--I can't say I'm all that worked up about Michael McLaughlin. I've met him a couple of times, but I'll defer to Scot Lehigh's assessment. We'll see what turns up now that the microscope is on him -- could be he was a decent administrator who found ways to legally, if grossly, pad his pocketbook, or it could be considerably worse. You can believe Lil' Timmy Murray is hoping it's the former. Either way, it's a bad mark for politically for the LG. Not that this story will be fatal, but it plays right into a larger perception -- particularly strong among the state's political insiders -- about how Murray operates. There's a lot to like about him, but he really does seem to have carried an urban-machine attitude with him to Beacon Hill, and in today's political world that image is a liability. (Quick: who's the last person to win election for governor here as a Beacon Hill insider?)
--I don't know what's really going on in this tale of Speaker Robert DeLeo looking to oust Majority Whip Charley Murphy. You would think DeLeo would just freeze him out for the year, rather than taking the high-profile step of asking the caucus to vote him out, so I'd imagine there is something more to the story. What I do know is that this gives me an opportunity to do something I should have done long ago: come up with a horse-racing-related nickname for the Speaker. What do you think: "Bobby Blinders," "Backstretch Bobby," "Daily Double DeLeo," or "Stretch Run Speaker"?
--Maybe I'm just getting jaded, but I don't see much to get worked up about in the John Tierney brother-in-law trial, or the Suzanne Bump fundraising letter. Bump's is potentially more troubling, but as it looks for now I don't see it connecting to her authorizing a shakedown of those she'll be auditing. We'll see if anything else comes of it.
--In case you've fallen behind in the saga of the Barnstormin' Mormon, we have recently learned that for the next 12 months or so a significant portion of the state government's resources will be taken up fulfilling dueling Freedom of Information requests, by and about former guv Mitt Romney.
--The Massachusetts Republican Party seems really, really into this whole thing of tying Elizabeth Warren to the Occupy movement. The latest press release is headed "Occupy Wall Street Incident Report." I don't know what traction they think this is getting them, but maybe somebody's got polling.