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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's DeLightful, it's DeLovely, It's DeLeo

The Turnpike Authority is jacking up tolls that will hit his Winthrop district hard. The state is facing a a very rough fiscal year during which many of the toughest decisions will fall on the House Ways and Means Chairman.

In the wide world, the economy is tanking. People are being laid off around the corner and around the world.

And House Ways and Means Chairman Robert DeLeo is dropping $3,000 in campaign cash to wine and dine 60 or 70 or 80 of his nearest and dearest friends in a campaign for a job that isn't open -- at least not yet.

How utterly clueless can you be?

DeLeo and Majority Leader John Rogers are locked in a pitched battle to succeed House Speaker Sal DiMasi. The job isn't available, despite the Speaker's many legal problems and his repeated denials that he's going anywhere.

No mind. DeLeo and Rogers (who has ethics problems of his own) have been in open war to secure 81 votes throughout the legislative session that just ended. Debate over casinos, budgets, taxes and issues of substance to a back seat -- particularly during the waning hours in July.

DeLeo had the upper hand, if for no other reason that he hasn't needed to hire lawyers recently. But his tin ear performance in Worcester the other night evens up the score.

It's become pretty clear that the Legislature isn't coming back in special session to deal with tax and budget issues because DiMasi fears those will be the last things looked at.

The increasingly open warfare is eating up valuable minutes that should be focused on the people's business, not who gets to wield a gavel that increasingly has become a one-way ticket to being a defendant in court.

It's DeSgusting.

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