There’s more interesting Gov’s race news in the morning papers. First, Deval Patrick has been making progress in the fundraising department – he still has a lot less cash on hand than Tom Reilly, but he has raised more money than Reilly over the last six months. Well done. The cash-on-hand imbalance is still significant ($500K for Patrick vs. $4M for Reilly), but Patrick can self-finance to a significant degree, if necessary, and his fundraising speaks well of the interest his campaign is generating. It would be nice to see that starting to translate into the polls, which still favor Reilly by a large margin.
Also of interest is this morning’s report that state tax revenues are expected to slow their rate of growth substantially over the next couple of years. Coming on the heels of Tom Reilly’s surprise announcement that he was joining Mitt Romney in calling for a rollback of the state income tax to 5% because the economy was doing so well, one has to see this development as good news for Deval Patrick – not because Patrick wants the economy to do badly (obviously that is not the case), but because it makes Reilly look foolish. Reilly’s position was that things are going great and the state is flush with cash, so why not cut taxes? That’s all well and good, if it’s true, but look around: cities and towns continue to struggle to pay their police, firefighters, and teachers (Chelmsford is a case in point – thanks Lynne), and now it turns out that things aren’t so sunny after all. I continue to think that the way Deval Patrick has been looking at the tax cut issue from the very beginning is the correct one: let’s talk first about what it is that we insist government do, figure out how much that will cost, and then we can decide what the appropriate tax rate should be.
So, while on balance I think sco may be right that Bill Galvin’s announcement that he will not run for Governor may help Reilly more than it helps Patrick, other developments suggest that Patrick has a good shot at making the race very interesting next year. Let’s hope so.
In other Gov news, our so-called Governor continues to make an ass out of himself in his neverending efforts to pander to the Rush Limbaugh wing of his party. Today’s embarrassment is Romney’s call to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in order to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil – even though, among other reasons why it’s not a solution, it would take ten years to get much oil out of there. This seems mostly to be a stunt to distance himself from likely Prez candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) – obviously, no one gives a crap what the Governor of Massachusetts thinks about oil drilling in Alaska. But hey, Governor: if you’re really worried about dependence on foreign oil, maybe there’s something we could do about it right here in Massachusetts! Maybe there’s an alternative energy source that doesn’t pollute, is inexhaustible, and would be available more or less immediately to the Cape and Islands! You’d be in favor of that, right? Oh … you’re not? And that makes sense because …?