Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Ethics Schmethics

Please, dear readers, do not let this story destroy your faith in our over-bloated, self-serving, taxpayer-funded state agencies.

Massport dollars ad up to sports tix: Sox, Pats freebies raise ethics eyebrows

Massport honchos dished out more than $700,000 in ad dollars to the Red Sox and Patriots radio stations, scoring coveted tickets in exchange - including luxury box seats and tickets to a sold-out Pats playoff game.

While airport and toll fees were hiked, the agency spent $616,217 on promotional spots and other advertising with Red Sox flagship station WEEI 850-AM and $155,735 on Patriots ads on WBCN 104.1-FM.

In exchange, the Massachusetts Port Authority netted 16 Red Sox luxury box tickets, four other Sox tickets and four tickets to three Jimmy Fund events. The state agency also received a pair of tickets to all 10 Patriots home games and two seats for the sold-out, nationally televised playoff clash with the Indianapolis Colts.

What's that, you say? Unethical behavior coming from our trusted public servants at Massport? How shocking! Surely this is just an honest misunderstanding.

"This is not what taxpayers expect out of their state agencies," said David Williams, vice president of the Washington, D.C.-based Citizens Against Government Waste.

Wow, David, you're not from 'round here, are you?

This is EXACTLY what we've come to expect out of our state agencies. The news story here would have been if Massport officials had been offered Red Sox and Patriots playoff tickets and had refused them. People would still be picking themselves up off the floor today after reading THAT story.