One of the big reasons why I find a Charlie Baker governorship a positive prospect is that he, as a Republican, can get a lot of things done that probably none of the five Democrats can do. Example : the minimum wage rise bill, which the House voted Yea on just this week.
that bill was going nowhere, because Speaker DeLeo insisted on an unemployment insurance give-back that Speaker DeLeo insisted on but which few of the Democratic party’s core groups wanted to give. then, about two months ago, Baker announced that he supported the DeLeo bill and, what was more, would expand the earned income tax credit.
Two weeks ago Baker won the GOP nomination for Governor. Next thing I knew, DeLeo’s minimum wage bill, with its give back, was on the House agenda and was voted Yea 123 to 24. All but one democrat voted Yea.
Can there be any doubt that the House took up the deleo bill when it did, and voted it yea, because the Democrats did not want to cede the Minimum wage rise issue to Baker ? And so the bill now goes to conference, with the DeLeo bill certain to be the final law, because DeLeo has that power and because Baker is waiting.
As for the Democrats, not one, in anhy Forum, would commit to supporting the DeLeo bill — and as DeLeo said, if the legislation didn’t contain his give back, it “wasn’t going very far.’ (his words) Steve Grossman even said that he would veto a bill that included the DeLeo give-back.
Were Baker not in the fight, and taking the minimum wage issue up, can there be any doubt that we would see years of battle between this Democrat and that one ? After all, that’; how it has been for eight years of Governor Patrick’s administration — sometimes effective, often not effective at all, occasionally a disaster.
All that baker has to do is raise one of the state’s many major issues — education reform, driver’s licenses for immigrabts, crinminal justiuce reform, transportatioon funding, reconfiguring the DCF, redoing state government’s technology — in a progressive way, but in line with what Speaker DeLeo will support, and it gets done. Why ? Simple : the Democratic party cannot allow the Massachusetts Republican party to steal its key issues and, with them, key constituencies.
As long as the State’s major challnges remain a striggle within the Democratic party, with a small GOP entirely on the sidelines, little gets done. Enter Baker as Governor, however, working with the Speaker, and suddenly almost all gets done, very quickly.
This is how Massachusetts has been best governed since 1990 at least. It remains true today. The one Democratic governor candidate whom I haven’t yet discarded, Juliette Kayyem — shrewd and brilliant charisma champion that she is — needs to tell me how she can get done stuff that Baker WILL get done.
—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere
below : the one Democratic governor hopeful left standing : Juliette Kayyem