2. House Speaker Sal DiMasi disses Patrick big-time in today’s Globe, telling reporter Matt Viser that he’s endorsing Hillary Clinton for president because Barack Obama is too inexperienced – just like Patrick.
“I think Massachusetts will look at it to find out what they can see in Obama with respect to what they did with their vote for Governor Patrick,” DiMasi is quoted as saying. “To be perfectly honest, I really don’t want my president to be in there in a learning process for the first six months to a year. It’s too important.”
I’ve heard the Obama-Patrick comparison many times, and I find it borderline offensive. What do they have in common other than a political consultant (David Axelrod) and, oh yes, the fact that they are both African-American? But I’m in tea leaf-reading mode today. And the leaves tell me that DiMasi has decided to take the gloves off after a period of relative calm. Since DiMasi has already made it clear that he opposes Patrick’s casino plan, his outspokenness suggests that he won’t mind killing it once and for all.
3. The Globe’s Frank Phillips informs us that Patrick “has set up a novel political fund-raising system that allows him to skirt the state’s campaign finance law by channeling big contributions through the state Democratic Party, which, in turn, has paid off hundreds of thousands of dollars of the governor’s political expenses.”
If this were a big deal, I’d expect that Pam Wilmot, executive director of Common Cause of Massachusetts, would be upset. Instead, Phillips writes that Wilmot “found nothing about Patrick’s strategy that prompted alarm.” Still, it places Patrick on the defense once again, hampering his ability to move his agenda forward. When it comes to casinos, that’s a good thing.
4. Finally, it turns out that the proposed site of the Middleborough casino may be the home of a rare species of turtle called the northern red-bellied cooter. Gladys Kravitz explains why it matters – although Alicia Elwell, writing in the Brockton Enterprise, reports that maybe the turtle doesn’t live there after all.
Much wrangling ahead, you can be sure.