You heard it here first, folks. Contrary to David Bernstein’s prediction, http://www.thephoeni… the new Gov will not expend precious political capital in Year 1 by tying state control strings to local aid (Year 2 maybe, when muni finances settle down a bit and after a year-long sales job by Murray). Instead, DP will propose that he, as the “supreme executive magistrate” of the commonwealth (at least according to the constitution) gain control over all the quasi and independent authorities in the state.
Think about it: just like the Genie in Aladdin, the Gov has almighty power but itty bitty living space when it comes to actual executive control over important aspects of people’s lives, like the international and municipal airports, drinking water, trains, the major east-west highway link, job training and placement, international trade, and a myriad other important executive functions. For the past 16 years, the Legislature (often with the complicit assistance of outgoing Govs who needed a place to salt their peeps) has slowly eroded executive power in Massachusetts when the seat was held by Republicans. The most extreme recent example, the Public Health Council, is pending in the SJC (which Patrick should let ride, since it seeks to ratify executive power, if the case is strong) but lots of other examples abound. We taxpayers even fund private 501(c)(3) corporations with tax dollars over which NO ONE who is accountable to the Governor or voters is responsible. Yikes!
So if you’re DP and looking for a bold stroke (and the control to exert real reform initiatives), the call is easy: inflame a municipal constituency out of the gate, or file legislation to expand the boards of all authorities and 501(c)(3) corporations with gubernatorial appointments to seize control of about 25% of executive functions that are not under the control of the supreme executive magistrate. Who knows, maybe even the ABCC and other agencies ultimately will return to executive control under the Gov.
Anyone want to bet against me?