarded by the commonwealth and no one cared much about that either, while running for office or as an officer of the commonwealth as vice chair of the MTA.
"Me thinks certain souls don't want Dan in the mix."
What the Ethics Commission SHOULD do
The commission has the power to rewrite the regulations and has done so repeatedly in the past at least 13 times when it wrote exemptions for state employees who would otherwise be in conflict.
The commission’s ruling on Senator Wolf was based on Section 7 of the state’s conflict of interest law, which explicitly bars elected reps and senators from holding a financial interest in a contract made by a state agency if that contract is not subject to competitive bidding.
Wolf and his supporters insist the statute exists to prevent “real” conflicts and that his situation doesn’t violate the spirit of the law.
Even Massport agrees with Wolf that Cape Air contracts were typical of those signed with all other airlines, and the Boston Globe recently called for an overhaul in the ethics law that led to the “unduly harsh ruling" on Senator Wolf.
If it smells like a skunk...
Mr. Wolf has been elected our state senator twice. He has a squeaky clean reputation for honesty, and his political stands indicate that could never be controlled by any power other than his conscience.
We assume this must scare the hell out of the Old Guard, and we believe it is the reason that his run for governor is being thwarted.
It's up to your, dear readers, to put a stop to it.
We urge you to write an email to: