Saturday, March 28, 2009

Deval's "Trivial" Pursuit: "Deval Patrick's Caddy shaft"

Today, the Boston Herald reports that Massachusetts paid $14,958 to keep Governor Patrick's Cadillac: As Gov. Deval Patrick faces driving criticism for a long road of bad political turns, taxpayers are still paying for the original dent to his image - the Cadillac DTS. The state paid $14,958 last month to keep the governor's official 2007 Cadillac because the vehicle's two-year lease had run out, a Patrick aide confirmed last night. That amount is on top of the $16,080 taxpayers covered for the 24-month lease and another $11,909 Patrick himself pitched in for the payments to blunt criticism. "The lease for the vehicle was expiring and could not be extended," said spokesman Kyle Sullivan. (Boston Herald, 3/27/09)

Flashback: Governor Patrick called the purchase of a Cadillac as his official vehicle "trivial":

The Boston Herald: Patrick strongly defended his choice of vehicles yesterday, saying it was a "trivial'' decision that draws far more attention from the media than it does from ordinary citizens. ``But for your collective appetite for this, I don't think most people pay attention to what I ride in,'' Patrick told reporters. (Boston Herald, 2/17/07)

The Lowell Sun: First there was the million-dollar gala. Then there were the helicopter rides. Now Gov. Deval Patrick's latest extravagance is on staff for his wife. The state has hired a $72,000-a-year chief of staff whose job is to schedule Diane Patrick's public appearances and media availabilities, The Eagle has learned. Diane Patrick's aide also gets a slice of office space in the governor's third-floor suite. ...Add to that royal image a brand new Cadillac DeVille which Patrick bought to replace one of the Ford Crown Victoria's used by his state police security detail to drive him around. The black luxury car sports tinted windows, seat warmers, and is being leased at $1,166 per month. A defiant Patrick laughed off the flashy purchase, saying he's using tax dollars wisely. "Have a good look at the budget, see the choices we have made, see the investments we intend to make to move Massachusetts forward, and make judgments on the basis of the big and hard decisions and not the small trivial ones," Patrick urged taxpayers. (Lowell Sun, 2/17/07)

Governor Patrick also called recent stories of government waste "trivial":

Gov. Deval Patrick said Thursday recent stories about costly jobs for legislators, relatives of Cabinet members and administration employees are "trivial" and won't distract him from his focus on big issues. The governor, a one-time attorney, told reporters he has tried to learn how to focus on the meaningful, but "I sometimes feel like I'm in a profession now where that is completely upside down." In one example, Patrick said he was concentrating on a comprehensive overhaul of the state's transportation system. "That's going to make a difference economically, in terms of quality of life, long after I have left this job," he said. Patrick engineered a $175,000 state agency job for Sen. Marian Walsh. The sister of Transportation Secretary James Aloisi worked for six months as chief of staff in an office with no employees. And the Massachusetts Turnpike recently added two $100,000 employees despite a restriction on hiring only "critical" workers. Meanwhile, the state's unemployment rate rose to 7.8 percent last month. (Associated Press, 3/20/09)