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The Download: Heralding Patrick's new book

Posted in: Current Affairs   Boston politics   Massachusetts Legislature   Gubernatorial politics
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As the Boston Herald hits the midway point in its tour through Gov. Deval Patrick’s wobbly early years in office, the governor is showing he’s now a far different politician than he was at the start of his first term.


Yesterday’s Herald piece recalled Patrick’s dramatic post-election swoon -- the Cadillac, the drapes, the Ameriquest call, the case studies in how not to handle crisis PR. Today’s hits another lowlight, recalling the governor’s rocky relationship with the onetime kings of Beacon Hill, former Senate president Robert Travaglini and former House speaker Sal DiMasi. The paper presents some unflattering details into Patrick’s fumbling and often-outmatched encounters with the legislature. It portrays Patrick as detached and snippy, not to mention unwilling to let the legislative riffraff tramp through his Berkshires manse.

There’s an obvious element of political gamesmanship in the Herald dwelling in great detail on episodes the governor chose to omit from his new memoir, A Reason To Believe. Patrick and his wife Diane have repeatedly taken exception with the paper’s characterization of his Cadillac as “tricked out.” The governor’s new book says the phrase carried racial overtones. The paper has denied that charge, and its three-day series on what it calls the “missing chapters” in Patrick’s memoir has the not-so-subtle benefit of publicly smacking a politician who has cast aspersions on the paper’s reporting.

But the series also highlights how different a governor Patrick is now than he was in those early, shaky days. It’s telling that on the day the Herald trots out the ghost of Sal DiMasi, the legislative leader who ran circles around Patrick, the Globe leads with a story about Patrick making life quite uncomfortable for the Legislature.

Patrick just vetoed funds that roughly equal the size of the salary the Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings is paying defeated GOP Congressional candidate Jeff Perry. Perry, a political ally of the sheriff, was recently hired to fill a job that's been vacant for two years. Patrick originally left Perry’s salary out of a supplemental budget he just signed. The Legislature inserted the funding, and now Patrick’s veto dares the body to ride to the rescue of a politician whose failed run for Congress turned him into thoroughly damaged goods.

“By all accounts, including his, he has the resources he needs for his operations,” Patrick said of Cummings yesterday. “We don’t have extra money to spread around.” That quote, and the veto, show a keen concern for public perception, and a deft ability to manipulate power on Beacon Hill. They’re exactly the same qualities Patrick lacked in his early days -- a fact we’ll be reminded of again, in great detail, in tomorrow’s Herald

                                                                                                                                                                              --PAUL MCMORROW 


BEACON HILL

CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas, who reviewed Patrick’s book for Sunday’s Boston Globe, discussed the the governor’s memoir yesterday in this segment on “The Emily Rooney Show” on WGBH radio and on “Greater Boston” on WGBH-TV.

State Treasurer Steve Grossman discusses executive pay and board compensation with Jim Braude on NECN.

WBUR looks back to the passage of the state’s health care reform law fives years ago today, while NECN reports on Mitt Romney’s efforts to distance himself from the law.

The Berkshire Eagle says that one day no one will care about the sexual orientation of judicial nominees or anyone else.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Not exactly “Through the Looking Glass,” but Scituate Town Meeting voters bucked the national trend of cutting budgets and cutting taxes last night when they approved a $2.2 million Proposition 2½ override last night to stave off layoffs and service cuts.

The Lantigua lowdown: The Rev. Edwin Rodriguez and several other Hispanic leaders in Lawrence say they have a petition demanding Mayor William Lantigua’s recall but they haven’t filed the  proper paperwork with the city clerk’s office, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

A pair of Lawrence beavers is outwitting state officials who are trying to prevent flooding along Route 114, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

Ray Silva delivered mail and friendship for 31 years in Chelmsford, so when he retired the people along his route held a two-day party for him. Some people came back from other states to attend, the Lowell Sun reports.

BOSTON POLITICS

Universal Hub reports Boston Haitian Reporter co-founder and publisher William Dorcena, brother of state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, has formed a campaign committee with an eye toward a possible run for Boston City Council.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

Reps. Barney Frank and Jim McGovern explain their opposition to the recent budget compromise.

Barack Obama’s entry into the deficit-cutting sweepstakes caught many by surprise --
including a bipartisan group of senators that had been struggling to gain traction on the issue.

The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission flip a coin over who the big anti-trust regulator in town really is.

ELECTION 2012

Mitt Romney takes the next step toward a presidential run, and is assailed from all sides -- a sign, the New York Times writes, that he’s a genuine threat. He’s already making changes in how he plans to campaign this time around. Time says it’s open season on “multiple-choice Mitt” as he prepares another run for the presidency. And what timing!

Joshua Green spotlights the Republican who will hand you the Iowa caucus, if only you’ll join his anti-gay marriage crusade.

Washington Republicans are gambling that their ambitious Medicare overhaul won’t cost them in 2012.

EDUCATION

Haverhill is looking to hire 26 teachers for next year – 17 to fill vacancies and nine to ease classroom overcrowding, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

HEALTH CARE

It's the fifth anniversary of the Massachusetts health care reform legislation that served as a model for “Obamacare,” and everyone seems to be celebrating -- except the man who signed the bill into law.

The MetroWest Daily News argues that the debate over municipal health care should really be about cost containment, not cost shifting.

Tufts Medical Center CEO Ellen Zane tells the Herald her hospital is heading toward a nurses’ strike so a national union can get some ink.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

The Supreme Judicial Court rules that the state can regulate water intake from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power plant.

Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute says in the National Review that the latest Washington catch phrase, “clean energy,” is a bunch of trope signifying nothing except to make those who favor supposedly “dirty” energy feel guilty.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

The Globe reports that some new restraints may need to be attached to a year-old law that expanded the scope of the state's restraining order rules.

WBUR’s David Boeri examines “The Farm,” an inmate re-entry facility in Lawrence that seems to be working.

All that expired food that's been discovered in school department cafeteria programs across the state is evidently good enough for state inmates, the Globe reports.

An internal investigation found no basis for the claims by some Quincy police that they were threatened by relatives of the politically connected Tobin family after the arrest of a 17-year-old family member for drunken driving in February.

The wife of the mayor of North Adams is arrested for shoplifting in Florida.

A purchasing agent for the Department of Correction pleaded guilty to charges he used his relationship with a local gun dealer in Greenfield to funnel off money and credit from the state account into his own, according to the Greenfield Recorder.

Local advocates are pushing elected state officials to make sure New Bedford gets Shannon grant funding to help battle the growing problem of gangs in the city.

GAMBLING

A group of resort casino developers propose a revenue-sharing agreement with Holyoke and neighboring towns -- that is, if gambling legislation is ever passed in Massachusetts.

MEDIA

Henry Louis Gates Jr., the “beer summit” behind him, is set top examine the black experience in Latin America in a new PBS series, Newsweek reports.

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