Swearing-In Week

Oh, what an exciting week this is for those who enjoy the arcane rituals and traditions of the peaceful transfer of power in the world's greatest democracy!

For starters, congratulations to Stephen Murphy, who got voted in as the new president of the Boston City Council. He (and his staff!) finally get the big office, and all the trappings and attention that come with it -- and, one imagines, a fundraising boost toward his re-election later this year. Murph, in my opinion, deserved to get the gavel long ago, and probably would have if the two-year limit had been in effect earlier. Now that he's got it, let's see if he keeps up the moves toward relevance, independence, and transparency we saw under Mike Ross.

Congratulations also to the many newly-sworn-in state legislators, including quite a few from Boston. I watched some of the procedings on web feed. Can't say I was impressed with the image of the grinning former speakers, Finneran and DiMasi, on the dais receiving a mostly-standing ovation, but hey that's Massachusetts politics.

I was pretty impressed with Speaker Robert DeLeo's speech -- one of the few times I've thought a speech could have gone on longer. One odd observation, from my removed vantage point: DeLeo included a couple of lines about addressing patronage, and they seemed to receive tepid response, at best. He delivered this line: "We will make clear that all public servants must not only be qualified for their jobs; they must be the most qualified people for their jobs," and then paused as if for applause -- it seemed like it took an awfully long while for any to come. Then he continued: "And we will also ensure that state hiring authorities understand that we expect that they will serve but one master – the taxpaying public." This time, no applause at all during his pause, and he moved on to the next section of his speech.

Again, I wasn't there, so I don't know if I was getting that right. It just seemed odd.

I did not see Senate President Therese Murray's speech, but from reading it I am less impressed with hers. There was a lot of telling her own personal story (appropriate when she first became president; not so much now), and deserved but jarring, given the times, boasting about last session's accomplishments. There seemed to be very little straight talk about the very serious problems facing the state. And, there was no allusion at all, that I could find, to patronage.

Tomorrow, we get the big man himself, Governor Deval Patrick. Today, he released the contributors to his (greatly scaled down from '06) inaugural committee -- so I'm passing the list along to you:

Arbella Insurance Group

EMC Corporation
Liberty Mutual
Mass Mutual Financial Group
Laborers’ Int’l Union of MA
Paul & Joanne Egerman
Peter Pan
State Street Corporation
Suffolk Construction Company
Zeneca Services


Boston Red Sox
Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of Massachusetts

1199 SEIU
Be Our Guest
Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA
Boston Bruins and TD Garden
Boston Scientific
Citizens Bank
DLA Piper
EMD Serono
Goulston & Storrs PC
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
John E. Kavanagh III
Massachusetts Credit Union Share Insurance Corporation
Massachusetts Insurance Federation
Michael P. Wasserman, Inc.
Nestle Waters Corporation
New England Patriots
New England Revolution
Port Lighting Company
TD Bank
The Catered Affair
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, LLC
Tufts Health Plan

Associated Industries of Massachusetts
Barry and Candace Sloane
Century Bank
First Bristol Corp.
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Howell Communications
Magellan Health Services
Paul Revere Transportation, LLC
Sovereign Bank
Steward Health Care System, LLC
The Travelers Indemnity Co.

Property Casualty Insurers


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