Editorial: Deval Patrick and the damage done
Deval Patrick was elected on a theme of “Together we can.” Unfortunately, that has often come to mean “together we can squander opportunities to improve life for the average working family.” The items below chart the most egregious examples of where actions betray words
Stumble from start
He traded in the governor’s customary Crown Victoria for a much more expensive Cadillac DTS (at nearly $1,200 per month for the lease), earning him the nickname of “Cadillac Deval,” a sobriquet that was reinforced by his decision to give the governor’s office a $27,000 makeover that included $12,000 damask drapes.
At about the same time, he created the position of chief of staff for his wife, Diane, hiring his campaign co-chairman Amy Gorin for the $72,000 per year job.
Gorin quit and the job was eliminated after a public uproar.
A WBZ-TV poll showed a 20-point decline in Patrick’s favorability rating, a precipitous drop from which he has never recovered.
Six weeks into office, Patrick, who served two years as a $360,000-a-year director for the controversial holding company of Ameriquest Mortgage, on behalf of a good friend called former U.S. Treasury secretary Robert E. Rubin, a top executive at Citigroup, to vouch for Ameriquest, prompting calls for an ethics investigation.
Patrick chose real estate developer Jeffrey A. Simon (at an annual salary of $150,000) to oversee the distribution of federal stimulus money. While Simon may be qualified, he also is a poster boy for pension reform, collecting a controversial enhanced state pension ($400,000 over 13 years) because he claimed to have been “fired” from his last state job as redeveloper of Fort Devens. Another bad pick for government service was new Transportation Secretary James A. Aloisi Jr., a controversial insider who worked on the Big Dig. Aloisi is the type of person Patrick promised would have no place in his administration. Perhaps not surprisingly, it also turned out that Aloisi’s sister has a no-work job in the House of Representatives that pays $60,000 a year.
The most recent sign of Patrick’s “disconnect” from reality was when he gave a $175,000 job to a political supporter, state Sen. Marian Walsh – precisely the type of featherbedding he promised he would never make. The job had been vacant for 12 years.
The resulting firestorm, which Patrick dismissed as “trivial,” finally caused Walsh this week to ask for a reduction in the annual salary to $120,000.
The Patriot Ledger