Monday, May 09, 2005

The Dissing Contest

Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the gallon.
Sometimes your friends just can't help themselves. Representative Matt Patrick has been in a stupid dissing contest with the Cape Cod Times, mostly of his own making.

He sent out a press release taking credit for half a million dollars in pork barrel (for the Cape) in the state budget in the same week he sent the Cape Cod Times an ed/op piece opposing the income tax rollback.

The Cape Cod Times called him on the carpet, not so much for the audaciousness of his position as a tax and spend liberal, but on his insistence that (and contrary to the Times' insistence that the budget was fat with pork), the budget could not be cut!

Although his positions are logically consistent, is it incredibly dumb political posturing. Opposing tax cuts for the sake of special interest handouts.

Matt's suffering from the excitement of being "in" with the leadership of the House for the first time in his short tenure. Let's hope for his sake as well as ours that his hubris is only temporary. Because the new Speaker, from whom all power flows in the House, happens to dislike the wind farm.

One man's pork barrel is another man's safety net.
We can't let the Times off the hook here for good behavior, either. They actually favor some pork. In a recent editorial, they endorsed Representative Gomes' special insertion into the budget for a prescription drug pharmacy program for lower Cape residents. But they disapprove of the Cape-wide Lyme desease prevention program that Representative Patrick favors.
SM

4 Comments:

At 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The House Speaker is opposed to Cape Wind too?!? Many thanks for sharing this with us. This is the best news I've heard since learning Mashpee voters said 'No' to Cape Wind on Saturday. It may not matter in the end what happens today with the EFSB in Boston. I have a hunch Cape Wind is headed for the rocks, not Horseshoe Shoal.

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger Cape Media Watch said...

It actually matters quite a bit what happens today with the EFSB (Siting Board) hearing in Boston, and the Mashpee precinct closest to the polluting canal power plant voted in favor of Cape Wind while the voters who were nearer to the project rejected it.

Did you imagine Mashpee was "nimby-free"?

 
At 8:20 PM, Anonymous Matt Patrick said...

Here is my repsponse to the editors of the Cape Cod Times.

The editors of the Cape Cod Times don't seem to know the difference between an amendment to earmark existing money in a line item and an amendment to add money to a line item. Almost all of the amendments the cape delegation filed were old earmarks of existing money in preexisting line items.

If we don't earmark that money for our districts then some other representative will do it for their district. I guess we could all let some bureaucrat determine where the money goes but I would rather it came to my district for the people I know need it. In fact all
legislators do it if they are worth their salt. Republicans sign on to my amendments and I sign on to their amendments so it isn't a matter of one party abstaining from earmarking.

I suppose if I were fortunate enough to get more money for Cape Schools at the expense of other schools in the Commonwealth that would be unfair. But I think many people on Cape Cod would appreciate it.

There undoubtedly is waste and theft in state government just as there is in any human endeavor be it public or private. Look no further than Enron, Tyco or World Com for examples of corporate dishonesty in the private sector. However, there isn't the kind of waste in the state budget that will pay for a restoration of the education money that was cut a few years ago and not nearly enough to solve our health care crisis. So that's why I said show me the areas to cut so we can decrease the income tax rate to 5% at the same time we fund health and education.

I originally objected to that premise. I still believe we can't cut the income tax rate to 5% and find the billions of dollars needed to restore funding levels to our schools and provide health coverage for everyone.

As editors of the only daily paper on Cape Cod you have the responsibility to do more research. Look at a budget before you level these charges. If you don't it unjustly breeds more suspicion and contempt for legislators.

Matt Patrick

 
At 6:10 PM, Blogger Peter Porcupine said...

Goodness! I thought there was ANOTHER daily newspaper on Cape Cod - I compliment you on your swift Ascension into the Pantheon now that Today has run the Times back over the Canal to Ottaway land!

 

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