Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Great Exaggerator Strikes Again

Patrick Has A History Of Wild Claims And Inaccurate Statements

Boston, MA - The Massachusetts Republican Party today issued the following statement in response to news that Governor Patrick overstated the cost savings of his police detail plan by as much as $850,000 a year.

MassGOP Executive Director Nick Connors said, "This is no surprise coming from an administration that has governed by sound bite and press release. Beacuse the Patrick administration didn't do it's homework on police details, they are undercutting attempts to reform state government. If Governor Patrick was actually committed to detail reform, then the Commonwealth would have joined the other 49 states that currently do not use police details at all. Governor Patrick should stop playing fiscal shell games with our tax dollars and commit to completely eliminating police details across Massachusetts."

"The Great Exaggerator": Governor Patrick has a history of making wild or inaccurate claims

Today, State Auditor Joe DeNucci said that Governor Patrick "overstated" his savings estimates his plan to switch to civilian flaggers: State Auditor Joseph DeNucci issued a report Tuesday on the Patrick administration's efforts to replace police officers with civilian flaggers on state-funded construction sites, calling the administration's savings estimates "overstated" and riddled with errors...According to the report, that weekly estimate was overstated by $18,980, or between $685,000 and $850,000 a year. (State House News Service, 3/24/09)

The Boston Globe's Steve Bailey called Governor Patrick a "great exaggerator": To listen to Deval Patrick's inspirational State of the Commonwealth address last week is to remember why he was overwhelmingly elected governor a year ago. He is one great communicator. He can also be one great exaggerator. (Boston Globe, 1/30/08)

On his Life Sciences bill:

Governor Patrick claimed his life sciences bill would create 250,000 jobs over a decade..."more than twice as many jobs as the state added from all sources in the previous decade": My Globe colleague, Todd Wallack, was the first to raise questions about Patrick's claim that his $1 billion life-sciences initiative, which stalled last year in the Legislature, could produce 250,000 jobs in a decade. That, Wallack reported, would be twice as many jobs as the state added from all sources over the past decade. The life-sciences sector currently employs 60,000 to 75,000 people in Massachusetts. In October, Patrick claimed that Swiss drug manufacturer Novartis, which has about 2,000 people in Massachusetts, shelved its plans to "invest hundreds of millions of dollars ... creating over 400 new, well-paying jobs" here because the Legislature had not acted on the biotech bill. Whatever the merits of Patrick's biotech bill, the Legislature's inaction didn't cost 400 jobs at Novartis, and its action isn't going to create 250,000 life-sciences jobs in the next decade. (Boston Globe, 1/30/08)

On his failed Casino bill:

Governor Patrick also claimed his failed casino bill would create "30,000 construction jobs"...more than four times the amount jobs created by the Big Dig: There's more: "And with 20,000 good permanent jobs, 30,000 construction jobs ... within our grasp, let's work together to pass the resort casinos bill," the governor said. Thirty thousand construction jobs? The $15 billion Big Dig, the most expensive public works project in US history, peaked at 6,500 construction and related jobs, says the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. Robert Band, president of Framingham-based Perini Corp., the casino industry's go-to contractor, estimated it would take between 1,000 and 2,000 construction workers about 30 months to build a casino like the one the Wampanoags are planning in Middleborough. He said Perini is now building the $3 billion Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, which includes a high-rise 3,000-room hotel. Construction jobs peaked at 2,600, Band says. It would, indeed, take some fancy new math to get the three casinos the governor wants to add up to 30,000 construction jobs. (Boston Globe, 1/30/08)

Governor Patrick calculated the 30,000 jobs estimate "by figures...taken from Suffolk Downs, a casino advocate, at face value and simply multiplied by three": DiMasi highlighted another aspect of the Globe story, the source of the 30,000 estimate. Patrick's administration has acknowledged that the source was Suffolk Downs, a major player in the state's horse and dog track gambling industry and a would-be bidder for a casino license. Suffolk Downs asserted it would generate 10,000 construction jobs on a $1 billion casino in East Boston in a report submitted to Daniel O'Connell, the state economic development secretary, who is shepherding the casino proposal for Patrick. The administration then multiplied that estimate by three, for three casinos, to come up with 30,000, according to a written reply to Globe questions by O'Connell's office. "The fact that those figures were taken from Suffolk Downs, a casino advocate, at face value and simply multiplied by three [makes] the argument ... even more questionable," the DiMasi statement said. "As of today, it seems like we have a proposal where no tough questions were even asked, let alone answered." (Boston Globe, 3/4/08)

On his "Star Power":

Governor Patrick also claimed in his book proposal that he was able to "fill the Boston Common recently with ten thousand people" for a political rally...without mentioning that then-Senator Barack Obama was in attendance: Governor Deval Patrick said in his book proposal that he was able to "fill the Boston Common recently with ten thousand people," a boast intended to prove to publishers that his message of hope and optimism generates enthusiasm and will translate into sales. But Patrick left out a key fact about the Oct. 23 Boston Common rally. It was held to celebrate Patrick's endorsement of Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, who stood by Patrick's side at the event. Obama has filled sports stadiums around the country and caused onlookers to faint during his speeches, and he was almost certainly the bigger draw on the Common that day. Critics suggested yesterday that Patrick's assertion was like an opening band saying it filled Madison Square Garden without mentioning that the Rolling Stones later took the stage. (Boston Globe, 4/5/08)