Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Finneran resigns.

An era in Massachusetts politics comes to an end today with the resignation of Speaker of the House Tom Finneran. The Bay State has a long tradition of strong legislative leaders, and Finneran was no exception. Many observers - myself included - have taken the view that the Speaker wields more influence over the course of Massachusetts politics than the Governor; in Finneran's case, it certainly helped that the Speaker outlasted three occupants of the Corner Office (with the potential, had he stayed, to outlast a fourth as well). He was a fascinating figure as well as a controversial one, equally adept at performing intricate legislative manuevers and at dishing out tart-tongued zingers. When I was a State House intern, I got to meet the Speaker several times. I started out disliking him because of some policy differences. Over time, however, my stance softened and I came to have great respect for the Speaker, even as I continued to disagree with him on some things. As it is everywhere else, politics in Massachusetts is as much about personalities as about policy. Tom Finneran was an outsized personality, and his departure from the upper echelons of state government leaves a massive void that may take a while to fill. For me, politics is also a terrific spectator sport, and any game Finneran played in was always worth watching. AMDG.


At September 28, 2004 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jos-How was CA? Is Sanok still an active e-mail? Call.


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