Friday, June 24, 2011

Mitt Romney's Quest To Eliminate Corruption In Massachusetts State Senate

The recent arrest of James "Whitey" Bulger, a famous Irish Mobster who made a name for himself in the mean streets of Boston and manipulating the local FBI into assisting him in eliminating rival mob families. There are alot of articles out there highlighting his crimes, his shenanigans with the FBI and his 16 years on the run from the police authority. 
While many articles talk about the negative aspects of this man's life, there is a positive news article that talks about how Mitt Romney made it is mission to remove Billy Bulger, the younger brother of James Bulger, from the Massachusetts State Senate: 
"The FBI’s arrest of Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger ended a 16-year-old hunt for a notorious career criminal who was immortalized by the Martin Scorsese film The Departed, loosely based on his story. But it should also remind us of one of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s finest hours.
Bulger was part of an extraordinary Irish-American immigrant family who represented the best and worst of the American experience. While Whitey became the head of the Irish mafia in Boston, his younger brother William went to college and became a lawyer before going into politics. Billy Bulger spent 35 years in the Massachusetts legislature, including 18 as the powerful president of the State Senate. In 1996, he was appointed president of the University of Massachusetts system, a position of enormous prestige and power. 
It speaks volumes about the nature of Boston’s political life in that era that the brother of a crime boss could rise to the top of the state’s political system. Cynics could be forgiven for wondering whether Billy’s success was linked to Whitey’s activities, even though the politician publicly pretended not to know what his beloved big brother did for a living. But it’s just as possible Billy’s political power also helped Whitey and his Winter Hill Gang. 
But the pretense Billy knew nothing about Whitey’s crimes was exploded once his brother went on the lam in 1995. After years of exploiting his role as an FBI mob informant that enabled him to both knock off criminal rivals and evade prosecution, Whitey was indicted. But, thanks to his FBI informant, he escaped capture. His brother, who was still the president of the Massachusetts State Senate, may have aided the escape of the man wanted in connection with 19 murders as well as drug trafficking. What we do know for sure is Billy spoke with his fugitive brother via elaborate procedures designed to evade police detection and made no effort to help the authorities bring him to justice. In 2003, Bulger was summoned to a congressional hearing to testify about the case. But even though he was granted immunity from prosecution, when probed as to his connections with his brother, Billy gave evasive answers and demonstrated selective memory loss. 
That such a morally compromised person could continue as the head of a state university system was considered nothing exceptional in the world of Irish Democratic politics in the Bay state. Billy could, after all, count on the support of Senator Edward Kennedy, Michael Dukakis and a host of other Massachusetts power brokers. But neither Billy nor his friends counted on the determination of Mitt Romney to make good on a campaign promise to oust the UMass president. Romney conducted a relentless campaign of pressure on Bulger to resign his office. He finally succeeded in August 2003 when Bulger quit. 
Now that Whitey has finally been run to ground, it is appropriate for us to recall this odd chapter of political history and give Romney his due. Mitt Romney has been rightly accused of being a flip-flopper who will shift his views depending on the audience to which he is speaking or seeking votes. But whatever else you can say about him, he refused to play ball with the corrupt crowd running Massachusetts for decades. In bringing down Billy Bulger, he succeeded where other well-intentioned politicians and law enforcement officials failed. Though he hopes to achieve greater things in the future, the Bulger case may have been Romney’s finest hour to date."
I strongly disagree with the author's claim that Mitt Romney is a flip flopper but that is my only complaint with this article. What this article shows is that Mitt Romney is no milquetoast when it comes to fighting political corruption or crime.
There were scores of politicians and law enforcement officers who didn't have the courage to do what was right. They didn't have capability to take Billy Bulger down because they were either tainted by their own corrupt deeds, became too cozy with Billy Bulger or they didn't want to make waves with the the President of the Massachusetts State Senate. 
Yet, Mitt Romney told the people of Massachusetts that he would take get rid of Billy Bulger and he kept his commitment both in word and in action. Mitt Romney could have pleased the political crowd and not gone after Billy Bulger but instead he choose to please the right kind of people--the people of Massachusetts.
When people think of someone who is a flip flopper, they think of someone who has no courage and convictions and will go with whatever is convenient for them. I think this episode destroys the idea that Mitt Romney will say and do whatever it takes for him to please the crowd.
Instead, it shows the true strength and character of Mitt Romney. He has and that he was persistent and relentless in his pursuit to remove a very corrupt man from Beacon Hill. He did the right thing even many power brokers and powerful law enforcement officials wouldn't or couldn't. 
That's the kind of president we need. Someone who is persistent and relentless on what ever issue it is whether it be crime or corruption or the economy. 
This article was cross-posted at Conservative Samizdat.

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Anonymous said...

And when romney learned of the capture, he only gave a mild and humble statement on behalf of the victims and their families. He didnt use it to highlight his involvment or to praise himself like some other candidates would do.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, J. Thanks.


larry said...

This is also reflected in Romney's belief in the court system. Unlike Mike Huckabee who issued 1033 pardons/commutations, Romney issues "0" as Governor.

BOSMAN said...

My best childhood friend, grew up to be influenced by this dirt bag and has several years in prison to show for it.

I took one direction, he took another.

Revolution 2012 said...

I like Romney's history on how he reacts to those who break the law.


Anonymous said...

excellent post

Anonymous said...

Bosman, it's scary how easily influenced youth are. I'm sorry for your friend.


Ann said...

From what I've read about Bulger, he was one very evil man.

Anonymous said...

I sorry about your friend,as well, BOS. It's easy to forget the human equation when talking about crime until it happens to someone you know. I was so glad to see that Mitt had stood up for the right, and worked to remove this man's brother from the power seat. Good job, Mitt.


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