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Keller @ Large: Has Patrick’s Political Machine Peaked?

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Deval Patrick. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Deval Patrick. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – They’re scheduled to debate and vote on the legislature’s $500 million tax-hike bill Monday in the House, and if I were you I’d pay close attention to what happens next.

Last week, after the legislature threw out Gov. Patrick’s $1.9 billion tax-and-spending bill and replaced it with their own far more modest version, the governor was furious, and promised to veto the House-Senate plan. And he might very well rustle up enough votes in the legislature to sustain his veto, thus leaving us without any plan to deal with the dire financial straits of the MBTA and other pressing infrastructure needs.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

That this result would represent a catastrophic dereliction of duty appears not to have occurred to the governor or his political allies, who took to the left-wing blogosphere over the weekend with further disparagement of Democratic legislators who are balking at the larger tax bite and promises of political aid to wavering reps and senators who muster the “courage” to vote for the governor’s plan.

Some of these same activists were tweeting up a confident storm last week about how they were going to secure a Democratic win in the Peabody race for an open House seat. But a little-known local nurse running as a Republican narrowly won the seat in a three-way race, with opposition to the governor’s tax hikes as the centerpiece of her campaign.

You may recall that after the last major broad-based tax hikes, the sales tax increase of 2010, 12 Democrats lost their House seats.

Today’s vote thus begins a fascinating chapter in state politics, where we learn if the Patrick political machine has peaked and begun the shark-jumping process by overplaying its hand in its tax-hike policies and politics.

Stay tuned.

It’s your disposable income that’s at risk.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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