The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Thursday to abolish term limits for Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, extending indefinitely the reign of one of the most powerful politicians on Beacon Hill.
The vote came six years after DeLeo put the limits in place, trumpeting them as a blow for more ethical government.
On Thursday, the speaker said that his position had “evolved” and that it would be good for the House to have an experienced leader with a strong track record.
Continuing the tradition of 4 corrupt Speakers in a row, Robert DeLeo proudly accepted the praise of creating term limits for his office only to waive them away after his stranglehold on power was completed. The move was correctly panned by good government groups and the Massachusetts Republican Caucus voted against the change in unanimous dissent.
But what of our own party?
- The Minority Leader has the power to appoint the rest of party leadership, unlike the national Republican caucus where they are elected separately.
- The Minority Leader controls committee appointments and uses the power of these appointment to control the actions of the caucus both inside and outside of their roles as legislators.
- The Minority Leader controls the salaries of the caucus member by controlling the “bonus” money that comes with leadership roles.
- The Minority Leader is not term limited and the Republican House Caucus has the ability to term limit the position without the approval of the Democrats. It can be done by simply changing their own internal rules or through voluntary term limits.
It’s time for our Minority Leader to stop viewing corrupt Democratic Speakers as a model to copy and start viewing them as a tragedy to avoid.
ROLL CALL BELOW THE FOLD…