Blurring the lines

One strangely flawed ethics case.

By Charles P. Pierce
May 2, 2010

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Dear Dan Duquette: Well, this probably wasn’t the way a former Red Sox general manager like you wants to get back into the papers, testifying before the State Ethics Commission – we’ll deal with that oxymoron in a minute – as to how you, as a season-ticket holder, managed to provide the mayor of Pittsfield some World Series tickets in 2004 while negotiating with said mayor for a licensing agreement for your summer-league collegiate team to play at Wahconah Park, the Yankee Stadium of Chipmunk County or somewhere. The commission, apparently exhausted from its ongoing 30-year effort to find a conscience somewhere on Beacon Hill, was doing some serious implying about you, Dan, giving the old quid a nudge-nudge, wink-wink in the general direction of a quo. And whom was the commission relying on as expert witnesses in furtherance of said nudging and winking? The good folks from Ace Tickets, who suspected you of – and I’m paraphrasing here – insufficient ticket scalping. An Ace official weighed in because you charged the mayor $380 for two tickets, instead of the two or three grand per that Ace could have wrung out of the transaction. It seems that relying on the inherent economic truisms of scalping is an odd way for an ethics commission to pursue an investigation into, well, non-scalping, but, then again, I guess the difference between a ticket scalper and a ticket broker is the amount of time you buy on WEEI. Live and learn.

Charles P. Pierce /

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