Thomas Finneran, the autocratic Speaker of the House in Massachusetts, has insisted on gutting the Clean Elections referendum which won decisively in the election of 1997. The Clean Elections measure offers public funding of political campaigns to candidates who pledge not to take private money. Finneran, bought and paid for by various Massachusetts high rollers, dislikes the measure and insists, among other conditions, (a) that it be reopened to the voters with prejudicial language ("Are you willing to see your tax dollars used to finance private politicians' etc etc"); and (b) that it be held up pending a study by the House Political Finance Committee, after which any appropriations for election campaign support would have to be be agreed upon, down to the penny, by the House and the Senate.
The baseball reference is to the first game in the recent Yankees/Red Sox playoffs, in which a 10th inning rally by the Red Sox ended when umpire Rick Reed called runner Jose Offerman out at second even though Yankee 2nd baseman Chuck Knoblauch dropped the ball.
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