Tuesday, March 17, 2009

From a former State Rep.. on the Speakers authority

AS A former reform-minded state representative, one of my pet peeves is how the media can create a perception among the public that their individual lawmakers are at the mercy of House speakers when it comes to legislative business, and that there is nothing these individual legislators can do.

A case in point is the March 13 story about the legislative staff pay raises and promotions by the outgoing and incoming speakers (Page A1). The reporter wrote, "The House speaker has absolute authority to hire, promote, or grant pay raises." The fact is, a speaker can only do what a majority of legislators allow him to do. Any House member can question the actions by Salvatore DiMasi and Robert DeLeo, and if he or she can obtain the support of a majority, such actions can not only be undone, but more important, the speaker's "absolute authority" can be curbed or eliminated.

Media reports highlighting a speaker's authority mislead the public into believing their representatives share no blame for a speaker's action. The representatives are happy with this because it allows them to duck their individual responsibility.

Anyone who is outraged at these latest shenanigans by the former and current speaker should contact their representative and demand that he or she initiate legislative action to stop such actions.
Frank Jakubowicz, Pittsfield

Something to consider, as we make changes for the future. But as most of you know already, change has to happen at the rep level.


At March 17, 2009 at 3:19 PM , Blogger Eric said...

Very interesting, especially the statement that we can udue what was done by the speaker. I say we get going on the undoing of just about every single thing a Speaker for the MA house has done for the past 10 years! I can't think of one good thing that has come out of our state house in a very long time. Jim, how about you? Any good things that came out of that building that you can think of?

At March 17, 2009 at 3:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one question, why is this person not still a rep?

At March 17, 2009 at 4:21 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Good question Anon... i've googled him and found nothing notewothy, The writer is a former Pittsfield city councilman, Berkshire County commissioner, and Pittsfield state representative.

He knows the inside I would say

At March 17, 2009 at 4:44 PM , Blogger Fred J. said...

Enough of the bitching. What the hell are we going to do about this? Richardson at worst lied to her employers, those employers being us, the residents of Framingham, and at best mislead us. She apparently can try to override the Speaker’s actions by organizing others in the state house to vote with her to do just that according to this guy who should know what he is talking about being a former Rep.. When you or I lie to our boss about what you are doing at work, you get fired, or they write you up and you have to improve your perfomance. So, how do we force her to be accoutable to us for her actions and improve her performance, and if that fails, how do we fire her?

At March 17, 2009 at 5:07 PM , Blogger Rich said...

This makes sense, and didn’t we all really know this, but were just getting sucked in by all the rhetoric? I would be interested in asking Pam Richardson about this directly, maybe at that meeting on March 30th. I am very interested in what her response to questions about what they can do to override the speakers actions would be. But my real question is do they have the ability to override the governor? These last two things we have heard about positions he has appointed people to are just a bit too much to swallow if you ask me. He has lost all credibility with me, and I am really disappointed, I had great faith in him. Guess he is pretty good at playing the game, convincing us that he is a political outsider, but for an outsider, he sure learned the ropes pretty quickly.

At March 17, 2009 at 5:13 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Jamie Sox,

Well, play this hand, Deval has to do something with this gal now... he's up to his chin with problems created by Aloisli not only in the past, but NOW, Deavl has to tread lightly or he will face even more trouble trying to get the Pike Board thing, tolls, increase gas tax, etc etc..back in play. A lot of our finicail troubles are related to the Pike Board and the big dig dept. This entire event could take on new meaning if the sister of Alosis is fired or made to pay any money back.. I think Deval has boxed himself in a corner, trying to make Alosis happy by hiring his sister.

I may be wrong about this...

At March 18, 2009 at 8:20 AM , Blogger James said...

We need to directly ask our Reps why they are not opposing the Speakers bad choices. If they in fact support those decisions, then that tells us some important facts about their ethics, and their willingness to be responsive to their constituents. I don't know about the rest of you, but I sure don't want someone who thinks the raises and sneakiness exhibited by the last two Speakers is acceptable behavior, and I would certainly not vote someone who thinks it is back into office. They need to do something, not just say they disagree. Overturn those bad decisions now!

At March 18, 2009 at 1:21 PM , Blogger Not my problem said...

This tells us the system was designed correctly, but it is just not being used the way it was designed to be used. My guess is that if the system was designed correctly, there is also a system in place to oust those who abuse the system. Mr. Pillsbury, hope you are able to find out what we can do according to the Constitution to get rid of these dishonest and unethical people in power now. Contrary to what my blog name says, this is every one of our problems, effecting all of us, and will effect our kids and grandkids also. We need to stop this MA polital attitude that they are above the laws the rest of us have to live by.


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