THE PAROXYMS OF A STAR CHAMBER

One Root Cause of MA GOP Failure Now Plain to See             

If you want to know why the Massachusetts Republican Party has been an ineffective political institution, one reason is now on full display.  A party chair, who felt obligated to make a full disclosure of a series of undocumented and unauthorized financial transactions to public authorities, is now being chastised by a segment of his own party.  Rather than embracing the effort to get to the bottom of a serious public trust issue, these members are assaulting him with ugly innuendos, threats and irrelevant violations of so-called party protocols.  Perhaps the most significant of these protocol allegations was that he didn’t inform the Executive Committee.           

In cases where serious corruption is suspected, and this situation certainly qualifies, evidence and information relating to such matter should be conveyed directly to authorities.  Our chair uncovered a pattern of transactions, which radically departed from acceptable accounting standards and involved a substantial amount of money. He discovered a “ruse” in which a significant asset of our organization had been misappropriated.  When he attempted to obtain an explanation for this pattern of conduct, he was literally told to pound sand by all of the principals except one. 

Our bylaws give the Chair exclusive responsibility to take action to further the interest of the Republican Party.  They also state the chair may exercise “such powers not elsewhere delegated”.   Investigating suspected internal abuses of funds and misappropriation of assets certainly furthers the interest of the Massachusetts Republican party, and there is no provision in the bylaws, that requires the chair to report, nor obtain the approval of, the state committee or the Executive Committee, before reporting such matters to authorities.  

There are sound reasons why access to information of this nature should be restricted. No one truly knows the full extent of this affair.   Releasing sensitive information involving potentially nefarious actions of people within an organization can also be used as a means of illicit discovery, by yet unidentified actors, who either directly or through accomplices, could use it to cover their tracks.   Chairman Lyons certainly cannot be accused of lacking transparency.  He walked the entire matter over to the US Attorney, which is hardly the action of someone, who is trying to subvert justice, or is disloyal to the party, unless of course we are using the La Cosa Nostra operating manual.             

The comments being made by the Chair’s critics are sounding more and more pathological.  They reflect the attitude of racketeers, whose immediate reaction, when faced with allegations are to, “admit nothing, deny everything, and make counter charges.”  The charge that the Executive Committee should have been consulted is a very disconcerting one.   It was the Executive Committee, who had primary oversight during the time that these questionable practices were unfolding.  People with ties to the former members of this body, remain within our organization, some are serving on the new Executive Committee.  In the interest of preserving investigative integrity, it was wise to keep a lid on this information.             

The role of the Executive Committee in the MA GOP  is comparable to that of the Star Chamber in 17th Century England, a dark, secretive institution with utter contempt for Democratic rules and practices.  It is time for this party to discard this anachronism and submit our party affairs to what Justice Louis Brandeis called “the great disinfectant of sunlight”.  Under the circumstances that he faced, the Chair had no obligation to share information regarding this internal investigation, or to seek approval from anyone.  He acted cautiously and prudently in a manner that reflected his innate integrity. His honest leadership is now causing paroxysm among many members and their underlings of our own Star Chamber.

– Dennis Galvin, Republican State Committeeman

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