Tuesday, April 14, 2009

MassGOP Research Briefing

Do the Democrats on Beacon Hill have the credibility to reform state government?
Part 1: Democrat Governor Deval Patrick

For Governor Patrick, "Veto" is a four letter word

Governor Mitt Romney vetoes over four years: $877,260,675
Governor Deval Patrick vetoes over two years: $163,238,370
Governor Deval Patrick pace for four years: $326,476,740
Difference: $550,783,935

Source: www.mass.gov/legis

Governor Patrick's was fiscally irresponsible from the beginning

Governor Patrick restored $383,000,000 in 9C cuts made by Governor Romney: Gov.-elect Deval Patrick pledged Wednesday to restore $383 million slashed by Gov. Mitt Romney last month..."Overwhelmingly, these broad-based cuts ... have a serious impact on thousands of Massachusetts residents who have planned for the relief and relied upon the services these programs provide," Patrick said in a statement. (Sentinel & Enterprise, 12/28/06)

Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom: "If Deval Patrick restores those cuts it's going to make it that much harder to achieve balance in 2008.": Restoring the cuts will cost residents for years to come, argued Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom Wednesday. He said $252 million of the money Patrick replaces in the budget will be a recurring cost. "This isn't just about 2007, it's also about 2008," Fehrnstrom said. "If Deval Patrick restores those cutsit's going to make it that much harder to achieve balance in 2008." (Sentinel & Enterprise, 12/28/06)

In June of 2008, Governor Patrick hiked his own offices line item by 80%, including $3 million for a program to pay people to volunteer, and $450,000 for a Washington, D.C. Office: Despite a slumping economy and looming budget crunch, Gov. Deval Patrick has hiked his office budget by an astonishing 80 percent, adding questionable new staff positions like "director of grassroots governance" and pumping millions into an extravagant "civic engagement" program.Patrick's office budget has skyrocketed to $9 million this fiscal year, a boost of nearly $4 million from fiscal 2007, Republican lawmakers said. Much of the increase is due to a $3 million appropriation for Patrick's new Commonwealth Corps, a volunteerism program aimed at promoting "civic engagement" across the state.Patrick has also increased spending by hundreds of thousands of dollars on internal staff.Among the new positions and their salaries:Director of grassroots governance: $50,000Grassroots goverance liaison: $39,000Director of new media and online strategy: $68,000.What's more, Patrick is spending more than $450,000 on an office in Washington, D.C., to help lure federal dollars to fund Medicaid, transportation, housing and other priorities.(The Boston Herald, 5/23/08)

Governor Patrick has a history of giving jobs to his friends, but not to the taxpayers

One month ago, Gov. Deval Patrick tried to appoint Sen. Marian Walsh to a $175,000 a year job: "Outrage is sweeping Beacon Hill after Gov. Deval Patrick quietly slipped a $175,000 plum job to a political pal while squeezing taxpayers to pay more for less from the debt-ridden state government.Asking citizens to fork over 19 cents more per gallon at the gas pump while bracing for cuts of cops and teachers, Patrick awarded supporter Marian Walsh the pricey plum as assistant executive director of the state's Health and Educational Facilities Authority." (Boston Herald, 3/13/09)

The job Sen. Walsh was appointed to had been vacant for 12 years: "The job has
been vacant for 12 years. The appointment of Walsh, 54, a Democratic state senator from
West Roxbury, was revealed amid news of a $1 billion state deficit while Patrick continued
his vacation in Jamaica."(Boston Herald, 3/13/09)

In February of 2008, Governor Patrick nominated his political ally, former State Senator Cheryl Jacques, to be a Judge on the Industrial Accidents Board.

Democrat Governor's Councilor Mary-Ellen Manning called her unqualified: "Workers' compensation isn't a field to be trifled with...To suggest anybody can do it is insulting to lawyers who care about workers' compensation and care about the rights of workers and employers." (Eagle-Tribune, 3/20/08)

In October of 2008, Governor Patrick claimed he would cut 1,000 jobs from state government...: "Governor Deval Patrick is planning to announce this afternoon that 1,000 jobs will be eliminated and at least $700 million will be cut from the budget." (Boston Globe, 10/15/08)

Governor Patrick: "This is going to cut muscle": "This is not about, you know, cutting
so-called fat. This is going to cut muscle, because the scale of the issue requires that.
We're going to feel it in services, we're going to see a smaller work force." (Boston Globe,

...But Governor Patrick had already added 2,000 new jobs, even in the face of a $1 billion deficit: "Gov. Deval Patrick has added almost 2,000 new workers to the state payroll in the past year even as he warns of dire budget cuts in the face of a $1 billion deficit, a Herald review shows." (Boston Herald, 8/25/08)

And less than two weeks after Governor Patrick said he would "cut" 1,000 jobs, Patrick hired his neighbor and campaign contributor to a $120,000 a year job: "As Gov. Deval Patrick grapples with layoffs and budget deficits, he has hired a close neighbor in Milton to be the state's $120,000 director of real estate services, the Herald has learned. Attorney and real-estate consultant Dana Harrell, 60, a frequent contributor to Patrick's campaign coffers, was introduced Oct. 27, less than two weeks after Patrick announced 1,000 jobs would be lost to the state's $1.4 billion budget crunch. Harrell lives less than a quarter mile from Patrick." (Boston Herald, 12/29/08)

Governor Patrick thinks stories about waste are "trivial"

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 other 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)