Friday, January 04, 2008

Beacon Hill's Worse, Not Better

When Deval Patrick came into office, he promised to bring change to Beacon Hill, but unfortunately that change has yet to come. All there is so far is more of the same, no matter what Adrian Walker thinks. Deval's very good ideas - the Municipal Partnership Act and cutting corporate tax loopholes - were never followed through on, while his terrible idea - casinos - is recieving the Governor's full support, complete with dirty tactics to succeed (so much for the Politics of Hope). Walker blames the legislature for Deval Patrick's problems - and, of course, that body deserves a lot of the blame. However, Patrick's decision to skip along to new ideas, when his good ideas were at first resisted by the legislature, represents more of the same, not the change the grassroots expected from Candidate Deval.

The grassroots is hard work - work that the Governor must become patient enough to engage in, lest his best speeches truly become "just words." Cozying up to the casino lobby may make things easier to pass, but it just doesn't represent the good governing we all are even still hoping for. When record numbers of people came out to vote for Governor Patrick, we truly expected something revolutionary. No matter how anyone looks at casinos, it represents absolutely none of the change Candidate Deval promised to bring to Beacon Hill - yet he's trying to bring it anyway and willing to engage in the kind of sleazy tactics to make it happen that he railed against as a candidate.

Why are Governor Patrick's casino tactics so sleazy? Well, let's count the ways.
  1. Deval Patrick wants to include fiscal data without allowing for the proper vetting process. There hasn't even been an official hearing which could approve or reject the Governor's proposal yet. Despite what Walker thinks, a slow process or a lack of debate isn't an excuse this time - this process has been as fast as possible, with plenty of spirited debate.
  2. At the (sham) hearing Governor Patrick went to speak at, held by a committee that isn't involved in the approval process of the bill, Patrick's aides said over and over again that licensing fees shouldn't be used in the general fund, because they're one time funds. According to Patrick's own administration, the funds should only be used for 1-time projects. Now Patrick wants to include the revenue in his budget proposal?
  3. Let's get this straight: Governor Patrick is willing to ignore his own aides, screw the centuries-old legislative process and skip right to approval? This is something Patrick's supporters would expect from Mitt Romney, not the progressive champion Candidate Deval claimed to be.
Does the Governor think himself above the legislative process? Is he better than the Massachusetts Constitution, which established the way our government works? The legislative process, ingrained in that constitution, not only allows for vetting projects, it demands it. Will we ever get the man we were promised on election day? Many still hope Candidate Deval will reemerge from wherever he's been kept away, replacing this man behind the mask who could never have given hope to thousands with "just words." At the end of the day, Candidate Deval was about more than just words; he was about decency and conviction, the traits that gave him the ability to move mountains. Without the positive traits that drove the Patrick campaign, Governor Patrick is no different than anyone else who's occupied the Corner Office recently. Yet, the fact that Governor Patrick has so far failed to deliver on the promise of Candidate Patrick truly leaves a bad taste that didn't even exist when Romney was in charge.


Lynne said...

Dude, you broke your blog. ;)

Or else, your blogpage can't contain the greatness that is your blogging, my friend!

Ryan Adams said...

It is pretty great, isn't it?

I knew I was in so much trouble when I wrote that comment in on BMG as I wrote it... so I'm running with it. It's fantastic! LOL.

In any event, Firefox hates when I put youtube videos in. Internet Explorer doesn't mind them at all.

joe said...

I read in the Globe that Deval is cutting corporate taxes in order to lessen the impact of closing the loopholes. woo! Go Deval!

Ryan Adams said...

It's a litany of bad news. It honestly isn't just the casinos. There's a string of bad news that I've read from the Patrick Admin and very little of it do I like.

Anonymous said...

Nice job, Ryan. Have to agree that he continues to disappoint.
If Obama wins, looks like Patrick will be named Ambassador to somewhere, Vatican maybe, leave what's-his-name Lt. Gov. in charge.

Peter Porcupine said...

Ryan - weird contrast.

During his first year in office, Romney abolished the Metropolitan District Commission, the hack-y Boston Parks Dept., by consolidating it with the DCR, and fired Bill Bulger. Both were within his power as head of all agencies, and both saved the state money and waste.

Patrick COULD do things like that, but instead chooses to try to usurp the legislature. Is it because he assumes he's 'ranking' Democrat? The Legislature has co-equal staus, and isn't just there to execute orders.

In some ways, not being a Democrat was helpful for the Governor.

Ryan Adams said...

I think they had different priorities. Patrick's priorities require legislation, he just hasn't been effective in actually passing that legislation yet.

I wouldn't be disappointed at that, though, because in part it's to be expected. It takes a long time to build consensus on things like the Municipal Partnership Act and loophole cuts. What has me disappointed is the fact that he keeps throwing more and more proposals on the wall, seeing what'll stick. If he bunkered down and tried to build consensus on the few key ones, we'd be closer to getting them past. Instead, he's distracted Beacon Hill with casinos and will make no progress on his other, better proposals.

Anonymous said...

That's why we need a viable third party alternative.

Anonymous said...

I can't understand the lack of cooperation among basically all Democrats. The House and Senate recently had to override 3 vetoes Deval made where he wanted to cut spending on education.(H4141). You'd think he's Republican. I think he's using what's going to be a short tenure as Gov. to go on to bigger and better things in DC. Screw Mass and move on, not what all of you grassroots people thought when you were touting him as the second coming.

Peter Porcupine said...

Geesh - the things I never thought I'd have to be fair to Deval Patrick....

The Governor MUST have a balanced budget. The budget he signs may not exceed revenues. For DECADES, the Democrats in the Legislature have sent porked-up, feel-good budgets to the governors, knowing they could rely on 'Cellucci's/Swift's/Romney's' evil cuts. Now, their self control is still vestigial, so Gov. Patrick has to veto budgets which are above our credit card limit. The Lege can override, as by the time it comes back to them, more money has usually been collected.

It's all fun and games until somebody pokes out an eye....

Anonymous said...

Ryan - I hate to tell you I told you so...but Deval always smelled like a Republican to me.

Gabby would have brought you Cape Wind and sound financial management. Devel bought himself a Coupe to drive to his new casino.

Ryan Adams said...

Gabrieli wasn't in favor of Cape Wind, he left himself lots of wiggle room on that one.

Given the political opponents, I still don't regret my support for Deval Patrick. However, if he wants my vote again, he's going to have to shift on some of these particularly egregious proposals and get back to what got him elected: progressive, grassroot politics.

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