< .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Massachusetts Liberal

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

Friday, November 10, 2006

Playing for a different audience

Mitt Romney does not plan to go quietly into that good night, unfortunately.

The Mittser unveiled a November surprise, chopping $425 million from the current budget in a continuation of his game of chicken with the Legislature. Lawmakers overrode vetoes for many of the items, planning to pay for it by tapping the state's rainy day fund.

But because they didn't get their work done on time, Romney was able to block a $450 million transfer to pay for the spending. And now he's used his emergency powers, in effect declaring a fiscal crisis -- even as he admits there isn't one.
State revenues are at an all-time high, jobs are being created by the thousands and the stock market is at historic levels," Romney said. "This is not the time to be dipping into the rainy day fund."
The language is somewhat convoluted, but makes sense at a state fiscal geek level.

As has been his game plan throughout his four years, the money comes in large measure from public health -- a department he has devastated with cuts and by ham-handed conservative ideology-driven policy.

Here's a review by Health Care for All,which notes he is taking money from HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, nutrition programs for woman, infants and children, immunization and domestic violence prevention programs. He's also reneging on the Commonwealth's collective bargaining agreements.

What's up? Romney is certainly looking to burnish his national credentials as a fiscal conservative -- after all didn't he say the Republicans lost this not because the voters liked Democrats better but because Republicans strayed from their true path? (Think Christy Mihos commercial!) And better late than never to the cause.

But I can't help but wonder, given the timing, whether this is some grand machination to taunt lawmakers back into formal session to deal with his action (although he used his unilateral powers to make the cuts). Once back, he can try to spring a trap on them to somehow force an up-or-down vote on the gay marriage ban.

I will admit this is really convoluted and conspiratorial thinking. But not for a politician who is always thinking about himself -- and how to shine his national image -- no matter who gets hurt.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home