Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More bad news for Massachusetts

While Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray are running around the state touting the success of their economic policies, State House News Service is reporting that the Commonwealth’s jobless rate is higher than the New England region’s average. Late yesterday afternoon, SHNS reported, “At 9 percent for July, the state’s jobless rate was well below Rhode Island’s 11.9 percent, but significantly higher than New Hampshire’s 5.8 percent, Vermont at 6 percent and Maine at 8.1 percent. Connecticut’s unemployment rate registered at 8.9 percent in July.”

Looks like Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray are being a bit disingenuous saying the Massachusetts economy is on a quicker road to recovery than most states. Regardless of other economic indicators, the fact of the matter is hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents remain unemployed or underemployed.

The fact that the Patrick-Murray Administration hasn’t spent more time on job creation further underscores its disconnect with the people it claims to represent. Governor Patrick can claim he’s handled this recession well, but we’re doubtful unemployed residents would agree with that assertion.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Howie Carr gets it right - again!

In case you missed it, Howie Carr had a great column in Sunday's Boston Herald about the recent withdrawal of a Patrick nominee to a six-year term as administrative law judge at the Department of Industrial Accidents. So why you ask did Chris Maclachan withdraw his name from the nomination? Interestingly enough, because he doesn't technically live in Massachusetts!

Click here to read Howie's latest column in its entirety.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Boston Herald: Smackdown in Gloucester

In case you missed it, the Boston Herald ran a great editorial today called Smackdown in Gloucester.

As mentioned on The Capitol View on Tuesday, Judge Richard Welch III said (in respect to the Gloucester Charter School fiasco), “There is a strong factual showing that the Commissioner (Mitchell Chester), despite his affidavit to the contrary, did not perform his own independent evaluation of the GCA application but, to the contrary, ignored state regulations and caved into political pressure to recommend the project to a Board eager to approve at least one charter application regardless of its merit.”

Today, the Boston Herald said, "Governor Deval Patrick and his top education advisers had to be thrilled with the timing of the big Race to the Top announcement on Tuesday. The pep rally helpfully overshadowed an embarrassing development in the Gloucester charter school e-mail mess."

As House Minority Leader Brad Jones said Tuesday, "Governor Patrick and his team have proven time and time when it comes to education their agenda is driven by politics, not sound public policy."

Kudos to the Boston Herald for calling out Governor Patrick and his team.

Click here to read the editorial in its entirety.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Judge’s ruling shows Governor Patrick playing politics with education

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. and House Minority Whip Bradford Hill issued the following joint statement after a judge said state education officials “blatantly ignored and violated state law” in its efforts to get a charter school approved in the City of Gloucester.

The judge’s ruling in the Gloucester Charter School case further demonstrates Governor Patrick politicizes nearly every policy decision made by him and his administration.

In the ruling, Judge Richard Welch III said, “There is a strong factual showing that the Commissioner (Mitchell Chester), despite his affidavit to the contrary, did not perform his own independent evaluation of the GCA application but, to the contrary, ignored state regulations and caved into political pressure to recommend the project to a Board eager to approve at least one charter application regardless of its merit.”

The Patrick-Murray Administration should be ashamed of its handling of the Gloucester Charter School fiasco. Its mismanagement of the situation not only jeopardizes the public’s confidence in its elected officials, it also puts at risk the education of hundreds of school children.

Governor Patrick and his team have proven time and time when it comes to education their agenda is driven by politics, not sound public policy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Governor Patrick: Do as I Say, Not as I do

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today after hearing Governor Patrick is looking to hire Parsons Brinckerhoff for the Green Line extension project, a project that has nearly doubled in cost since only 2007.

Governor Patrick’s hypocrisy is laughable at this point. His ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth on any number of issues proves only one thing: he’s great at campaigning but when it comes to actually governing his efforts are dismal at best.

“Candidate Patrick” campaigned against the “Big Dig Culture” but Governor Patrick is not only embracing that culture he railed against, he’s waist deep in it.

“Candidate Patrick’s” campaign slogan was “Together we can,” his governing motto should be “Do as I say, not as I do.”

*Quotes from Governor Patrick to refresh your memory on his campaign against the “Big Dig Culture.”

Boston Herald, “Pol wants big dig firm ban”

“Patrick recently blasted Massport officials for hiring Parsons Brinckerhoff even though MassHighway has paid the controversial firm more than $300,000 for engineering work since the governor took office, the Herald disclosed yesterday. However, the department has rejected or frozen bids from the contractor issued in fiscal 2008 for four state projects, including a bridge project in Amesbury.”

Boston Herald, “Dig ‘culprits’ still making Mass. Cash”

Patrick tore into Massport on WTKK-FM last November after officials hired Parsons Brinckerhoff for $30 million to construct a parking complex at Logan International Airport, saying, ``You did not want to be on the other end of the phone when I heard that.''

The Daily News of Newburyport, “Governor provides answers”

Asked why the state would employ Parsons Brinckerhoff, the firm behind the problem-plagued Big Dig, to work on the massive Whittier Bridge replacement project, the governor acknowledged he doesn't like the situation.
"I have a lot of heartburn about them still doing business in the commonwealth," Patrick said.
The firm wasn't disbarred as part of the attorney general's case, he said.
"I wish they had been," he said.
In some instances, the state will still have to use them when the proposal comes in at the lowest cost, Patrick said.

The Associated Press “Patrick admits state budget leaner than he thought”

He was incensed when he learned that Parsons Brinckerhoff Americas, part of the consortium that built the problem-plagued $15 billion Big Dig, had been hired by the Massachusetts Port Authority to design and manage construction of a $377 million parking garage at Logan International Airport.
The firm, which earlier this year joined in a $458 million settlement with the family of a woman killed in a Central Artery tunnel ceiling collapse, will be paid $37 million for its work. Massport officials say the project will be led by a different team of engineers.
"You did not want to be on the other end of the phone when I heard that," the governor said. Patrick refused to reveal with whom he spoke, but he labeled the news "enormously disappointing" and said despite the explanation, "the optics are terrible."

Patrick’s Promise of Property Tax Relief=Failure!

In case you missed it, the Boston Globe ran a piece over the weekend telling readers what they already know: Massachusetts values are down, but property tax bills are up! According to the article, “The average tax bill on a single-family home in fiscal 2010 increased about $140, a 3.3 percent increase, according to figures released this month by the state Department of Revenue. The average tax bill for a single-family home was $4,390. The statewide home values, which have more than doubled since 2000, peaked in 2007 but dropped about 4.6 percent last year to an average of $373,702.”

Where’s that property tax relief “Candidate Patrick” promised? Oh that’s right, nowhere to be found! Instead, Governor Patrick has raised taxes by more than $1.5 billion. If that’s the change Governor Patrick wants to guard, we’re scared of what other guard he wants to change!

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Peterson Participates in Constitution Ride Across America

Assistant Minority Leader George N. Peterson, Jr. participated in the Constitution Ride Across America. For those of you not familiar with the effort, click here to read about the Constitution Ride Across America. On Wednesday, the ride made its way to Boston where Representative Peterson was responsible for accepting a copy of the Constitution and signing a pledge to uphold and protect the Constitution.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Laid Off Wonderland Workers can Thank Governor Patrick

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today after hearing Wonderland Greyhound Park would be closing, ultimately putting dozens out of work.

Governor Patrick’s lack of leadership and failure to compromise with legislative leaders today came to a head as Wonderland Greyhound Park announced its intentions to suspend all operations.

Laid off employees of Wonderland have no one to blame but Governor Patrick whose unwillingness to cooperate with the Legislature led to the ultimate demise of the expanded gaming bill.

While Governor Patrick is out touting his successes today, more than 100 Wonderland employees will be wondering where their next paycheck will come from.

Today’s announcement comes only two short weeks after Plainridge laid off nearly 160 workers at its facility.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jones sits in as guest co-host on the Tom and Todd Show

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. had the opportunity to sit in as guest co-host on the Tom and Todd Show on WRKO. Filling in for the vacationing Todd Feinburg, Jones spent the morning chatting about all the hot topics making headlines across the country and right here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with former Speaker of the House Tom Finneran.

“To say it was a great experience would be an understatement,” said the North Reading lawmaker. “Anytime two people from two different political affiliations have the opportunity to come together and discuss issues on a level like this makes for good dialogue and in this case good radio.”

The Tom and Todd Show, which airs on WRKO from 5:30am-9am has an array of personalities on every day. From journalists to elected officials, voters to candidates, the Tom and Todd Show is known to have all of the people making news on as guests and commentators.

“I am very thankful the show decided to have me on as a guest co-host and I hope to have the opportunity again someday,” added Representative Jones.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sales Tax Holiday Weekend Dubbed a Success

This year’s sales tax holiday weekend has come and gone and retailers and shoppers alike are dubbing it a success! As you all know, the Bay State did not offer a sales tax holiday weekend last year thanks to Massachusetts Democrats saying we couldn’t afford it. Very little has changed from last year but always putting politics first, Democratic leaders on Beacon Hill decided this year (an election year) we could afford a sales tax holiday weekend.

The Retailers Association of Massachusetts told the Boston Globe, “Sales statewide appear to have exceeded the expectations of $500 million over the weekend.” While the Department of Revenue is saying this weekend will have cost the state about $20 million, we in the Republican Caucus prefer to see it as taxpayers being allowed to keep $20 million of their own money!

We’re proud to have filed this proposal this year and in years past and will file it again next year.

Click here to read the coverage in the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jones to sit in for Fienburg on the Tom and Todd Show

Mark your calendars - House Minority Leader Brad Jones will be sitting in for Todd Feinburg on the Tom and Todd Show on WRKO Wednesday. That’s right, the Republican leader in the House will be taking to the airwaves alongside former Speaker of the House Tom Finneran from 5:30am–9am so be sure to tune in.

Jones has appeared on the Tom and Todd Show, but never as a fill-in co-host.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Jones: Lt. Governor Murray either disingenuous or oblivious

BOSTON—Saying the Patrick-Murray Administration shouldn’t make any more promises it can’t keep, House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement after reading what Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray had to say about increasing train service between Worcester and Boston.

Given the Patrick-Murray Administration’s track record on keeping promises, I can’t say I’m surprised that Lieutenant Governor Murray has been out making new campaign pledges. Valuable time and money have been spent pursuing Tim Murray’s pipe dreams before we even know if there will be enough riders to justify it. Additionally, to lead people to believe this project will be a reality by 2012 is just plain wrong.

It’s an election year, so I’m not shocked at the Lieutenant Governor’s behavior but since the Patrick-Murray Administration has failed to reduce property taxes and put more cops on the street, I had hoped the two of them would have learned their lesson by now.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Boston Herald gets it right!

The Boston Herald editorial page couldn’t have said it any better: Plug the damn hole! As many of you know, thousands of commuters sat in upwards of four hours in traffic the other day after a gaping hole appeared on I-93 North. Governor Patrick, in his oh so elitist way, decided it was more important to politick and point fingers than show actual leadership.

The Capitol View applauds the Boston Herald for being so candid and blunt with its readers. We especially appreciate the editorial’s closing line - Please: More patching, less politicking.

Click here to read the editorial in its entirety.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lowell Sun gets it right!

In case you missed it, there’s a great editorial in today’s Lowell Sun. In the editorial Democrats fail to get the job done, the writer says in regard to the gaming debate, “Massachusetts residents are tired of the game playing and political infighting that has repeatedly derailed progress here.” The editorial goes on to say, “Patrick and the Democratically controlled Legislature made a grievous error by failing to fully cooperate on the gambling measure. Their lack of vision and weak leadership have caused residents to lose confidence in the state's economic recovery. That is unacceptable.”

There are too many good lines to quote, so please check the editorial out in its entirety by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Economic indicators show a struggling economy

According to a recent report by State House News Service, “Three economic indexes out Tuesday morning contained discouraging news for the state's economy, reflecting three straight months of diminished home sales activity and significant erosion of employer and consumer optimism.”

Meanwhile, the Patrick-Murray Administration would have you believing everything is the state is heading the right direction. They’ve been out around the Commonwealth touting their sound decision making and leadership. But has State House News Service reported, the economy is anything but sound.

Click here to read the story in its entirety.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jones: Governor Patrick All Politics, No Policy

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement after State House News Service reported media strategy played a role in Governor Patrick’s plan to push for a new crime policy initiative.

I am appalled by the recent reports but certainly not surprised. I’ve grown to expect this kind of behavior from the Patrick-Murray Administration – after all Governor Patrick’s track record precedes him.

This is just the latest in a long list of poor public policy decisions made by the Patrick-Murray Administration for nothing more than political consideration. From the Gloucester charter school licensing debacle to the effort to artificially cap health insurance rates and most recently the abandonment of state education standards, Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray have sacrificed sound public policy in favor of special interest demands.

State House News Service reported late Saturday night on the contents of the memo called “Crime Bill Strategy.” In that memo, two aides to Governor Patrick said, “We recommend waiting until after the weekend when the Globe may run their spotlight series on the Department of Community Supervision reform to determine whether to work with legislators to push for the following: creation of a Department of Community Supervision; requiring reports from probation; or merely a commission to study the creation of a Department of Community Supervision.”

The memo went on to read, "If these sentencing reform amendments were pushed and failed, the House would be on record opposing sentencing reform and it would make it more difficult to fight for sentencing reform in conference committee. The sentencing reform advocates … are also working to make sure that these amendments don't get filed. The advocates want to wait for a more favorable opportunity and until they can secure votes before pushing for sentencing reform.”