In the annals of corruption scandals, Karyn Polito’s
Whether this violates the state’s conflict of interest law is unclear; the $40 plates may not be considered items of “substantial value’’ (though Ben Affleck paid $50,000 for the number 1 at a charity auction). And for those considering Polito over Steve Grossman for treasurer, the license plates shouldn’t be a disqualifying factor unto themselves. But in terms of reinforcing the impression that Beacon Hill is a hotbed of cronyism and insider deals, a small story like this speaks volumes. Shenanigans like this, however small-bore, lead to widespread mistrust of government. And that serves no public official — or candidate — well.