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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Day Late, $28 billion Short

The Massachusetts Republican Party is Johnny on the Spot once again, filing a third complaint with the state Ethics Commission over the latest allegations to surface about the Friends of Sal DiMasi.

But while the understaffed GOP takes aim at an easy target, they avoided the Elephant in the Room (sorry, I couldn't resist): the secretive budget process that led to initial approval of a $28 billion spending plan with virtually no debate or public notice (yep, the subscription only Statehouse News Service is my source, although kudos to Gatehouse.)

One of the problems of course is the fact that the Massachusetts GOP is a moribund group that hasn't been able to elect members to the Legislature in decades -- and seems to have stopped trying. Part of the problem is the label of course -- who wants to be associated with George Bush?

But this goes back at least as far as the 1980s and is part and parcel of a system that enables Speakers -- whether named McGee, Flaherty, Finneran or DiMasi -- to operate in murky corners.

The Massachusetts Republican Party is as broken as the legislative system. Railing about Sal, drapes, Cadillacs and book contracts can't hide the fact they have failed at their most basic job -- convincing voters they have people and a plan.

In the meantime, I'm all for the Ethics Commission and Secretary of State Billy Galvin looking into things. And I suppose I should be happy the Republican Party woke up long enough to read the newspaper.

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