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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reform before revenue

Maybe this is what Senate President Therese Murray had in mind when she was saying the Patrick administration needed to do reform before revenue in dealing with our transportation crisis -- and why Transportation Secretary James Aloisi scornfully rejected the idea.

It certainly wasn't because she was thinking about this day off -- a holiday celebrated only in Suffolk County and giving the Massachusetts Legislature yet another day off while the clock keeps ticking to fiscal Armageddon (not to mention a Mass. Pike toll hike in two weeks).

The no-work job that made Carol Aloisi a chief of staff without staff is exactly the sort of shenanigans that send people into purple rage over the waste of taxpayer dollars. Clearly, former House Speaker Sal DiMasi was looking to do a favor for his pal, then private citizen James Aloisi.

Bad enough. But when Patrick named the controversial Aloisi became transportation secretary the stakes were raised. And they became higher still when the supposedly politically savvy male Aloisi dissed Murray's reasonable declaration that reform precede any new revenue for the transportation mess he helped to create during the Big Dig.

We can't be sure how many other no-work jobs pork up the legislative payroll. The answer should be zero. I bet it is not.

And the timing of this story could have been a whole lot better for lawmakers -- coming on Evacuation Day, the Suffolk County holiday that shutters the Statehouse and City Hall. The day the British left Boston in 1775.

St. Patrick's Day to the rest of the world -- which goes to work after celebrating on the weekend and before chugging green beer at a pub at day's end.

Meanwhile, business goes on as usual on Beacon Hill. At a snail's pace. One month after taking off for school vacation week and one month before another vacation week is upon us.

While pension and ethics reforms await legislative action. While nightmare budget scenarios unfold. While no-work elected officials get a day off.

Maybe reform before revenue is a good motto for the Legislature too.

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Blogger italiandreams said...

Thank goodness I found your blog. There are plenty of uber-conservative blogs critical of this political patronage thing, but I'm uncomfortable with their views and hateful writing. Suffice it to say that the Walsh and Aloisi hack jobs are maddening and sickening. Let's hope that public outrage will force the state government to do the right thing.

March 17, 2009 1:47 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Glad you found me too. Foolishness doesn't need to be liberal or conservative. Not saying I don't have a bias against foolishness on the right :-)

March 17, 2009 7:26 PM  

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