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Re: Beat reporters...

On Fri, 15 May 1998, ASchinella wrote:

>  As a political junkie and someone who has been involved in the process for
>  years, I get much more upset by factual errors and simple misreporting
>  of how the process works than I do about mispronunciations.  In my time
>  in radio, I have certainly screwed up more than my share of pronunciations,
>  sometimes even when I know the correct pronunciation.  

I agree.  One of the worst mistakes of that sort was one I saw in the
Globe a year or two ago, in which it was reported that the lieutenant
governor of Massachusetts has a tie-breaking vote in the Governor's
Council.  This is not, strictly speaking, true.  Under the state
constitution, the lieutenant governor is made a member of the Governor's
Council, with a vote.  But he cannot exercise it if he is presiding in the
absence of the governor.  Governors usually don't preside over the
Governor's Council these days, but leave that to the lieutenant governor
to do, much as the Vice President rarely presides over the U.S. Senate
these days.

So, when something the administration wants fails on a tie vote, word is
sent to the governor, and he comes in and takes the chair.  Now the
matter is reconsidered, and the lieutenant governor can vote.  Once that
is done, the governor goes back to whatever else he was doing.

At the present time, of course, the office of governor is vacant, and the
lieutenant governor is acting as governor.  I believe he also presides
over the Council, as did Governor Dukakis during the two years between
John Kerry's resignation as lieutenant governor and Evelyn Murphy's
inauguration in that office.

 A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                                         617.367.0468
 15 Court Square                                      lawyer@world.std.com
 Boston, MA 02108-2503                       http://world.std.com/~lawyer/