New In The Phoenix: MassGOP Struggles

For years, Republican candidates for governor have gained an edge in Massachusetts by playing up the fear of what a unified Democratic Party, working together, would do with control of both the legislature and the administration. That message didn't resonate in '06 -- perhaps because voters cogently foresaw that Democrats under the Statehouse Dome would end up fighting one another rather than getting anything done. "Unified" and "working together" rarely describe anything on Beacon Hill; you could install conjoined twins as Governor and House Speaker, and they'd still find a way to plot behind each others' backs.

One outcome of this, I suggest in an article in this week's Boston Phoenix -- out tomorrow, online today -- is that the Massachusetts GOP has lacked a stationary target against which to define itself as the voice of opposition.

You can read it here:
Whither the GOP? With Democrats in total control of state government, the Massachusetts GOP should be a rising voice of dissent. Instead, it seems more impotent than ever.

While I'm talking about Bay State Republicans, I'll confess that I'm currently rooting for one: Lawrence Mayor Michael Sullivan. I didn't speak to him for this article, but I always enjoy chatting with him, so I've decided to take his side in his "biggest loser" diet contest with (Democratic) Methuen Mayor William Manzi. Sullivan holds the early lead after the potentially crippling "Lawrence corned beef and cabbage luncheon." My concern is that Sullivan, who is term-limited out next year, may go soft and lose focus in his lame-duck years, while Manzi, from what I understand, will remain fit wrestling his police chief round-and-round the town. Go Mike Go!

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