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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Changing of the guard

One of the most powerful men in Massachusetts, who helped guide the state through its fiscal crisis, started the anti-gay marriage jihad and was in the forefront of the anti-tax effort, is making a life-changing move this week.

Tom Finneran is copping a plea and admitting to obstruction of justice to avoid a federal perjury trial.

The timing of this leak is pure Finneran -- lead headlines that day Mitt Romney leaves office amid claims of accomplishment that rightly belong to Finneran.

And stepping on the inaugural day of the first Democrat elected to the Corner Office in 16 years, a job Finneran no doubt coveted but knew was out of reach because of the dominance of what he called "the loony left."

When historians pore over the highlights of the GOP Corner Office years, the name of Finneran will be center stage. The bantam brawler from Mattapan dominated the stage through all four governors -- first as House Ways and Means Chairman, then as Speaker. The credit (or blame) for budgets and the overall resistance to tax increases rests with him.

The Globe offers a reasonably good assessment of the Romney years -- examining his claims against the light of reality -- a reality that includes Romney was ultimately even more disengaged from the job than Bill Weld.

Mendacious Mitt talked a good game, particularly on health care reform legislation. But as the Globe notes, in the end, he tried to sabotage the law -- by vetoing the $295 per employee fee for companies that don't provide care -- so he could keep up his no new taxes boast.

And of course, his minions had no problems in setting premiums levels that will be a tough stretch for the very people he proudly claimed he was forcing to accept responsibility for their own health.

Leave it to Barbara Anderson, a warrior who fiercely defends those who ally with her no-tax jihad, to point out that Romney's legacy or non-accomplishment.
"People . . . know what Romney did," she said. "They don't have any way of knowing what he prevented from happening."
It's more appropriate to recall the words of former Boston School Superintendent Tom Payzant, who summed up the overall Romney legacy even while he was only talking about education.
"It's not enough to talk about what the problem is," Payzant said. "It's important to begin to take some steps to solve it."
So Mitt is walking into history as Deval Patrick makes history. His trip down the Statehouse Steps was a campaign commercial, fittingly made 18 hours before his time was truly up. Mitt really walked away a long time ago, but the symbolism is still appropriate.

And naturally he plans to try to horn in on Patrick's moment in the sun -- dropping the sham of his "non-decision" presidential ambitions and meet with the media (for the first time in months) on the day that Patrick takes the oath of office.

Good-bye and bad luck, Fraudo.

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