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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, June 09, 2011

Deval is rolling sevens

If you need any better proof about the amazing political turnaround of Deval Patrick, consider the fact that House Speaker Robert DeLeo may be on the verge of folding his hand on casino legislation.

When last we looked, a casino gaming bill was buried with the last legislative session, terminated by an insurmountable dispute between the Speaker and a governor facing dicey reelection prospects. Lots of finger-wagging and grumbles under (and over) the breath.

DeLeo assumed lawmakers would have an easier time negotiating (or rolling over) Gov. Charlie Baker. But a funny thing happened in November. Patrick defied conventional wisdom and the punditocracy, picked up a head of steam and today is seen as the top dog, wooed by some to take on Scott Brown for the Senate seat next year.

Compare that clout to DeLeo -- who heads an organization where three of his predecessors have been indicted, the last one being an ardent casino foe now just days away from what could be a jury verdict that sends him off to Club Fed for awhile.

Toss in for effect that AFL-CIO boss Robert Haynes, who berated Patrick for killing jobs along with the casinos, is getting ready to ride off into the sunset, having lost one too many battles with the powers-that-be on Beacon Hill.

There's still a ways to go before any compromise emerges from the Statehouse inner sanctums -- and frankly this bill has been debated long enough I have no issue with closed door talks. If and when it does emerge, it will represent one of the truly most impressive political comebacks seen in these parts, or anywhere for that matter, in a long time.

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