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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Speaking of nasty spats

The oh-so-slight veneer of civility in the relationship between Deval Patrick and Sal DiMasi may be coming off.

The governor launched a direct assault on the speaker with a letter to DiMasi's members that attempts to turn the debate over casinos away from Patrick's shaky data to DiMasi's "just say no" stance.
"Attacking ideas without proposing sound alternatives is not good economic policy, nor what the public expects or deserves," Patrick wrote. "If the speaker has other proposals that will generate the benefits of our legislation, including direct property tax relief for over 1 million households, I look forward to hearing them."
Patrick also notes:
"Regardless of whether the proposal creates 30,000 construction jobs over the next few years or 5,000 to 20,000 construction jobs, as reflected in other estimates, one thing is certain: The speaker's alternative will create zero jobs."
Each side has valid points. But a war of words will not resolve the issue. And make no mistake that going over the speaker's head, directly to his members -- while clearly Patrick's right -- is an incendiary move.

The March 18th hearing will be one of the biggest pieces of political theater in these parts in a long time.

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Blogger Dan Kennedy said...

Here are some more ideas for creating construction jobs:

1. Filling the Big Dig tunnels with concrete and building the Boston Bypass.

2. Razing every building in a town — OK, let's pick Milton — and then rebuilding it from scratch.

3. Making I-93 14 lanes wide.

4. Building three nuclear-waste disposal facilities and inviting France to ship its waste here. Bonus: Lots of good-paying, permanent jobs protecting the public from radioactivity.

It's not enough for the Speaker to say these are bad ideas? What are his alternatives? Huh? Huh?

March 05, 2008 12:12 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Thanks Dan, but...

The Speaker and I now share a common view that casinos are a bad way to raise revenue. But I'd like his input, not on bad ideas (though he's no doubt had a few) but on how we meet our financial needs without raising taxes.

Yes, he's headed part of the way down the line with a corporate tax loophole closing plan. But I'd like to see either a specific list of cuts or another revenue proposal.

It's been way to easy to say "no new taxes" and keep spending as if lunch were free. I'd love alternatives to easy solutions.

March 05, 2008 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick's inability to govern is unfortunately becoming more evident every day. Rather than learning the art of politics, he is learning the art of war. Legislators unite when their leader is attacked. They don't go around his back to create a coalition with the governor. Very sad.

March 06, 2008 6:28 AM  

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