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Lodge, McCormack Trade Views On Corruption in Mass. Politics

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

George C. Lodge '50 last night opened what was billed as "a discussion of public morality, not a campaign debate" by implicitly charging Edward J. McCormack, State Attorney-General and Lodge's possible opponent for a U.S. Senate seat, with lax enforcement of anticorruption statutes.

In his opening statement at the Law School Forum "discussion," Lodge claimed that "much of the corruption in Massachusetts has been brought to light by non-governmental agencies." He cited studies by a private commission and a CBS television documentary as examples.

"Blame cannot help but fall on those who occupy offices in the field of law enforcement," Lodge continued, evidently referring to McCormack, who as Attorney General is in charge of prosecuting violaters of bribery and conflict-of-interest laws.

While Lodge refused to blame all the state's corruption on one party, he maintained that "power corrupts...and the fact is that the Democrats have had more power than the Republicans."

McCormack opened his rebuttal by decrying the "atmosphere of a revival meeting" which surrounds much of the discussion of Massachusetts corruption. "Histrionic charges only create difficulties and prevent effective enforcement," he said.

Who is Less Dishonest

He asked that the campaign of 1962 not repeat the experience of 1960 where "the only issue is who is less dishonest than the other." He stated that both parties were against corruption, and called for everyone to "assume that all candidates are against sin; let us campaign on issues."

On the issues, the two candidates seemed to agree. Lodge called for a "clear statutory prohibition against kickbacks," which McCormack immediately endorsed. The Attorney-General than asked that a four-year term be established for major state officers.

Lodge accepted this proposal, but also asked for "an extensive overhaul of the machinery of government," including abolition of the Governor's Council, a "rejuvenation" of the civil service, a public audit of the books of all state Authorities, and the establishment of a short ballot by making the offices of Secretary of State and Treasurer, among others, appointive.

Agree to Debates

The two candidates also agreed to public debates during the campaign this fall, should they both be nominated. Lodge is running for the Republican nomination for the Massachusetts senate seat once held by President Kennedy; McCormack is running for the Democratic nomination.

The Attorney-General also intimated that he would like the practice of open debates extended to the primary, where he is opposed by Edward M. Kennedy '54.

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