sez Frank Phillips, who also gives a nice introduction to Senate President-to-be Therese Murray. Must-read.
From what I’ve read and heard, Murray’s an odd duck. She’s definitely a social liberal — much more so than Travaglini — and well-liked among the progressives in the Senate. She’s a “ferocious advocate” for abused and deserted women and children. In his article, Phillips points out some areas of commonality between her and Gov. Patrick, like support of same-sex marriage and the closing of corporate tax loopholes. She would likely try to restore some of the cuts or level-fundings of social programs, which perhaps even Gov. Patrick would welcome, if it takes the heat off of him.
But she’s also known as stand-offish, insular, and prickly. (Peter Porcupine disagrees with that description). And she apparently, allegedly directed $11 million of taxpayer bucks to a pal who had bilked the state before. Add that to the already-present institutional tensions between the Senate and a new governor intent on consolidating executive control over spending (e.g. earmarks), and it just ain’t gonna be easy — not in a deficit year, not with the atmosphere as it’s been the last few months.