On the morning of the first day of Jean Dussault's trial on charges of extortion, Joe Gillis used his "State House Viewpoint" column in the Boston Commoner to "put the matter in political perspective." In the last springtime of years when there was no statewide election in the offing and no overriding issue up for battle in the General Court on Beacon Hill, Joe Gillis did a lot of columns that assisted the readers of the Commoner in perceiving connections between politicians on the Hill and events that did not seem to have much to do with them or their careers. "Someday," Leo Rosen said when he read what Joe Gillis had to say about the implications of the trial of Jean Dussault, "old Joe is gonna reach so far to grab a column out of thin air that he's going to give himself retroactive case of spinal bifida." And when that day finally came, Leo Rosen did not mind admitting, he was going to take Joe's State House beat away from him.
-George V. Higgins, A Choice of Enemies