Around New England

Democrat on Charlie Baker:  ‘He Is Really One of Us’

February 1, 2019

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is more like a Democrat than the Republican he pretends to be, says Lowell Sun columnist Peter Lucas.

“He is really one of us,” an unnamed “top Democrat” told Lucas, according the column in the Lowell Sun.

Lucas argues that conservative Jim Lyons, who recently unexpectedly won the chairmanship of the Massachusetts Republican Party, is irrelevant to Baker.

“Now that he is into his second, and probably last, term as governor, he needs support from the conservatives now running the state committee like he needs a hole in the head,” Lucas writes in the Lowell Sun. “It is only through compromise and conciliation with Democrats on Beacon Hill — who hold overwhelming liberal majorities in both the House and Senate — that Baker has been able to succeed as chief executive.”

Republicans can’t help Baker much in the state Legislature because their numbers are so thin — the House splits 127-32 Democrat-Republican, while Democrats rule the Senate by a margin of 34-6.

Lucas notes that Republicans in the Massachusetts House and Senate tend to be muted in their criticism of Democrats, and he argues that that’s because they depend on Democratic leaders in each chamber for salary add-ons and perks.

Meanwhile, Baker’s agenda looks a lot like a Democrat’s.

New Boston Post reported last week Governor Baker’s support for new taxes, including a 50 percent increase in the excise tax on deed transfers for real estate sales.

“He certainly taxes like a Democrat,” Lucas writes.