Is Sal DiMasi Co-Governor of Massachusetts?

Deval Patrick is, of course, the governor. However, House Speaker Sal DiMasi is more powerful than your average legislative leader, as he showed again in ...
by | March 20, 2008

Deval Patrick is, of course, the governor. However, House Speaker Sal DiMasi is more powerful than your average legislative leader, as he showed again in thwarting Patrick's gambling proposal. From the Boston Globe :

In a day of frenzied, behind-the-scenes wrangling, secret vote counts, and last-minute deals, House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi orchestrated a narrow committee vote yesterday against Governor Deval Patrick's resort casino proposal, setting up certain defeat today by the full House of one of the governor's cornerstone economic initiatives.

The committee vote was closer than had been expected as recently as last week, as senators and Republicans on the committee swung the governor's way over the final two days. After an initial vote yesterday produced a tie and a parliamentary dispute, House leaders delayed a final vote for four hours, which gave them time to come up with something more decisive.

Ultimately, DiMasi engineered the 10-to-8 vote against Patrick's plan by changing the vote of a Republican House member, Richard J. Ross of Wrentham, at literally the last minute. After the intense arm-twisting and DiMasi's victory, the only question for today was how badly Patrick's bill will be defeated in the House.

"I can count," Patrick said last night, acknowledging the inevitable. "I can count."

You can add Massachusetts to the list of states that feature intraparty rivalries between speaker and governor, along with Illinois, Georgia, Florida and, I'm sure, others.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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