Saturday, October 23, 2010

Endorsement: Governor Deval Patrick

Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA) and Me
Invesco Field, Denver, Colo.
August 28, 2008

There is a clear choice in this year's Massachusetts Gubernatorial race. One candidate thinks the electorate is angry, and that the solution to all of our problems is to put the state government on notice. He promises to cut state jobs, a lot of them, in the thinking that a more streamlined bureaucracy will promote job growth. He promises to bring corporate board room precision to his job to reign in spending, whatever the consequences.

The other candidate, who happens to be the current Governor, Deval Patrick, doesn't think the voters are angry as much as they are perplexed and worried-- perhaps even scared. The sluggish U.S. economy over the past few years has us all anxious. We aren't so eager to go to Beacon Hill with pitch forks and torches as much as we want a state government that's part of the solution. We want a governor who understands. Deval Patrick is that governor.

To be fair, I have long had concerns that Governor Patrick does not focus enough on the future. He talks of his accomplishments during his first term. Looking at them on paper, I can see why. He has implemented quite a bit of reform. He took on big pensions. He worked with my State Representative, Marty Walz, and others to pass a new education bill. He's a huge champion of Cape Wind, which is a project that for far too long has been subject to NIMBY politics.

Unfortunately, the current mood of the electorate is not interested in what the Governor has done as much as in what he will do. And there is one issue that matters most (CNN caught onto this in the waning weeks of the 2008 Presidential campaign when they literally made it "Issue No. 1"). And that issue is jobs and the economy.

After volunteering for the Governor for the summer, I am convinced that he understands his constituents better than his opponents. On the stump with President Obama last weekend, he put it bluntly: "I am not satisfied." You are right, Governor. We are not satisfied, either. And it's because we are all worried about what's next.

At work each day, I stave off thoughts of the dreaded "double-dip" recession, wary that sometimes we get ourselves in these mental cycles that turn economic possibilities into economic certainties.

I definitely think the Governor could be doing more to help bolster the markets that I work in each and every day. I don't think he pays enough attention to the technology industries beyond clean tech. His administration has been suspiciously absent from the table at discussions organized by the Mass Technology Leadership Council; it's members have pledged to create a significant number of jobs in the near term.

But by the same token, my concerns cannot and do not outweigh what the Governor has done and what he pledges to do. And I cannot overshadow what his policies have accomplished for Massachusetts. An economy that is coming out of the recession faster than other states, according to job growth figures. An education system that was recently labeled the best in the country, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), SAT and ACT exams. An administration that believes in generational responsibility, especially with regard to the environment.

I also applaud the fact that Governor Deval Patrick has not "cut and run" like his predecessors. He has not used his current office as a stepping stone to something else. He is committed to finishing what he started. There's no question that his policies have seen success, and there's no question that his general belief in how government can work with private industry to grow our economy is the prescription we must continue to fill.

Finally, I cannot write about the Governor without also saying how much I am a fan of the Lt. Governor, Tim Murray. He is the perfect complement to Deval Patrick. Tim Murray used to be the Mayor of Worcester, and he carries himself like someone who will talk about cleaning the streets and then roll up his sleeves and literally clean the streets. I like that.

I am voting for Governor Deval Patrick and Lt. Governor Tim Murray on November 2. And I encourage you to do the same, because despite their accomplishments, they know we are not satisfied. And they aren't, either.

1 comment:

Princess Martha said...

Hope he didn't tell you to "shove" your endorsement. :)
Loving RI politics right now...but will vote for Deval on Tuesday!