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Sen. Wolf vs. the Massachusetts Ethics Commission
The State Ethics Commission holds a special meeting to consider and possibly vote on a new draft exemption to the state ethics rules that could potentially permit Sen. Dan Wolf to continue serving as a state lawmaker.
A Harwich Democrat and part-owner of Cape Air, Wolf launched a campaign for governor this year before it was revealed that the commission had ruled that his office holding and gubernatorial run were improper because Cape Air does business at Logan International Airport, which is overseen by a quasi-public state agency, the Massachusetts Port Authority.
Wolf argued that because the Massport rental fees are fixed and the airport has to allow in any airline that is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, the ethics rules barring certain officials from contracting with the state should not apply to him.
Wolf suspended his gubernatorial campaign during the dustup and though he received an extension from the Ethics Commission in late August allowing him to remain in the Senate, he dropped his bid for governor on Oct. 21, saying in a statement, "It is now clear that no resolution, regardless of its form, will be reached for at least several more months, quite possibly longer."
As local attorney Bruce Bierhans wrote today in his Blog,
"The inexplicable actions of the state Ethics Commission in the Dan Wolf matter will have far reaching implications. Even if regulatory changes are made, the future of a good man and qualfied candidate have been altered. In fact, a regulatory body has unilaterally deprived the populace of the chance to make their own decisions regarding the Wolf candidacy."
The Ethics Commission will meet Monday, November 4 at 9 a.m. at One Ashburton Place, Boston.
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