In case you were wondering if Terry Murray was still irritated at the Governor for stealing her fire — and frankly, for out-performing her in the Reform-Before-Revenue game, check out these two statements.
The first is from her office on the entrance of Charlie Baker to the gubernatorial race:
I have known Charlie Baker for many years. I am familiar with his work and have a great deal of respect for him. As a Democrat and leader of the Senate, however, I will remain focused on my members and the work ahead.
Notable is what's not said: “I'll be supporting the incumbent.”
And today's op-ed on transportation — written with Joint Committee on Transportation chair Steve Baddour — is essentially a long back-handed dig at the governor, taking credit for the Senate without ever mentioning the Gov by name:
We outlined a series of changes we felt were badly needed, and we are proud that the final legislation we enacted specifically addresses those changes. Rather than simply talking about reform while waiting for others to act, the Senate worked swiftly, diligently, and collaboratively to arrive at this moment.
(My emphasis.) Let's remember that the governor did actually file legislation — in February — and got most of what he wanted. Waiting for others, huh?
And this is just a flat-out mischaracterization:
Throughout the process, we held steadfast to our insistence on reform before revenue. We strongly opposed a proposal for a significant increase in the state’s gas tax of 19 cents per gallon that did not include any discussion about reform or consolidation. Rather than continuing to throw money into a broken system, we felt, as we do today, that a fundamental overhaul of our transportation services was the better approach.
The governor's gas tax proposal was part-and-parcel of his own reform package; to say that it did “not include any discussion about reform or consolidation” is absolutely false, 180 degrees backwards.
As far as “throwing money into a broken system”, let's remember that it was the Senate that resisted getting rid of the 23-and-out pension for the MBTA Carmen — and it was the Senate's resistance that made the end of 23-and-out apply only to future hires. Broken system, la dee da, Madame President.
Furthermore, they still have not dealt with the MBTA's crippling debt load. That was the aim of the gas tax increase. The Senate simply decided to a.) raise the sales tax to patch up the short term revenue hole, and b.) whistle past the railyard, and hope the debt pays itself.
Anyway, these tensions are about to play out in the governor's race. Based on what we've seen, I would not be surprised to see some Finneran-esque remarks coming from the Murray-Baddour camp. We just have to remember that this tension is now obviously personal — at least from Murray and Baddour. I doubt how many votes these two would actually pull away from Patrick; and I really have to wonder how much they'd prefer another governor to this one.
Why so defensive, Senators? Why not just declare victory and move on?