A few weeks back, Charlie Baker departed from his usual tough-on-public-employee-unions rhetoric by siding with the police unions on two topics near and dear to their hearts: details, and the Quinn bill. In fact, not only did he side with the unions, he criticized Deval Patrick for his efforts to reform those practices.
“We should fund Quinn,” the Republican gubernatorial hopeful replied. “I think the state should continue to own up to its obligation on that one.” …
[T]he Republican challenger expressed repeated reservations about Patrick’s policy of using civilian flagmen where practical on state-led construction projects.
I wrote at the time that this was
[a] clever, if highly cynical, move…. By casting his lot with the police unions on these issues, Baker is apparently gambling that the cops will throw their support to him, thereby allowing him to portray himself as the candidate who has the support of law enforcement.
But, as we know (though maybe someone should remind Bob DeLeo), sometimes when you gamble, you crap out. And about a week ago, Baker crapped out.
What [Tim Cahill] the independent candidate for governor currently lacks in fund-raising prowess and poll numbers, he is making up for in police endorsements. On Thursday, he picked up the backing of the Massachusetts Municipal Police Coalition and the Medford Police Patrolmen’s Association. They joined the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, Quincy Superior and Patrolmen’s Union, Springfield Police Union, and Hanover Police Union in endorsing Cahill.
But what’s really wonderful about this whole thing is the reaction over at RMG. Apparently, Baker enthusiast Mike Rossettie had forgotten about Baker’s naked play for police union backing when he wrote this nonsense in explaining why the cops backed Cahill:
Charlie Baker has campaigned on ending union control of government contracts and substantive pension reform…. Public sector unions are the single greatest obstacle standing in the way.
Charlie Baker will continue to take a political hit for choosing to fight this important fight. It is a hit worth taking, and it goes to the core of why Charlie Baker is running for Governor in the first place.
Precious irony — that RMG chooses to publish this stirring paean to Baker’s bold fight against the greedy public employee unions … on the most painfully obvious occasion of Baker’s kowtowing to public employee unions in the (futile) hope of obtaining their endorsement.
There’s a reason we use the tag line “reality-based” around here … and, perhaps, a reason why it’s missing across the way. 😉