The Boston Follies: The Planned Rape of the Public Treasury

(~) swan lakeThink of the Big Dig; add in Annie Dookhan; on top of that consider our crumbling justice, failing school, clogged highway and decrepit public transit systems; consider our penchant for looting the public payroll and look at the gang of characters who are flirting and stirring about around the edges of this grandiose scheme and you’ll understand why an Olympics in Boston is best described as the Boston Follies. It looks now like it will be a massive taking of our public money.

Our city has so many things wrong with it at the present time that the Olympics idea is just a highfalutin plan to distract us from our present woes. We are being beguiled with an imaginary future brave new city to turn our attention away from the rotten core. Our aim should be to improve the present and not be dazzled by the future.

We hear of Olympic budgets as if the Big Dig never happened. The original estimate for it in 1982 was to have it completed in 1998 at a cost of 2.8 billion; it was completed at the end of 2007 – 9 years behind schedule at a cost of over 14 billion. Estimates are that the total cost will be 22 billion when interest and other matters are considered.  Some suggest that using inflation adjusted dollar amounts the final cost was only double that of the original estimate.

The Olympic gang stirs the pot with a conservative estimates of 4.7 billion to get the Olympics up and running. The gang has less than 9 years to get this done. Obviously it cannot run beyond schedule and be finished in 2032. You must figure that the need to keep on schedule will add to the costs. So at a minimum we should expect it to run far over this estimate if we only look at the way we have historically done business.

The statement of the planners of these follies is: “No tax dollars have been spent on Boston 2024, and the entire bid process through summer of 2017 will be entirely privately funded. Tax dollars will not be used to build venues or pay for the operation of the Games. Public investment will be confined to roadway, transportation and infrastructure improvements, most of which are already planned and are needed with or without the Olympics. The federal government will pay for security costs, as it does for all U.S. Games.” 

The first reaction to that should be “well let’s go ahead and do the roadway, transportation and infrastructure improvements that are planned, finish those, and not bother ourselves  with the Olympics.”  The next flashing red light are the words: “through the summer of 2017.” What happens after that?

I don’t have to tell you. You know as well as I that as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow the major costs of this Olympics will be borne by the taxpayer. This is the recent history of these games. Start with a little private funds and have the taxpayer pick up the rest.

Recent articles tell about Tokyo’s the 2020 Olympics. The original planned cost of its stadium alone would be 130 billion yen ($1.1 billion). Later cost estimates soared to 300 billion yen ($2.5 billion). The Tokyo major is objecting to forcing the city to pick up some 50 billion yen of the stadium’s cost.

Then there is this: To pay for the games, Tokyo has already set aside 400 billion yen garnered from its tax revenues, . . .  Historically, Olympic budgets do have a habit of ballooning by at least four times from their original estimates.”  That historical ballooning would make the cost of Boston gang stir to over 20 billion dollars.

Don’t you wonder why the Olympics in Tokyo are not going to be financed through the same mechanism as our local gang tell us they are going to use. The answer is simple. An Olympics games requires tons of public money. The failure of Boston’s organizers to put that up front as well as the failure of the media to expose this in itself sends out a huge warning that these follies could turn into a humongous transfer of public funds into private hands.

President Clinton taught us to look closely at the language used by people. The Boston gang stirs out the idea: “Tax dollars will not be used to build venues.” Notice the word “build.” That leaves unanswered who will pay for acquiring the land on which the buildings are to be built? Don’t you think we should know?

Too many hands are reaching into the pot expecting a financial windfall; many of those people remain hidden behind the scenes. Boston historically has never done anything without cost overruns and criminal indictments. Let’s skip this distracting venture into the unknown, do what should be done to correct our present problems, and move as we are now doing in an orderly way into the future.

30 thoughts on “The Boston Follies: The Planned Rape of the Public Treasury

  1. Circa six months ago I called the Boston Olympic Planning Office
    and suggested they build the Olympic venue over the water in Boston Harbor.

  2. Rather, ” Getting up close and personal with Pluto ” … 🙂 … It’s a great hit.

  3. Ms Freeh, A ” Seese” and Desist. Order from the Federales shall be arriving by Blue Heron @ FP Variety. File it under “Rant” Control in God’s Country Estates 🙂

  4. The Globe is pushing the Olympics because that antiquated press mill on Morrissey becomes exponentially more valuable with the boulevard upgrades. John Henry is not the Blulevardier he is because his outlook is … parochial … he rolls with things … gasp … he does not just stand on protocol ; standing on protocol is boring and annoying in a Woeld speeding speeding speeding along. All griping, yiping, and of course the inevitable yipping and yapping from the snarling pack ( euphemism 🙂 ) aside, the 2024 Olympics will be in Boston. The USOC has a fixation, Mayor Walsh, the Unions and Johnny Fish are in Mega – Million dollar elation and only barely a decade away Olympic animation, and Boston/Cambridge focus each passing day, week, month and year as international high society sister cities. Take a really hard look around . The World likes what you see; even more perhaps than you do.

  5. As always well written . The lifetime that you have had in the Commonweath and your background as a Marine and your many years working in the nitty gritty real life aspects of putting criminals in prison gives what you write gravitus.The question I have is why someone like you is not on one of these so called groups boards as they look to try to get public funding for whatever they think is important. It seems like all the way back to Montreal these games always go over budget.

    1. Norwood:

      Nice to hear from you. To answer your question, I like to do things my own way and not be part of a group. As Groucho said: “I’d never join a club that would have a person like me as a member.” As for the Olympics, if they come to Boston the public will take a bath because once we commit to it then it will be that we have to keep going so as not to embarrass the city and the state. I’d like to see who owns the land that will have to be taken by the state by eminent domain in order to build some of the planned projects. You can be sure they are pushing for the Olympics since they’ll make a windfall.

  6. hmmmm…
    me thinks we have some financial terrorism going on
    whaddya say we call the FBI on this

    In other news

    FBI agent doesn’t have to register as sex offender for peeping Tom incidents in Hershey, elsewhere, court says
    Matt Miller | By Matt Miller |
    Email the author | Follow on Twitter
    on July 11, 2014 at 1:55 PM, updated July 11, 2014 at 2:06 PM


    A former FBI agent who admitted sneaking into bathrooms to watch girls and women use toilets doesn’t have to register as a sex offender, the state Superior Court has ruled.

    The decision, issued this week in response to a plea by Ryan Seese, comes nearly four years after the Derry Township man was sentenced to 1 to 23 months in Dauphin County Prison, plus 3 years of probation, for committing the crimes at the Hershey Middle School and a private gym.

    In its ruling, the Superior Court concluded that Seese isn’t subject to sex offender registration because of amendments the state Legislature made to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which took effect two years after his sentencing.

    Seese pleaded guilty and no contest in 2010 to three charges of invasion of privacy and pleaded guilty to additional counts of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. Police said two adult women were the victims in the incident in the women’s locker room at the private gym and that Seese spied on two teens in a girl’s bathroom during a concert at the middle school.

    Seese left the FBI in 2007 after being convicted of another peeping Tom incident in a women’s restroom at the University of Arizo

    1. MS:

      No one is perfect. The guy has a problem. He’s suffered enough. Give him a break

  7. On a lighter note…
    Tomorrow…14 July 2015…is a big day for American science.
    A NASA/Johns Hopkins space exploration project that was started in 1989…and completed and launched in 2006…Spacecraft New Horizons will complete its 9 year journey to get to Pluto and get up close and personal with the planet and its moons and sub-planets with high definition pictures and ground-breaking data collection.

    To check on progress as it closes in on Pluto, clink link to Johns Hopkins Current Progress Link

      1. Rather:

        Sort of disappointed in reading about Pluto that it is no longer a planet. Maybe this will help it make a comeback.

  8. ““To pay for the games, Tokyo has already set aside 400 billion yen garnered from its tax revenues, . . . Historically, Olympic budgets do have a habit of ballooning by at least four times from their original estimates.” That historical ballooning would make the cost of Boston gang stir to over 20 billion dollars.”

    Costs balloon because of either incompetence or deceit by those who do the estimating – your choice of which is in play. When you need to game the costs to get approval, then you admit that broad knowledge of the true costs would lead to little chance of approval. The current estimates could be generously described as “best case” reflecting optimal conditions, when what is really needed to form a decision is “realistic case” and “worst case” estimates in addition to “best case”. Consider that both the cost and time required to perform tasks are best described as bell-shaped curves. What we typically see from estimators seeking public funds are the extreme shoulders of those curves that present the projects in the best light.

    Beware of those who would spend your money to create their own personal versions of Utopia.

    1. Ed:

      All they want is a foot in the door. Once they get it then we’ll all have to expend huge amounts of public funds so that we put on a good show for “Boston.”

  9. Matt: On the subject of the Olympics, I see that 75 percent of those polled believe taxpayer money will be needed to pay for the games. There’s also strong opposition to the creation of special Olympics traffic lanes. Don’t see how supporters can turn this around …

    1. Dan:

      You can’t take all the private land that is necessary to put on the games without expending huge amounts of public money. I’m surprised the Globe Building on Morrissey Boulevard which the Globe is trying to unload has not been picked as a site. If the organizers were smart they would do that, the Globe could then get top dollar for their land and building which was built on a marsh, and the organizers could continue to get their support. Yes, the special traffic lanes will reduce the Southeast Expressway to one land for three weeks but it will all be worth it. The closer you look at the plan the more ugly it becomes.

    2. Dan:

      Don’t underestimate the Devil. There are some powerful people who plan on making an awful lot of money off the Olympics and they will not be easily dissuaded. There is no doubt public money will be used. How do they plan to make the land takings which will be needed without the public having to pay for them? The big thing the organizers are hoping for is an indifferent public that does not pay attention.

  10. I like ” Elbows Wychulis ” there Ms. Ram Dass always seemed to find the saints with full pockets. He knew how to pick his saints. Well, …that’s tenured Harvard for ya’. And as Timothy Leary once said to me on the phone on Larry King, after ascertaining that I was listening with unimpeachable absorption to one of the razored diamond cutter Minds of any generation …… ” THANKYOU. “

  11. Oh Oh … Ms. Freeh just threw Ram Dass ( R.Alpert) into The Flying Pond. The wheels are officially off Ken Kesey’s magic bus as it sits on blocks behind The Flying Pond Variety . As Kenny said … ” Everyone is responsible for their Own Trip. ” 🙂

  12. * ” flirting and stirring around this Olympics… ” … Well conceived . I dig original phraseology ; words juxtaposed … effective and giving that linguistic … tickle … in a sentence. You’re not just another hoofer in the follies line there, Counselor. Write On !!! 🙂

  13. Matt: Boston ‘ s Olympics bid is doomed. The latest WBUR poll shows that 53 percent of Bostonians are opposed. There’s simply no way the US Olympic Committee will go forward with Boston ‘ s bid given this low level of enthusiasm. And there’s no good reason to suppose things will change. The poll numbers have been stuck at roughly this level for months.

  14. Matt
    I didnt find the book boring but your style of the book is much different than BLACK MASS or HITMAN. If anything your book cleared up misconceptions and the testimony was required. Perhaps those who said the book was boring said so because they find trials boring and prefer instead to read about the crimes and criminal activites. I liked reading the testimony. It is interesting as to what law enforcement says during a trial and your book shed light on the competing aspects of law enforcement to get “credit” for solving crimes and capturing criminals. What helped me get the most out of the book was that I attended the Whitey Bulger trial on 2 seperate days. I regret I didnt go more days. I say this because I could envision better what you wrote and the testimonies.

    When you write the book on Whitey and Stevie and Martarano and Weeks will you include some of the more common stories? What will be new and different in your book from all the other ones? Personally I would include footnotes all at once at the end of each testimony if you write it in same format. Or have you considered simply telling the events of the Bulger/Flemmi and explaining what really happened instead of including testimony?

    1. Jerome:

      I haven’t decided how the part of my book that concerns the local gangsters will come out. I have decided that the footnotes will be at the end of the book under a notes section that will be grouped by chapter and page. The book will have no testimony in it. Right now I’m stuck in an early section given the background history of J. Edgar Hoover which is necessary for a full understanding of the Top Echelon Informant program and the relationship between Whitey, Stevie and the FBI. All those who have written about these issues in the past have failed to examine the Top Echelon program and to recognize that Stevie was an FBI informant from the middle sixties and that Whitey came along much later. That makes the scene in Black Mass of a meeting at the beach in Quincy a pretty big error. If I can get out of where I’ve been stuck and move on I may have a better answer to your question.

      1. Matt
        I understand the challenge in presenting the Whitey/Stevie criminal reign in a new light as so many books have already been written with many inaccuracies as your blog shows the public. With that said I am currently reading RIFLEMAN by your least favorite person Howie Carr. Of course there is no way to tell what are the facts and what are the lies because teh book is basically what Steve Flemmi told authorities as part of his “deal” to finish life in prison versus being on death row.

        I am starting to think, based on the book, that Steve Flemmi was a more vicious and pathological criminal than Whitey Bulger, if that is possible. I say this because he committed a lot more murders for many more years than Bulger. Steve Flemmi outlived ALL the others from the Irish Gang War so he was smart too. When you were growing up in the Boston area and during your career was there a time that people “feared” New England Organized Crime? Did you ever spend time doing wire tapping or surveillance in Rhode Island (specifically Providence)?

        The Roxbury Gang was the Martarano brothers and Howie Winter? The RIFLEMAN book tells of murder after murder after murder during teh late 50s and 60s into the 70s. Simply amazing the brutality of being a professional criminal. Also, you read one guy murders another guy and then he himself later gets murdered.

        1. Jerome:

          You are right when it comes to Flemmi, he was the worst and just think he is not in the Bureau of Prisons system; he may be living down the street from you. During the 1950s up through the 1970s the Patriarca family and Angiulos were people you wanted to avoided. I was a MA DA so I couldn’t cross the border in RI. The Roxbury gang was the Martorano brothers, the Flemmi brothers, Frankie Salemme, George Kaufman, the Bennet brothers and a few hangers on. Howie Winter was from Somerville. His gang included Jimmy Sims and Joe McDonald who went with him to Winter Hill and Sal Sperlinga and some others. Of course Flemmi murdered the two Debbies but he just added Whitey in and blamed him. He was really the lowest of the low but he testified for the American people.

          1. Matt
            Truly amazing Steve Flemmi survived and lived through the Irish Gang War. On a side note, do you think there is any validity to a connection between Whitey and Steve Flemmi not being drug users nor heavy drinking having to do with their survival?

            Did you work on any trials involving organized crime in New England or Boston area? The general public didnt have to “worry” or “deal” with Patriarca or the Anguilos? Reading the books and your blog I now understand better just how much damage the Roxbury Gang did in the 60s and 70s. What were their main headquarters of operation?

      2. File under plausible denial

        I suspect Hoover created and used Top Echelon members
        to carry out political assassinations under the guise of going after
        the Mafia.


        Tony Frankos was another FBI “rat” who helped wack Jimmy Hoffa after FBI agents got him out on furlough from prison to do the hit. The perfect alibi.

        Contract Killer: The Explosive Story of the Mafia’s Most Notorious Hitman Donald “Tony the Greek” Frankos (Hardcover)
        by William Hoffman, Lake Headley

        Back when I was organizing our conferences dealing with
        crimes committed by FBI agents (1989-2002)
        a man from Brunswick Maine named Alan Witwer
        introducwd himself to me after a conference.

        Alan wanted help publishing his manuscript
        about his insider knowledge of the President
        Kennedy assassination.

        Witwer ran the Del Charo Motel for the Texas Oil Mafia
        Murchison and Richardson. Hoover spent his summers
        there with his lover Clyxe Tolson.

        I introduced Alan to my buddy Ed Tatro in Quincy Mass.
        The rest is history. see

        Clint Murchison and the JFK Assassination – Page 2
        10 posts
        Jul 23, 2013
        Madeleine Brown – Page 4 – JFK Assassination Debate …
        14 posts
        Oct 18, 2005
        More results from
        [PDF]A conversation with Allan Witwer…/W%20Disk/Witwer%20Allan/Item%2001.pdf
        A conversation with Allan Witwer. Pay 13, 7995. 3. Allan Witwer, 81, of South Portland is a former screenwriter, a former theatrical agent, a former contractor on a …
        [PDF]Witwer Allan.pdf…/W%20Disk/W%20Letter/Witwer%20Allan.pdf
        60-.1 “. A conversation with Allan Witwer. “When Kennedy was shot, I was contacted by Lffe magazine. They gave me a $1.0,000 advance…. Hoover found out …

  15. As Harvard professor Richard Alpert said in his book ‘ THE ONLY DANCE THERE IS ‘

    “when a pickpocket stands in the middle of a group of saints
    all he sees is their pockets”

    The boys down here in the whisper stream at Flying Pond Variety
    in Mount Vernon Maine got some agitated after reading your post Matt.

    You could hear the leathery crackle of Elbows Wychulis
    voice rise above the din coming from the men gathered
    around the Green Mountain coffee machine

    ” give me a discus thrower or give me death”

    he roared while reaching for the creamora jar.

    Another voice whose body was garbed with a cammo hat
    and tee shirt that read

    “protection provided by Smith and Wesson”

    started quoting the opening lines of the poem ‘HOWL’

    ” I saw the best minds of my Boston Generation
    starving with Bread and Circus madness
    dragging themselves through the Scollay Square dawn
    looking for an Olympic Fix….”

    At that point someone reminded folks
    that here it was July 13 2015 and
    the snow had still not melted in Boston
    from last winter’s storm.

    How so you like your planet Earth Matt?

    Medium, well done or rare?

  16. Matt:

    Despite the conviction and eventual finality of Tsarnaev, to show how badly broken the criminal justice system is, Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan has this idea to try him for the murder of MIT police Officer Sean Collier (“No need for another Marathon trial in Middlesex County” by Adrian Walker.)

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    Walker writes: “His trial this spring was gut-wrenching — for the victims and their families, especially, but for everyone forced to relive that awful day. So it was surprising to hear that Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan wants to bring him back to the state. Ryan would like to try him for the murder of MIT police Officer Sean Collier, among other crimes that occurred as police sought to capture the brothers. Ryan’s tough-talking statement released on Friday left little doubt about her reasoning. “When you come into Middlesex County and execute a police officer in the performance of his duties and assault other officers attempting to effect his capture, it is appropriate that you should come back to Middlesex County to stand trial for that offense.”

    And get this, Ryan says the conviction “isn’t final, the “case could fall apart tomorrow,” “we are acting reasonably and thoughtfully.”

    Really? And this is good judgment?

    Public corruption in Massachusetts is out of control and needs to be addressed. That’s where the focus should be – not on another waste of taxpayer dollars.
    Community & Good Government Advocate
    Sworn & Commissioned Officer – Massachusetts Trial Court (Retired)
    Board of Director Member – Boston State Hospital Project

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