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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Flip-Flop Express

While Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express were down the block on the Boston Common complaining about taxes and government (but not their Social Security and Medicare), members of the Massachusetts House were under the Golden Dome, having arrived on the Flip-Flop Express.

It's hard not to call a 64-vote swing in a 160-member chamber in two years a rather massive shift of opinion. The cause of is equally clear: the absence of former Speaker Sal DiMasi and the lobbying of the current Speaker Robert DeLeo:
“This is the bill he has cared about more than any other bill,’’ said Representative Ellen Story, an Amherst Democrat and member of the speaker’s leadership team, who voted for the bill after voting against casinos in 2008. “My sense is that there may well be consequences for people voting against this bill — particularly people in his inner circle.’’
So it is encouraging the Massachusetts lawmakers have health insurance to cover the twisted arms and twisted logic on display as DeLeo flexed his own political muscle and they reversed the supposedly well-thought arguments from two years ago.

There's little doubt Massachusetts needs a new revenue source, although lawmakers were quick to make sure no potential revenue was included in the $27.8 billion spending plan that emerged from House Ways and Means on the same day.

But the deep cuts looming for teachers, police and firefighters spoke loud enough. This is an election year after all and you can bet that lawmakers are frightened at the prospect of losing their jobs and will do whatever is necessary to keep them.

It's still uncertain what the Senate will do. President Therese Murray favors casinos but not slots and her top priority these days appears to be health insurance reform.

Should be an interesting next few months.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Ryan said...

some particularly notable votes:

http://www.ryanstake.net/2010/04/notable-votes.html

April 15, 2010 2:06 PM  

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