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  • October 19, 2012
    By David S. Bernstein

    Bundling questions again. "Nate" asks:

    Win or lose this time around, who replaces Senate President Murray?

    "James" asks:

    We have several Senators getting up there in years (what else is new). Off the top of my head, Jehlen, R. Moore sem to no longer be long for their seats. Thoughts on replacements for these two legislators?

    Read More

  • March 23, 2012
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Beacon Hill Insider" asks:

    SP Murrays reelection is up in the air due to her opponent, Mr. Keyes, having the backing of GOP insiders this time around. If the lady lush loses, which Senate sycophant will ascend to the presidency - Hart? Baddour? Brewer? or Rosenberg?

    I suspect that Therese Murray will survive challenge number two from Tom Keyes, but it will be a serious race.

    Read More

  • September 23, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Johnnie Mox" asks:

    Even though the Senate President announeced she was keepng her firm grip on the Senate Presidency for a few years, things always change. The body has had great turnover in the last 6 years. Who do you see emerging as candidates as the next Senate President?

    It's a tough one, huh? I wrote earlier this year that Therese Murray's leadership/committee assignments seemed to send a signal that she's in charge, and she's staying for a while (ditto with DeLeo on the house side), but you're right, things always change.

    Read More

  • July 21, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    This is the first non-election year in which Massachusetts state legislators must report campaign finances in mid-year, under new reporting rules passed in 2009. That still keeps the contributions and expenditures hidden during the budget process, but reveals them pretty shortly after, so that's a start. Plus, it gives dorks like me a lot of numbers to play with during the dog days of summer.

    Read More

  • July 13, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    A joint statement just came from senate president Therese Murray and house speaker Bob DeLeo, saying that expanded gaming legislation will not be debated in the legislature until after Labor Day.

    That's a setback for DeLeo, who had been publicly pushing to debate gaming in July, once the budget was done. On the other hand, maybe this could be read as a sign that Murray does expect to move on gaming this fall, which would be something.

    Read More

  • April 28, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Governmental auditing and oversight is extremely important -- as sage political scientist Seth Masket explains today, when this function is lax you end up with Senator Palpatine diverting quintillions from the Republic's budget to secretly fund construction of a Death Star.

    (I would add that this example also illustrates the importance of a vibrant free press, which had clearly withered to irrelevancy by that time.

    Read More

  • April 06, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    The Massachusetts House of Representatives does not seem to be in a great rush to work on Governor Deval Patrick's and Senate President Therese Murray's top priority of the session, health care cost containment, Liz Kowalczyk writes in the Globe. So true. In fact, I've found that when you mention health care cost containment to people on the House side, they tend to assume you're talking just about moving municipalities to GIC for health insurance; the big reform Patrick and Murray are talking about doesn't seem to even be on their radar.

    Read More

  • March 16, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    It would be easy to jab at Bob DeLeo for his blatantly political 180 on patronage, but I'm with Lehigh on this one -- the Speaker deserves credit for taking the lead on the issue.

    I have previously compared this to people who take hazing for granted, suddenly realizing that it's no longer publicly acceptable. It may be too much to expect those types to actually see that what they've been doing is wrong, but regardless, they need to step up and stop it from happening anymore.

    Read More

  • January 20, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    After much speculation and rumor, word today is that the open Massachusetts state senate Ways & Means chair (left by the legendary Pangy) is going to Stephen Brewer of Barre.

    This is not a huge surprise; Brewer was vice-chair of the committee, and thus A) clearly trusted by senate president Therese Murray, and B) knowledgable enough about the budget process to handle it right away.

    Read More

  • January 05, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    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.

    Read More

  • November 24, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    I've been struck by something in the news recently: hazing. There have been a couple of incidents, in Needham and now Agawam, making the news. Hazing is one of those things that for many years was considered perfectly normal and acceptable -- people doing it might have been concerned with how it could look to some people, but didn't think they were actually doing anything wrong, or anything they could, or should, get in trouble for.

    Read More

  • October 15, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Jim" asks:

    If Therese Murray were to lose her re-election bid who do you think would emerge to be the next Senate President?

    It's a great question, because so much of the leadership is on the way out or not considered quite up to the task. It's possible that Stan Rosenberg could get the nod, as a one-session placekeeper.

    Read More

  • August 05, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- online and in print now -- I write about the end of the Massachusetts legislative session last week, which of course was dominated by the ultimately failed attempt (at least, as of this writing) to pass an expanded gaming bill.

    I suggest that those with the most experience at working in these kinds of high-stakes Beacon Hill showdowns were the ones who fared best: senate president Therese Murray most notably, but to some degree Governor Deval Patrick and Treasurer/gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill as well.

    Read More

  • July 31, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    In the final hours, as often happens, the deals were made to reconcile the differences between the two chambers, and a whole bunch of legislation is pouring through the Massachusetts state legislature.

    I haven't had a chance to find out how all those differences have been resolved in those bills, but my initial indicators are that an awful lot of them went in favor of the state senate.

    Read More

  • July 29, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Word was strategically getting around earlier today that the Massachusetts House and Senate were "getting to yes," as senate president Therese Murray has put it, on the gaming bill -- to include two licenses for slots-only facilities.

    That was not yet officially announced, but was pretty clearly meant to be the story for the evening news.

    Read More

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