Silly wabbit, twicks are for kids!
In remarks that shocked some in the audience, the Senate president said that he wants to work with the governor-elect, but he strong-ly suggested that if things don't go well, the Senate will block Patrick's legislative efforts.
According to the notes of one audience member, Travaglini said: "I told the governor-elect, if you're willing to share and you care and you prepare and are ready to deliver, then everything will work out. If not, I have senators across the state who share my vision and my approach and if forced to choose, I'm comfortable with whom they'll choose."
"Eyes were wide open all over the room," added a lawyer who attended the event, "People were shocked by the tone and the force with which he made his remarks."
So, what happens when a strong, progressive Democrat is elected to the Corner Office? Travaglini goes and has a panic attack. I'm more glad every day that Deval's keeping his field organization alive. He's going to need it when it comes to saving core, progressive ideas.
It appears as if Travaglini can't take a little criticism.
Wait, which is it - is he not willing to cut waste - or is he trying to cut too much? I wonder if Trav could ever think - maybe even for a second - that he wasn't doing his job? When you're a part of the system for years and years, it just may be impossible to differentiate between waste and wisdom. Like building a gazebo (that's waste) and fostering a better UMASS (that's wisdom, even if you cut its budget year after year).
The audience members also reported that Travaglini said Patrick downplayed his promise to slash waste in the budget, though yesterday Patrick's office insisted he stood firmly by his vow to cut inefficient spending.
Travaglini said that in recent discussions with Patrick, he warned the governor-elect to stop making public promises to cut $1 billion in waste.
The Senate president said he told Patrick that the pledge insults the Legislature. If there is that much bloat in the budget, Travaglini said, then he hasn't been doing his job.
Asked about the Senate president's remarks yesterday, Patrick issued a statement reiterating his position that there is waste in state government that must be eliminated.
"Governor-elect Patrick strongly believes that there are efficiencies in government that can and must be achieved, and he has tasked administration and finance secretary appointee Leslie Kirwan with performing a top-to-bottom review of the current budget to begin to identify them," said spokeswoman Cyndi Roy.
But she refused to comment on Travaglini's reported descriptions of his discussions with Patrick, saying: "Conversations between the Senate president and the governor-elect were private. We will continue to keep those private."
But wait, I thought private = bad? Weren't they drinking tea, discussing just how they could bankrupt the state by giving every welfare person a new version of food stamps to be used at the Capital Grille in Boston? Or was it that they were discussing how they'd close every charter school and punish the parents who sent their kids there by bussing them all to New Bedford's 40% drop out rate? No? It must have been that they were going to build a series of wind turbines on all the beaches of Massachusetts, from Westport to Salisbury. No?! All this time they were having spats behind closed doors? (This is why Governors and legislative leaders should be able to hold a few, closed-door meetings... we don't need that fighting aired out in public. However, meetings with lobbyists should be fully public.)
People like Travaglini are always going to be afraid of rocking the boat and trying out new, bold ideas - even if they're not perfect or have some sort of risk. The status quo isn't working and it's time for Massachusetts to Think Big. Travaglini will never do that. So if Travaglini thinks he can threat Deval Patrick, he ought not bring a knife to a gun fight - because he can be swept away by a people-powered army that currently supports our Governor-elect.