It came down to a 6th-ballot choice between a black guy (Michael Steele) and a guy who until a few months ago belonged to a whites-only club (Katon Dawson), and the Republican National Committee members narrowly picked the black guy, 91-77.
For me, there's a symmetry to this. In 2004, the Republicans held their convention in New York, shortly after Illinois state senator Barack Obama stole the show in Boston with his keynote speech.
A mere week after this reporter socked him with a B- grade, the Patrick administration has announced that Dan O'Connell is out; he has been Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for two years.
He is being replaced by the current undersecretary of business development, Gregory Bialecki, who I singled out for brief praise in that same article.
--As you can imagine, I am super-duper excited for today's RNC committee vote for chairman. Incidentally, I'm getting some chatter that incumbent Mike Duncan is now Mitt Romney's stalking-horse; meanwhile, former Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman (but actually, in my analysis, a stalking horse for Bill Frist), has dropped out on account of having absolutely no support whatsoever.
I've just received a press release from the Michael Flaherty campaign, headlined "Flaherty Launches Campaign Website."
The campaign did not have a website up when Flaherty announced this past weekend -- when the campaign accidentally put an announcement up on YouTube before they had planned to.
Now, they are proudly unveiling the new website.
My Phoenix colleague Chris Faraone reports from the State House that representative John Rogers has just delivered a "the speech of his life" on the floor of the House, in which he endorsed his rival Robert DeLeo for Speaker.
Faraone is calling it Rogers's "Three Houses Speech."
First, Rogers apologized for the ethics scandal concerning his house on the Cape.
As the RNC gathers for its big meeting, and to elect a chairman (reports suggest Duncan, but don't count out Krazy Katon Dawson!):
--Dan rightly takes Jeff Jacoby to task for perpetuating the bogus CBO report figures, but I'll do him one better: the House Minority Whip (and 19th Scariest Conservative!) repeating the lie to Marc Ambinder last night as his #1 problem with the stimulus bill: "I think first of all you have to focus spending on actual stimulus.
--Deval Patrick announces his budget proposal this morning at 11:00. An hour later House Dems meet to appoint Bob DeLeo Speaker; he may not want the job after hearing what Patrick has to say.
--Michael Flaherty sez "the mayor is too secretive, and I know what that's like!"
--Oh, and by the way, this line in Laurel Sweet's article yesterday had them howling in City Hall: "Last year, Flaherty voluntarily surrendered his five-year hold on the council presidency by turning the gavel over to Maureen Feeney, the board’s only female representative."
I just wanted to write that. My spies tell me that Jennifer Nassour easily won election as chair of the Mass. GOP tonight.
I'll be on BNN's Talk of the Neighborhoods with Joe Heisler tonight, from 7:30-8:00.
And sometime later in the evening, I should get the results of tonight's big election. You know, the political story everyone's been buzzing about lately -- the new chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party!
People haven't been buzzing?
One question unanswered in Sal DiMasi's sudden departure is, why now? Why, so soon after starting the new session, did DiMasi feel the need to get out in such a rush?
The answer might be, in part, to keep confidential any ways that he might cash in after leaving office.
Elected officials must file a personal disclosure -- a Statement of Financial Interests (SFI), in state parlance -- for any calendar year in which he or she served for 30 or more days.
My Phoenix colleague Chris Faraone reports from the state house that Robert DeLeo has just said, at a press conference, that John Rogers told him in chambers this morning that he is urging his supporters to vote for DeLeo.
DeLeo: "We have an awful lot of major issues confronting us, including ethics reform... My first major goal is that whether you supported John Rogers or Robert DeLeo, we have to work together."
Here's a little off-shoot of this week's unfolding DiMasi/DeLeo/Rogers soap opera. After DiMasi officially resigns tomorrow (1:00 pm), and until the house votes DeLeo as the next Speaker Wednesday, someone has to be in charge. That's the House Dean -- the representative whose service dates back the furthest -- Rep. David L.
Folks in the Sam Yoon circle say that the councilor has scheduled the weekend of February 7-8 to sit down with his family and discuss whether to commit to a mayoral run. Thus, the earliest he will announce his intentions is two weeks from today, at least as plans currently stand.
The guessing is that the answer will be yes, and that he will likely announce within a week after that "family decision" chat.
Today Sal DiMasi made official what many have been saying privately for the past couple of days: he will retire as of Tuesday as Speaker and state representative.
In an interview with the Globe and in a letter he circulated to colleagues, DiMasi insists that his leaving has nothing to do with the ongoing ethics and criminal investigations that swirl around Beacon Hill.
So, former state senator Dianne Wilkerson now says that the state ethics commission informed her, twice, that accepting cash stuffed in envelopes from people who do business before the state is fine, and does not need to be reported, as long as you don't actually do anything to help the person slipping you the money. Of course, most of the time there is almost no way anyone would ever know, because A) neither side in the transaction has to report the payoff, and B) in government, "helping" tends to happen anonymously and behind closed doors.