State Senator Jaimie Eldridge has posted on Blue Mass Group the article Why I’m voting for Don Berwick for Governor .
Well, just as the members of the House and Senate progressive caucuses, and thousands of advocates and activists across the state do our part every year to create comprehensive change, we need a Governor who is equally committed to this level of transformation. And a Governor, with the power of the bully pulpit, the support of the grassroots, and ability to coordinate state efforts, can make this kind of change a reality.
In listening to Don Berwick speak to hundreds and thousands of people in Massachusetts, whether in people’s homes, at the Democratic state conventions, Democratic cookouts, and our one on one conversations on the phone, in the State House, or in his office, I believe that Don Berwick has the abilities to change the status quo that remains in so many policies in Massachusetts, which is holding the state and its people back.
I saw this article thanks to Michael Horan for posting the link on his Facebook page. I responded to his comments about the article before reading the article itself.
I said that I am voting for the person I would really like to see in the office, not for the person I think that most other Democrats will like. In the end, I hope that they are the same thing.
The one issue I would like to see Don address is the need for the governor to work with the other branches of government (the legislature in particular). I have heard it said that one of Deval Patrick’s failings is his inability to work with the legislature. Whether true or not, it is an issue for Don to address. He says he is not a politician and does not want politics as usual. That is fine for him, but there are lots of politicians who will remain in government and will be exerting power.
Senator Eldridge wrote in his article:
And yet there are things that happen on Beacon Hill that make me shake my head. A wasted opportunity on a progressive tax package that does not adequately invest in transportation infrastructure, underwhelming increases in public education, welfare, immigration and criminal justice “reforms” that only further punish the poor and oppressed, and state agencies that have made only modest progress on social suffering and moral outrages such as the state’s homeless crisis, and deep poverty in struggling cities and towns.
His reference to not adequately investing in transportation infrastructure may be to a different bill from the one that is a particular bone of contention of mine. Earlier, Deval Patrick proposed a large sum for investing in transportation infrastructure. The bill that the legislature passed was only about half of what the Governor proposed. I was particularly incensed when, at a Sturbridge Democratic Town Committee annual lunch, Democratic State Senator Stephen Brewer bragged about how he has saved us money by cutting back on the amount of money to be spent. About a year later, at the next annual lunch, I spoke to a State Rep who told me that part of the problem with the Patrick bill was the wasteful way money would be spent because of the order of certain projects in the bill. I think at this time, she also mentioned the Governor’s habit of presenting bills on a take it or leave it basis instead of holding appropriate discussions with the legislators before presenting a bill.
As I said in my remarks to Michael Horan, I don’t know if this assessment of Deval Patrick is correct, but it does raise the issue of how non-politicians can succeed in a political office. I am pleased to hear that State Senator Jamie Eldridge thinks that Don Berwick has the necessary skills. I’d like to see Don Berwick address this issue in public so that the rest of the voters can have the same feeling as Eldridge.