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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cracks in the armor?

Well, we now know why there has been little attention paid to the House debate over a $28 billion spending plan.

Casey Ross has the tale today of House Ways and Means Chairman Bobby DeLeo emerging as a candidate to replace Speaker Sal DiMasi should the heat building around the Speaker rise to a full boil.

What makes this story significant to me is that DeLeo would be the second challenger to the throne, joining Majority Leader John Rogers. And this after DeLeo apparently backed off once.

The Winthrop Democrat tells Ross he is toeing the loyalist line:
“I support Speaker DiMasi, and he has made it clear to everyone that he is not leaving,” DeLeo said. “I have complied with that request and have not authorized anyone to lobby on my behalf.”
Tell that to your friends, Mr. Chairman.

What is clear is that DiMasi has been struggling for control over his own House even as he wins his public relations battles with Deval Patrick. And the steady drip of problems DiMasi is encountering could make for a very interesting three months as the Legislature lurches to the end of a two-year session that right now seems more notable for what it has killed (the gay marriage ban and casinos) than what it has created.

That could all change as the life sciences and energy bills, to name two, work their way through the meat grinder. But ultimate success depends on lawmakers tending to the people's business -- and not internecine warfare.

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