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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, June 11, 2008

Checking out?

Rumor and speculation is always more fun that fact, so the local version of the chattering class (actually it's more like a mumbling class) is awash in the question of whether Deval Patrick is planning to check out of Beacon Hill before his time is up.

First you have guilt by association -- Patrick and Barack Obama share Chicago roots and a political consultant so he must be heading to DC as attorney general. Add in large fund-raising totals for Lt. Gov. Tim Murray and the mumbles get louder.

Does this sound like a man looking for the exits or for a fight? How about this?

The anti-casino folks are already wondering whether Patrick may be suffering from heat stroke. But while full-blown casinos are not in the cards for the foreseeable future, the Mashpee Wampanoags do have the right under federal law to build a facility that would offer whatever is legal is the state -- and that is bingo.

Reopening his worst political sore in what he claims is an effort to have taxpayers share in the tribe's potential bounty doesn't sound like someone preparing to slink out of town.

Nor does taking on the teachers' union -- which is what Patrick would be doing in proposing "readiness schools" that would turn a lot of operating control over to local boards that would not be bound by the current rules involved with union contracts.

Say what you will about the merits of either proposal -- they do not sound like that of someone looking for the door in the next six months or so. In fact, they could be issues that have him sent packing out the door by voters in 30 months.

Patrick has slowly been restoring his sea legs after a number of political and self-inflicted wounds. These ideas suggest he is in it for as long a haul as the people of Massachusetts want him.

But just in case, I will stash away some crow that could be ready to eat in January.

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Blogger Bellicose Bumpkin said...

While it is true that the Mashpee have a right to bingo there is no ROI for a bingo hall given the 4 real casinos nearby.

Also there is significant doubt that the Middleboro land will be taken into trust.

June 11, 2008 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Joel Patterson said...

About the "readiness schools" article, Outraged Liberal:

I don't know that teacher unions will fight that. If they are for the school districts in depressed cities, and they answer to local school boards, it's not clear that there's going to be a fight. Especially when the MTA says this:
"We are open to other ways of doing things," said Anne Wass, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, which has nearly 108,000 members. "Certainly we're not negative. We're willing to work with the administration on this."
The article makes me think the anonymous source who tipped the Globe wants a fight between Patrick and the teacher unions--but that doesn't mean there will be one. Details aren't out yet, so there's not much to go on.

On the larger point, I agree with you that we don't have any good reasons to think that Patrick will leave Massachusetts.

June 11, 2008 1:33 PM  

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