Friday, May 22, 2009

MassGOP Research Briefing

In Case You Missed It!
Republican Senators Slam Governor Patrick During Budget Debate

Last night the State Senate voted unanimously for Governor Patrick to report on his plan to reduce his payroll: "Senators voted unanimously Wednesday to require Gov. Deval Patrick to report on "all action undertaken by the Executive Branch" this fiscal year and "those planned to be undertaken" next fiscal year "to reduce the costs of employee compensation." The move comes amid high-profile stories of Patrick aides' salaries, and hours after the News Service reported that Patrick called the Legislature's timing on raising the sales tax "thumbing our nose" at taxpayers. Democrats joined the Republicans in backing Sen. Bruce Tarr's amendment, and freshman Sen. Ben Downing spoke in favor, referencing Patrick's remarks. Senate Republicans turned some of their harshest language yet on Patrick, noting that Patrick was in Washington D.C. Tuesday and Atlanta Wednesday, and painting him as a disengaged, frequently absent governor." (State House News Service, 5/20/09)

Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester): "Madame President, this just in. A postcard from the governor! The Legislature are thumbing their nose at taxpayers. A postcard from Atlanta. While we are here working to resolve the worst fiscal crisis since the Depression, the governor points out that he is trying to turn up the heat on us. Then he accused us of disrespecting the voters. Apparently, you don't get a perspective on the State House until you are five hundred miles away."

Sen. Knapik (R-Westfield): "If the governor of this Commonwealth is not going to lead, then we have no choice but to lead. The vote you take. I'm flummoxed and flabbergasted and gobsmacked that a governor in your own party has the audacity to send this email. It's a virtual poke in the eye, which I don't think should be allowed to stand. We'll have to virtually poke him back in the eye, because he's never around. He has the equivalent of nearly six weeks vacation time. I'm sure some of it was spent writing the book, I'm sure it'll be in the bargain bin, 50 percent of 75 percent off."

Sen. Knapik (R-Westfield): "We could use him here today. I know there's a biotech thing going on, there's always a biotech thing going on somewhere. We need the governor in this state now to frame the future of this state. The previous speaker, whom I have great respect for and he was in elementary school when I was elected, he referenced the $1.9 billion estimate. Do you know today was the day we were supposed to see a revised budget? And where was the governor today? Atlanta. Yesterday? Washington, with a Supreme Court interview. This guy needs to be here. We need the leadership that he was elected to provide."

Sen. Knapik (R-Westfield): "We need a sympathizer in chief, a budgeter in chief, not someone who sends missives from 500 miles away."

Sen. Richard Tisei (R-Melrose): "As someone who led the debate against the sales tax, it would have been great to have the governor her, helping. If he feels it's such a terrible thing, I would have appreciated him here, standing with me. It was very disappointing."

Sen. Richard Tisei (R-Melrose): "I think people outside the building need to understand the charade that's going on. The governor has taxes he's proposed that dwarf yesterday's. Two most important days of his administration were the casino vote, when he was in New York shopping his book. The second most important day of his administration was yesterday, when the sales tax was brought up. If he really was against it, then he should have been here. Last week he was for it, today he's against it.

Sen. Richard Tisei (R-Melrose): "I have been here since Gov. Dukakis, and I cannot recall a governor marginalizing himself so much. He's erratic. I have never seen a governor become more irrelevant than this governor and his administration have. He ran around the state for a year and a half talking about transportation, he didn't file a bill. He's never filed a pension reform bill. A lot of what you're seeing is a charade. Disappointing to me because I had high hopes we were going to be able to stop the sales tax increase."

Source: Senate Session, State House News Service, 5/20/09 (Subscription required)