Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MassGOP Research Briefing

When Does He Work?

Governor Patrick Has A History Of Out Of State Trips, Leaving During Important Events

When Does He Work?

Today, the Boston Globe reported that Governor Patrick takes about six weeks of vacation each year: That stretch includes many of the 60 weekdays when his daily calendar was empty during his first two years as governor, indicating that he had no official activities scheduled on those days, according to a Globe review of his schedule. Patrick's staff points out that he is always on call and often makes official telephone calls or sends e-mails, even during his down time. Still, the vast majority of the blank weekdays on his calendar corresponded with the governor's known summer vacations in Richmond each year, which were described in press reports at the time or were clustered around holidays such as Christmas and long weekends. The empty pages reflect the equivalent of almost six weeks of vacation or other days containing no official activities per year, a benefit beyond the reach of ordinary workers. (Boston Globe, 5/12/09)

The Traveling Governor: Deval Patrick has a history of a abandoning Massachusetts during important events

In March, the State House News Service reported that, after announcing a gas tax hike, Governor Patrick left for a weeklong vacation in Jamaica: "Gov. Deval Patrick will leave behind the chilly environs of the Bay State Saturday, heading for a Jamaican vacation, his office said Monday. Patrick will travel with family and friends, a spokesman said, spending the week in Jamaica before returning Friday." (SHNS, 3/3/09)

One Democrat noted that Governor Patrick also left the state for Washington after announcing his gas tax hike: "He's taking a lot of heat from Republicans for his proposed 19-cent hike in the gas tax, but at least one influential Democrat from the region is also less than impressed with Gov. Deval Patrick's leadership style. This person noted that just like a year or so ago when he skipped town as the House was about the debate the casino gambling bill, Patrick beat feet for Washington immediately after releasing the details of his latest transportation financing scheme. Upon his return the governor issued a new ultimatum: More gas tax money or higher tolls. Take it or leave it." (Eagle Tribune, 2/27/09)

Governor Patrick also left the state the day of the house vote on his failed Casino Bill: "Governor Deval Patrick traveled to New York last week to shop a proposal for an autobiography among New York publishing houses, departing the state to pursue the book contract just hours before the House voted down his high-profile casino legislation on Beacon Hill. Disclosure of the trip's purpose cleared up a mystery that has lingered since last Thursday, when Patrick aides said he had left Boston on unspecified personal business and repeatedly and firmly declined to discuss any details." (Boston Globe, 3/28/08)

While Massachusetts was under flood watch last year, Governor Patrick was in Miami: "While most of Massachusetts was under a flood watch this weekend, Gov. Deval Patrick was far from the gloom of his home state. Instead, he was in Miami, addressing the "Political OutGiving" conference of gay and lesbian fundraisers." (AP, 3/8/08)

Every time Governor Patrick travels, the taxpayers foot the bill: "While aides defend the travel, saying it is occurring for official reasons, on Patrick's personal time or to benefit Obama and not his own political ambitions, this weekend's trip shows how the lines often blur. And on every occasion, Patrick is accompanied by a State Police contingent whose airfare, hotels, meals and overtime are charged to taxpayers." (AP, 3/8/08)

Travel Alert: How will Governor Patrick campaign for Governor and sell his book?

Governor Patrick plans a nationwide "vigorous media campaign" in 2010 to sell his autobiography: The Globe reported details yesterday from a 65-page pitch letter that led to his $1.35 million advance last week from a Random House imprint. When the book is published in 2010, Patrick is planning a "vigorous media campaign," a nationwide book-signing tour, multiple speaking engagements, and efforts to persuade big corporations to buy the book in bulk. (The Boston Globe, 4/5/08)