It didn’t take her long. Kerry Healey said “congrats” to Deval on the phone, and immediately pounced for the cameras: Deval Patrick is a big scary lib! Boogity boogity! Good Lord, is that all she’s got? How about a reason for anyone to vote for you, Kerry?
So let’s immediately address the already-familiar attack lines:
- Patrick will raise your taxes. Really? Patrick has never proposed raising the income tax. Last year, Patrick did endorse a health care ballot initiative that would have raised cigarette taxes and imposed an assessment on some uninsuring employers. Since the new health care law was passed, those are off the table. No one is proposing those anymore. So that’s a red herring at this point.
And let’s keep in mind: The Romney administration raised fees and essentially forced communities to raise their own property taxes, which is even tougher on vulnerable people that the income tax. And perhaps most importantly, Mitt Romney introduced and insisted upon the personal mandate for health insurance, which will force many lower income folks to buy insurance. You can pay the state or you can pay Blue Cross/Blue Shield, but either way it’s not money in your pocket.
“Patrick will raise taxes” is a tendentious prediction; the Romney administration has a record on this that is, uh, not exactly pure. Healey must be forced to either defend or actively disavow her administration’s record.
- Patrick is soft on crime. That’s rich, coming from a criminologist who apparently has nothing to say about the fact that the state crime lab has been underfunded. (More here.) Does she promise to increase funding for the crime labs — even while she promises
free beertax cuts? Look, it’s nice for Healey that she doesn’t really have a record on crime, her “four books” notwithstanding; but if she wants to get on Patrick about CORI, again, she’s going to have to either defend or disavow.
- A Patrick governorship means unchecked power for the legislature. Well, fat lot of good Republican governors have done us in that regard. Geez, they’re not even competent enough to get more Republicans elected in the legislature. Did Mitt Romney take on the Big Dig Culture of neglect, special-interest favors and outright corruption, before a concrete block dropped on someone’s head?
Let’s be clear: The legislature — any legislature — does indeed need to be checked. Have Mitt Romney and the rest been enough of a check? Will Kerry Healey bring any clout whatsoever to that job? Or do we actually need someone with a bit more influence — a mandate for wholesale, cultural reform on Beacon Hill? If Deval Patrick is elected, that’s exactly what that will mean.