Charlie Baker’s four campaign launches:
Baker Campaign Launch #1
July 8, 2009: NECN: Charlie Baker announces bid for governor
Baker Campaign Launch #2
July 29, 2009: Boston Globe: Baker launches campaign, criticizes Patrick
And don’t forget … Tisei Launch:
Nov. 24, 2009: Boston Globe: Baker names Senate’s Tisei as running mate
And yestereday, Baker Campaign Launch #4
Jan. 30, 2010: CharlieBaker2010.com: Baker-Tisei Campaign Kick-off Event
The five questions Baker still has yet to answer are:
1. Now that you announced you are running for Governor, why do you refuse to answer questions about the Big Dig, one of the biggest financial challenges facing the state–and your past role in creating it?
[Boston Globe: “Baker declined several requests to speak about his role in financing the Big Dig.”]
2. When you were in charge of state finances, why did you claim, “I don’t see how anybody could argue that the artery will be pulling money away from non-artery projects”–even as the state had shut down scores of other highway projects due to the cash crunch?
[In February 1998, then-Secretary for Administration & Finance Charles Baker asserted: “I don’t see how anybody could argue that the artery will be pulling money away from non-artery projects.” (*1) At the time, the state highway department had shut down or shelved a reported 200 projects around the state, with officials privately admitting they faced a cash flow crisis in state transportation accounts. ] (*2)
3. Why does your campaign claim you had “a limited role in the financing process” when in fact you literally wrote a key Big Dig financing report?
[In October 1997, the Boston Globe and Boston Herald reported on a newly-released Big Dig “financing report” that called for the “Big Dig to double [the] amount it borrows.” The Globe described the plan as “a new Administration and Finance report” while the Herald spoke of “Baker, who prepared the report.” ] (*3)
4. When you were in charge of state finances, why did you dismiss warnings that Big Dig spending was spiraling out of control–and instead insist you had the “right mechanism” in place to pay for it?
[In 1997, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation issued a study finding the Commonwealth would face a serious Big Dig funding shortfall, even if no additional cost hikes occurred. A & F Secretary Baker brushed off the [accurate] warning, insisting: “We have the right mechanism for dealing with a situation that everyone admits is going to be challenging.” ] (*4)
5. When you were in charge of state finances, why did you remain silent in the face of false claims “no one’s contemplating toll hikes”–or did you really believe this?
[In November 1994, A & F Secretary Baker remained silent as then-Lt. governor Paul Cellucci publicly claimed “no one’s contemplating raising tolls” to finance the Big Dig. (*5) Media reporting of that time describes lawmakers as incredulous at Cellucci’s claim, and sure enough, the Weld Administration later issued a report acknowledging tolls would need to double or triple. ] (*6)
(*1) Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 2/11/98
(*2) Boston Herald, 3/23/98 and Boston Globe, 1/27/98
(*3) Boston Herald, 10/31/97 and Boston Globe, 10/31/97
(*4) Boston Globe, 2/25/97
(*5) Boston Globe, 11/23/94
(*6) Boston Globe, 12/5/96
John Walsh, Chair
Massachusetts Democratic Party