An outsider in politics is like a box of chocolates.
You never know what you’re going to get. With Governor Deval Patrick, the simile holds true. You never know what stupid thing he’s going to do next. It was easy enough to brush off stories about the leased Cadillac and the new drapes as rabble-rousing but now Patrick’s “offering himself as a reference” for Ameriquest, his former employer, which is now in need of a cash influx after a spending hundreds of millions of dollars settling lawsuits over its predatory lending practices.
Patrick seems to have been a fixer when it came to lawsuits against corporations. Before joining the board of Ameriquest, he worked as an attorney for Coca Cola, which faced problems with the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission. At one point, according to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Coke’s board wanted to fire Patrick as general counsel, but later backpedaled.
Patrick’s work for Ameriquest seems to have been in the role of fixer. Patrick was invited to join the board in 2005, after the company, dogged by a decade of bad press, lawsuits, had decided to settle several class action lawsuits and improve its image. A black corporate attorney joining the board of a company accused of racist, predatory lending practices made sense for the mortgage company. The Globe reported on Patrick’s relationship with Ameriquest and the charges of predatory lending,
“These are serious charges that I believe the company is taking seriously,” Patrick said. “In fact, the company is using the situation as an opportunity to raise the bar for the entire industry.”
“The measure of a good company is not whether it always gets it right, but how it responds when things go wrong,” Patrick said. “I see my role in every company I have been associated with as trying to make it better. Sometimes problem solvers, if they’re serious, get their hands dirty. That is exactly the kind of leadership we need in Massachusetts today.”
Sipkins, the spokesman for Ameriquest, said Patrick’s role on the board will be to “assist and lead us in the ongoing process of improving both our own companies and working to set the highest standards for the entire lending industry.” [Boston Globe, April 20, 2005, Wednesday]
OK, so the Quick Hits thing seems to be a non-starter. I’ll take it down — there are no doubt better uses for the left sidebar real estate. Now, on to another interesting topic: blog talk radio! This site allows anyone to run an internet-based talk radio call-in show, and lots of the cool kids are already doing it. It works just like regular talk radio — we can interview guests or just natter on ourselves, and there’s a call-in number for anyone to participate in the conversation. The difference, of course, is that you listen online rather than over the airwaves. The program streams live (via Windows Media Player, which also runs on Mac), and after the show is done it remains available as a podcast. We can schedule as many shows as we want, whenever we want. So, if we had such a show and could get some interesting guests (which I think we could do), would you listen? Would you participate? If so, what would be good days and times? Should this be an evening thing so that people aren’t at work? [UPDATE: there's now a front-page poll on this topic, at steverino's suggestion.] Thanks for your [...]
March 6, 2007 – For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact:
Suffolk University Government Professor
David Paleologos at 781-290-9310
Clinton and Obama Statistically Tied, Giuliani Leads McCain
In Latest New Hampshire Poll
Poll Conducted by Students in Suffolk University Government Class
BOSTON – A telephone poll of likely New Hampshire voters, conducted by Suffolk University students from February 24-28, 2007, revealed top Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are statistically tied for the lead among Democratic voters in the Granite State. Republican candidate Rudolph Giuliani had a 10-point lead over John McCain, his nearest rival. The results of the poll were officially announced today.
Note: I wrote the bulk of this as a comment on Charley’s recent thread criticizing Governor Patrick. However, I thought it was an important point, so I turned it into a diary.
A lot of people have asked, “how do we get Deval to stop making these stupid mistakes?” Many people have suggested he hire some sort of advisor on these matters.
I just don’t see how that would work. First, I’m sure he does have people advising him on these things. Secondly, he’s got a strong, hands-on type of personality – so I doubt he’s the type of person who would want someone over his shoulder criticizing everything he says and does all the time. Lastly, I don’t want someone doing that to him either – didn’t a good chunk of us vote for him, in large part, because of his he wasn’t the typical politician in what he says and does? Didn’t we vote for him because he wasn’t so scripted throughout the course of the campaign?
A lot more below the fold.
I have a theory that most Americans, including many if not most well informed poltically active Americans, have never actually read the Constitution of these United States. I get this impression from the manner in which people sometimes discuss the Constitution and the rights contained within. (People presuming that private citizens criticizing or choosing not to associate, either personally or fiscally, with others when they disapprove of something that other person has said offends the right to freedom of speech is a perfect example.) So I have some questions. Have you ever read the US Constitution and if so when did you first read it? (I have. The first time was in undergrad in my “US Constitutional History” Class). By extension, who has read the full text of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? I must confess, I have not. I’ve only read portions. Are there any other sources or documents that people think we should all read or that other people profess to understand without ever having read? (The Bible comes to mind).
The verdict has just been read. Scooter Libby has been found guilty on four of five counts. Count 1 (Obstruction): GUILTY Count 2 (Perjury): GUILTY Count 3 (False Statement): NOT GUILTY Count 4 (Perjury): GUILTY Count 5 (Perjury): GUILTY Count 3, apparently, related to Time reporter Matthew Cooper. This, of course, is only Round 1. There will be an appeal, and Bush may pardon Libby before any of this gets very far. Nonetheless, kudos to Patrick Fitzgerald and his team. UPDATE: The always excellent Media Matters, in anticipation of the inevitable Fox News/VRWC spin, has published some pre-spin that is well worth a read.