Dianne Wilkerson arrested

Bra readjustment?

On federal corruption charges, PolitickerMA reports.

The Globe reports the federal government alleges Wilkerson was caught on tape taking bribes.

UPDATE: Read the FBI affidavit. Or take a look at photos allegedly showing Wilkerson putting cash in her bra (including the one above - the entire collection is a 1.2M PDF file).

Innocent, etc.



Free tagging: 


Will the charges stick?

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Will she be disbarred? Or embarred?

Maybe she's just going to jail to improve her street cred.

where is Deja Vu?

Google and Switchboard are not finding it for me, and I don't see a listing in last week's Weekly Dig, Phoenix, or Globe Sidekick.

Deja Vu Location

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Deja Vu, which is a national nightclub conglomerate, says that their Boston location is on the corner of Washington St. and Essex St. They advertise exotic dancers, wet T-shirt contests, and special performances by XXX stars.

I don't remember seeing a sign for the club last time I walked through there, but given the advertised entertainment it may be just an easily missed blank door. Maybe under the RMV?

According to the complaint ...

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Deja Vu was going to open in the Crosstown center on Melnea Cass Boulevard. The complaint alleges that Wilkerson did some heavy lobbying of Tom Menino for one of those special new liquor licenses the city got and that Hizzona agreed to do her a favor and have one of the licenses "freed up."

The complaint makes interesting reading, of course, and provides a handy summary of all the legal action against Wilkerson over the years, including the case over which she might have been disbarred.

Is this the same Deja Vu?

Interesting link, but are you sure this would have been a branch of that, rather than just an unrelated local restaurant with the same name?

If it was going to be part of that chain, advocating for it would surely be against the interest of her constituents who live nearby.

Maybe not

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Looks like the complaint talks about a club opening on Melnea Cass Blvd., and not in the former Combat Zone. However, if there was already a club called Deja Vu in Boston then a new one either would need to be part of the same chain or change its name.

The FBI knows for sure. But given the neighborhood around the corner of Mass. Ave. and Melnea Cass Blvd., the Deja Vu chain may be exactly what constituents in that area want.


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Hahaha, Awesome.

Where she put the money, allegedly

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The Herald reports:

The source said photographs that will be attached to the criminal complaint filed today will allegedly show Wilkerson sticking cash up her shirt during one of the deals.

The Globe says she put the money in her bra

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And in another case:

According to the affidavit, Wilkerson brought along a grandchild when she accept a $1,000 kickback on Aug. 31, 2007, at the Fill-A-Buster restaurant.


she accepted a $1,000 kickback on Aug. 31, 2007, at the Fill-A-Buster restaurant

Wouldn't that be "fill-a-bustiere"?

I wuz robbed

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I demand a recount. That spot is reserved for a joke off color.

I do not know whether

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I do not know whether Wilkerson is guilty of this alleged crime.

But this does remind me of something a colleague once told me had surprised him when he got into journalism (in a different part of the country).. He wasn't surprised that so many politicians could be bought; what did surprise him was that the bribes were *so small*. A $5K bribe could translate to actions worth millions of dollars to a business.

well, duh

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He wasn't surprised that so many politicians could be bought; what did surprise him was that the bribes were *so small*.

Of course. It's not democracy if none of your constituents can afford you.

Wicked erroneous

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If someone got the false impression that El Mundo had endorsed Chang-Diaz, it's pretty likely they got that from reading the paper.

El Mundo editor Alberto Vasallo told the website that while another editor at the paper, Maximo Torres, had penned a column endorsing Chang-Diaz, it did not represent an endorsement from the newspaper.

Sounds like a newspaper problem, not a Chang-Diaz problem. At most newspapers, there's a unified editorial voice, and when there's an actual editorial endorsing a candidate, it's the newspaper's endorsement.

Attorney Brian Monohan seems pretty dumb:

Attorney Brian Monahan said that Natalie Hernandez based her decision to vote for Chang-Diaz instead of incumbent Senator Dianne Wilkerson in the September primary on her belief that the challenger had been endorsed by the paper.

Other Hispanic voters also took the endorsement into account, he said.

"They are members of the Latino community and they read the newspaper and the endorsement of that paper was a big factor for them in deciding to vote for Ms. Chang-Diaz," Monahan said last night.

So he's suing Chang-Diaz because of what El Mundo printed? Hack.

not recorded, Dot Joyce avoids heart attack

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"This is senator Wilkerson claiming she had a conversation with the mayor and then relying that information," said Dot Joyce, a spokeswoman for Menino. "There was never any intercept of the mayor's phone conversation with FBI."

And then under her breath after she hung up the phone: "...and thank fucking god for that, because otherwise the entire Boston city government would be fucked."

I am thrilled to hear that

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I am thrilled to hear that she has finally been exposed as the cheat and the fraud that she is--but it is ridiculous that in this city it's so difficult to get a liquor license that you have to bribe elected officials to get one. Did she really get into all this trouble over 1000 bucks? Unreal. I guarantee that her political career is not over.

But some of the bribes were

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But some of the bribes were for as little as 500 or 1000 bucks--23,000 is the total. So cheap!

A cynic would say...

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...that if this is the way the candidate "of color" (per Jean McGuire) behaves, then maybe it's good that the primary went to the candidate who comes from a "different community" (per Chuck Turner).

If you're going to run a campaign where your surrogates go out and abuse the opposition based on race, as if you are more of a stand-up person and "representing a core" of your community (per Wilkerson herself) because you are black and you suggest your opponent is not even latino...then getting busted by the Feds on undercover video and audio for extortion and taking bribes is obviously not the way to go about being that pillar of your race for which you propose to represent.


Exhibit D? Not DD?

She's going to need extra room in there for those C-notes.

Playtex Credit Union

She's just keeping abreast of her campaign finance picture.

She just didn't realize that while she was underwiring money, somebody else was wearing a wire under.

Things I learned from the report

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From the complaint, the FBI agent comments that a cooperating witness saw Wilkerson receive a 2nd bribe in their presence because she fell behind on her mortgage and pinged the club owner for a second payment! Well, obviously, we *can't* pass Question 1 now! We're not even paying our state reps enough to live on the edge of Franklin Park!

Even worse, she started race-baiting even in pursuit of this corruption! In early July 2007, she sent a package of information to a Globe columnist complaining about the lack of liquor licenses available to minorities in the city! She was attempting to foment a political environment that would grease the wheels for her minority friend trying to open a nightclub with a full liquor license. It's not enough for her to actually try to extract favors from other politicians, but to then try to stir the public through the press in order to influence her corrupt path is just sickening.

Then, after one of the bribe payments (even though she was falling behind on her mortgage only months before), she went to Foxwoods with the money!

Also, Wilkerson still uses AOL. LOL.

Also, her nickname is evidently "DeeWee" based on one of the e-mail addresses she gave them for correspondence. Also LOL.

The litany of evidence against her is truly damning. I hope she goes away for a very, very long time. She is an absolute blight on our state politics and anyone who has backed her (I'm looking at you, you crazy rat bastard, Chuck Turner) had better be quick to make distance from her. If they don't then I hope she's a political anchor that sinks them to the bottom just as fast.


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Sadly, that one took me years.

They've now fixed it.

The good news is they fix stuff like this quickly if you e-mail them about it. The bad news is that I've noticed them messing up things like lose/loose more often too.

It is what it is

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I've always just called it Mama Cass Boulevard.

Is she going to claim that

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Is she going to claim that it was because of a death threat again, one that happened after the crime?

it should be noted that WHDH

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it should be noted that WHDH broke the story first. The boston globe didn't update their website to reflect the breaking news (and did not have a story up when they did, only said "WHDH reported") until 35-40 minutes after WHDH interrupted the Today show to announce that she had been arrested by the FBI on corruption charges. See my blog for details/timeline riforever.blogspot.com

No class

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You'd think with all those different bribes she'd at least know the proper way to put money into her bra - yikes. (Lots of little old ladies could show her the discrete way to do it but I guess discretion isn't something she's familiar with.)

Feeling betrayed

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That would be David at Blue Mass. Group, who was moved by a talk Wilkerson gave at the Democratic convention in Denver about her rise from poverty and her "burning desire to represent the poor and underserved." Now, he says:

... [I]f the allegations are proven, she was on the take the whole time. If this is true, she profoundly betrayed her colleagues and her constituents.

I'm astounded by the hubris and the hypocrisy. But I guess I'm hopelessly naïve when it comes to this kind of thing.

'A self-destructive streak so immutable ..."

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Michael Jonas tries to sum up Wilkerson's career:

... With today's developments, Wilkerson, whose public career has long resembled a car careening wildly out of control, appears to have finally crashed into the wall. A full decade ago, in a Globe story following Wilkerson's 1998 halfway house confinement related to her tax conviction, Janis Pryor, a political consultant who worked on Wilkerson's first state Senate campaign in 1992, spoke for many when she expressed bafflement at what had already become of her once promising career. "This woman was the bright, shining hope. You can't imagine how many of us have sat around and said, 'What the hell happened?' "

What of the next generation?

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Mike Ball, who's been chronicling Wilkerson's baggage for awhile now, hears of her indictment and thinks of the future:

... Wilkerson's wipe-out is surely a bitter disappointment to many. It need not impede the overdue development of other legislators of color. It may even be reasonable for each state lawmaker to groom one or two candidates for office. That's a long process and some will drop out before running, but students and young professionals should know that making laws and representing their constituents is an option, one that it is both desirable and possible.


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Two sentences from the article you linked to stand out to me:

Some supporters suggested the senator, who has a long history of campaign finance violations and personal legal problems, was being targeted by law enforcement officials.

Yes, good point, that's usually how they catch criminals/repeat offenders...by targeting them.

Asked about those concerns, one of Wilkerson's two sons who attended the hearing, Cornell Mills, said afterward, "What can you say? We'll just have to wait and see how it works out."

Wow, her son totally thinks she's guilty.

The other interesting thing

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Was the quote from the US Attorney about how he didn't think any other elected officials took bribes; just that they were engaging in normal horsetrading.

Photo opp

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My friends spent like 10 minutes last night cracking up after seeing the photo that you chose.