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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, July 03, 2008

Road trip

It didn't merit more than a brief in the Globe and a short story in the Herald. And that's exactly why Deval Patrick is doing it.

Going on the road -- and in Massachusetts. It's a standard tactic for a politician or leader who is having a hard time getting his message out over the filter (or impenetrable indifference) of the MSM. Especially one that seems more interested in replaying Caddy Gate or Drape Gate than dealing with the nuts and bolts (and inherent ugliness) of actually governing.

But you can rest assured it will be news in the communities where he holds his town hall meetings. If for no other reason than the folks who are angry with him based on coverage in the Boston media will get a chance for a pound of flesh.

Patrick is starting to put together a string of accomplishments -- the latest being a green energy bill. There's also a life sciences bill and transportation bond bills that promise change.

Even taxes -- with the approval of the scarcely noticed corporate tax reform bill. That bill represents a significant political victory for Patrick who overcame the opposition of House Speaker Sal DiMasi to share the tax burden more equitably between business and residential property owners.

Ah, but about that property tax promise he made in the campaign.

You can expect Patrick to be peppered on the score, because with the end of the legislative term looming, there will be no property tax relief this year. And there is also the question on the November ballot to eliminate the state income tax.

Voters are worried and angry and on the tax score and Patrick has not lived up to his promises (although he will surely answer that he has two more years to deliver). These local meetings are what (he hopes) is a way to answer that question in a way that will actually be noticed.

Covering cities and towns is far different than covering Boston or Beacon Hill. The visit by a dignitary (even a politician) is news. One-on-one meetings with reporters, editors and publishers. Major front page news.

Then there is the meeting itself -- and the chance for local folks to sound off.

No better way to get a better feel for the mood of people -- and trying to get on their good side -- than hitting the road.

And hitting the road is exactly what I'm about to do -- get out beyond 128. As always, thanks for stopping by, have a Happy 4th watching your privately-financed fireworks displays and see you next week.

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Blogger dan bosley said...

Hitting the road is a good thing. I have to travel the length of the state every week to get from my district to the state house. People ask me if it is a pain in the neck to do so. Actually, well, it is some weeks, but most I am very happy because it lets me unwind. But the real pleasure is that I get to stop on the way and experience many parts of Massachusetts that most people don't. There are many wonderful people out there and they have a lot of great things that we should stop and experience. Besides, I have just started Bill Bryson's book, "The Lost Continent" and feel the need to experience these small towns and what they offer as a view of who we are!
Have a great fourth and an interesting road trip.

July 04, 2008 8:29 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Thanks! I'm back and refreshed -- thanks in large part by not having stop! That effort you guys made on the Sagamore flyover seems to be working -- although you still have to time it right if you don't want to see too much of Route 3 or Route 6.

And I do know I'm due for a trip put to your necks of the woods -- been meaning to take in MassMOCA!

July 07, 2008 6:50 AM  

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