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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Super Mitt

Look, out in Iowa. It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's Super Mitt.

Fresh from routing Matt Amorello and bringing truth, justice and Bain Capital Way to the Big Dig repair project, our (former) governor heads back out on the campaign trail, new superhero story in hand. I guess everything is fixed, right?

Meanwhile, back in Boston, Romney attempts to play the fiscal reformer, vetoing "spendthrift" legislation from that darn, old Democratic Legislature. But the shallowness of his actions is truly visible.

The final formal day of the two-year session comes Monday. After that time, the Legislature will not be able to override his vetoes. Anything that he truly does not wish to see become law can be vetoed on Tuesday with recourse. Take, for example, his veto of $31 million to finish the covers on top of the O'Neill Tunnel ramps that surface where the old Central Artery used to be.

The money, obligated by the state in early 1990s, would allow work to advance on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the swatch of parks, museums and buildings that will cover the scar where the artery used to be. The area right now resembles a wasteland -- and a pedestrian crossing in that area takes his or her own life into their hands.

Romney says the money should be used to fix the tunnels -- and besides people in Pittsfield shouldn't foot the bill. (In fairness he said the same thing when he vetoed a cultural facilities fund that helps Pittsfield, New Bedford and Lowell among other cities) -- a veto rightly overridden.

He also offered that non-profit organizations should be able to raise money to pay for the highway "beautification." Hey, why not throw in the extra 35 cents the MBTA is raking in from commuters? When is a commitment a commitment? And what about Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff?

Let's also take a look at Mitt's decision to veto the minimum wage bill, a stance highly popular with the red meat Republicans intent on reducing the tax burden on the superwealthy. That veto also came Friday -- enough time to allow a legislative override.

So Mitt has clearly taken two stands designed to make him look good to national audiences -- trying to rein in the Big Dig monster and toeing the line in keeping wage earners in their place. Count on those issues being in his campaign commercials.

Don't expect any mention that he cynically took those stands with timing that allowed him to grandstand knowing he would be overruled. If he truly believed in his positions, he could have acted next week.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Romney really stepped in it this weekend when he went to Iowa and described the Big Dig as a "tar baby." I mean, jeeze, how insensitive can you be?


July 30, 2006 4:25 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Definitely! Thanks for the addition. I was obviously thinking along differnt lines, but that comment is going to live for awhile. Maybe he was brainwashed?

July 31, 2006 9:01 AM  

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