A DeLeo Shake-Up Coming?

Massachusetts Senate leadership, announced late last week, included a number of changes by necessity -- top people had gone, leaving vacancies at assistant majority leader (which went to Steven Tolman of Boston), majority whip (Jack Hart, Boston), assistant majority whip (Harriett Chandler, Worcester), and Ways & Means chair (Stephen Brewer, Barre).

But the House leadership has no such glaring openings -- other than the pro tempore position that DeLeo has stripped from beleagured Thomas Petrolati -- so there's been much less attention paid to the decisions being contemplated by Speaker Bob DeLeo.

However, according to people close to the players involved, there may be significant changes coming, when DeLeo announces assignments, sometime in the coming days.

Word is that DeLeo plans to oust majority leader James Vallee, of Franklin, from leadership -- promoting Ron Mariano of Quincy into that position, and giving Burlington's Charley Murphy the assistant majority leader spot of Mariano's.

These moves, if they indeed happen, would indicate two things, according to statehouse watchers: A) DeLeo is consolidating power, moving his most trusted (and competent) advisors to the center; and B) DeLeo is firmly ending the Murphy/Vallee battle for eventual succession to Speaker, making Murphy the heir apparent -- at least for the moment.

It would, of course, open up the position of Ways & Means chair, which Murphy currently holds -- and bear in mind that last session's Vice-Chair, Barbara L'Italien, lost re-election. So, if this scenario plays out, Ways & Means will be run by a relative rookie -- more evidence, perhaps, that DeLeo is moving true power to the central leadership team.

I would be remiss, however, if I didn't point out something else going on with Murphy. As spotted earlier today by communications pro Bill Yelenak, the Ways & Means chair's months-dormant Twitter account sprung to life (presumably hacked) three days ago and Tweeted the following:

Just took "Can you be Justin Bieber's girlfriend?" and got: 100%!! Try it

Does DeLeo really want an assistant majority leader who is a perfect match for Bieber? Will an empowered Murphy start forcing reps to get Bieber haircuts? (And please, someone please start photoshopping examples?) Well, it wouldn't be the strangest thing that's ever gone on in the House.

| More

 Friends' Activity   Popular 
All Blogs
Follow the Phoenix
  • newsletter
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • youtube
  • rss
Latest Comments
Search Blogs
Talking Politics Archives