House speaker facing a revolt from the outside
HOUSE SPEAKER ROBERT DELEO has a challenger—but it’s not a member of the chamber he oversees.
The insurgency is coming instead from a 27-year-old Franklin resident who says he’s grown weary of the consolidation of House power in the office of one man. “We don’t think the speaker should have the amount of power he has, and it should be a more democratic system in terms of what bills get to the floor,” says Maxwell Morrongiello.
Two years ago, DeLeo prevailed on House members to toss out term limits on his reign in power.
“There’s a lot of legislation out there that the majority supports that isn’t getting passed,” Morrongiello says of the top-down structure in which DeLeo decides what bills get taken up by the House.
Morrongiello is active with the liberal group Progressive Massachusetts, but says the case for democratic reform of the House should appeal to residents across the political spectrum.This is not his first stab at fixing what he thinks is broken on Beacon Hill. Morrongiello tried to organize a similar push five years ago, but threw in the towel when it made little headway.
Could his latest effort meet the same fate? “There’s always a chance it might fizzle out,” he says. “There’s no guarantees.”