I see FrankSkeffington’s original thread growing longer, and people remaining hot and bothered, but I don’t see why the Gov’s out-of-town travel on the day of the casino vote is considered a big deal.
Everyone on Beacon Hill knows, if you think you’re going to line up votes on the DAY OF a big vote, then you are sad and pathetic.
With a few rare exceptions, you know exactly how many votes you have days before the House or Senate is in session.
The Gov did what he could to promote the casino idea. He held a rally with hundreds of union guys, made speeches and probably made dozens of phone calls to legislators. He was not sitting on his hands while the lobbyists tried to promote this bill. They have no reason to doubt that he was supportive.
I didn’t work in the Building itself, so current and former legislative aides feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but the Gov wouldn’t really play a role in a floor vote anyway. In my 9th grade civics class I vaguely recall something about the executive branch and the legislative branch doing things separately sometimes. The Gov’s role in the bill passage process comes before (sometimes) and after the legislature acts. He or she is not expected to be active on the day of a legislative vote. He could be in the Berkshires with the smart people on such a day, or make a quick foray into the Empire State to hear firsthand the gossip about the new Gov over there, maybe have lunch with his daughter and sign a book deal.
Advisors? I’m sure Gov. Patrick’s advisors thought it was a great idea for him to be unavailable to reporters in the immediate aftermath of the casino vote. This is the opposite of dumb. You DO NOT want to provide a photo-op and unlimited sound bites on a day when your proposal loses. The Gov. knew it was going down to defeat, but he didn’t need to be visibly associated with the sunken ship. Honestly, I think it was a good idea to be out of town.
As for those who think this is a big defeat for Deval, keep in mind that his first idea for generating revenue for the Commonwealth’s budget gap was to close corporate loopholes. The Speaker did not support him. So the Governor tried to be constructive by proposing an alternative – casino income. As we all know, the Speaker didn’t like that idea at all.
Now, class, when the casino vote failed, what happened next?
House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi . . . endors[ed] Gov. Deval Patrick’s plan to balance the budget by closing business tax loopholes.
The Governor has not had support from the legislature for most of his proposals, but I think he deserves some credit here for getting what he wanted in the first place. When he gave the Speaker a choice between the frying pan and the fire, the gentleman chose the frying pan after all – just what the Governor wanted in the first place.
No “D’ oh!” here. But it looks like there will be some dough for the state’s coffers.