Well, this certainly does not sound pretty. Sal DiMasi's had a tough couple of months. It's definitely been a bad week, with stories coming out of unseemly (if not outright illegal) lobbying, and killing legislation in order to benefit contractor Jay Cashman.
And now it would seem that his own lieutenants are trying to push him out of the way — or at least to make way for his successor should he leave … or be taken away. Paul McMorrow's got the scoop that it's Speaker Pro Tem Petrolati — he of the mobster campaign donations — who is behind the intrigue:
And, a House source says, this same Rep is currently helping lead a “highly aggressive” campaign to line up votes behind DeLeo, against DiMasi’s direct orders.
“Petrolati has been heavily involved in pushing DeLeo,” this source says, and the pace of the vote-gathering has increased every day this week. “They’re literally dragging people into offices to really hammer away at them.” The DeLeo team, reportedly well behind Rogers in votes, is said to be promising reps line items in the budget in exchange for support. “They’re running around, trying to knuckle people into signing up in exchange for money for their districts.” That may explain the glut of porky line items being duct-taped to this supposedly austere budget.
So, this actually leaves us with a real question: Whom do you want as the next Speaker, should Sal have to step aside? Rogers? DeLeo? Mariano?
I have my prejudices, but frankly they're not based on much information. Honestly, from what I know, I'd rather have Sal, who at least has health care and marriage equality under his belt. What do you know about these guys?
PS: Casey's got a great run-down of all the intrigue, as does Matt Viser. Ug-ly! You can imagine how the House would run, should any of thse guys get the Speakership. Although, that's probably just par for the course …