DiMasi/Cashman Stinkfest

Where there's smoke, you'll often find fire, and when something stinks, you'll often find somebody shovelling crap. This morning Frank Phillips wades through the stench of the Buzzards Bay wind turbine deal, which I mentioned in my story on DiMasi and the House in early April:’s not just environmental groups who are worked up over a maneuver that critics call an outrageous handout to DiMasi’s personal friend, developer Jay Cashman. Provisions that seem to clear the way for Cashman to start building wind turbines in Buzzards Bay were first slipped into DiMasi’s energy bill in November — bundled into a “consolidated amendment” without any notification to members — and then into an ocean-management bill in February. One State House insider calls it “one of the most outrageous acts I’ve seen in 10 years.”

A few weeks later, Phillips wrote about it in his story about several malodorous DiMasi-Cashman items. Both DiMasi and (through spokeman George Regan) Cashman appeared to tell Phillips that the two men never discussed the Buzzards Bay development.

Today, Phillips reveals that, in fact, "Jay Cashman met privately last fall with House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi in a bid to ease permitting rules for wind farms in Massachusetts waters."

Sal now tells Phillips that he was not deliberately deceiving the reporter -- he merely misunderstood the question. He didn't realize that Phillips meant serious, official discussions:

DiMasi said last week that he thought the Globe's questions in April only pertained to speaking with Cashman in social settings about legislation, which he said never happened. As to the presence of Cashman in his office Oct. 18, DiMasi said he invited Cashman to make a formal presentation on general wind farm law. He said it was not unlike a separate meeting he had with developers of Cape Wind, a proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound.

"I met with Mr. Cashman in my office, like I would with anyone else," DiMasi said.

And speaking of Mr. Cashman, what's his explanation? According to Regan, Cashman kinda remembers the meeting, maybe, but not for certain -- apparently briefing his close friend the Speaker of the House, by invitation, in the Speaker's office, about legislation directly concerning one of his major development projects, is too mundane an occurence to stand out in his mind.

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