Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Flashback: Governor Patrick has an interesting definition of what's "trivial"... Take 2!

Today, Governor Patrick announced he would reduce Senator Marian Walsh's salary to $120,000: With Governor Deval Patrick facing public outrage over her appointment, state Senator Marian Walsh is asking a state authority to reduce her planned salary from $175,000 to $120,000, a move that Patrick aides hope will quell the uproar, a senior administration source said today. (Boston Globe, 3/24/09)

Last Friday, Governor Patrick 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)

Governor Patrick said today that he wished he had never called Walsh's compensation a "trivial" matter: Patrick came under heavy criticism last week for calling the Walsh's compensation a "trivial" matter. Asked whether his views changed, Patrick responded, "Oh, uncle, uncle, uncle. I wish I'd never uttered the word." (State House News Service, 3/24/09)

But this wasn't the first time Governor Patrick referred to government waste as "trivial"

Governor Patrick also 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)