At his English High campaign kick-off, I asked Governor Patrick to meet with me to discuss the Liberty Mutual tax break. He said, “I can help you with that,” and asked his aide to give me his contact information to arrange a meeting. That got me nowhere, so I called his scheduler, who told me that there was absolutely no chance the Governor would see me. I told her he knows me and personally instructed me to make an appointment. She said, “He says that when he’s out on the campaign trail, but it’s not going to happen,” and shunted me off to some department functionary. Patrick does know me, and he knows that I know the details about this scandalous tax boondoggle.
When he first ran for office, he told me personally, and told the Globe, that he knows tax “incentives” are not really incentives because they don’t really sway business decisions. This hasn’t stopped the state’s corporate gravy train.
I want him to face me and tell me why he gave away $22.5 million in state money, and allowed the give-away of $16 million in city money, to a company that is no needier than…well, than JPMorgan, who got the previous TIF give-away, or Manulife, which got the one before, or the Jurys Hotel Company, which got the one before that. I want him to tell me why he did this to us when he’s cutting services to the bone.
And, since I know he knows there was no good reason, I want him to rescind it. Liberty will go on doing whatever it was going to do without our money; this is one of the richest corporations in the world. And they admitted publicly that they have no intention of leaving Boston, so there’s no risk of losing their precious “corporate headquarters.”
I imagine that corporations don’t have to beg to see the governor; they can ask him for money whenever they want to. And get it.
It’s a fitting follow-up to the action of his rally gatekeeper, who told me I couldn’t get in the door unless I signed a card pledging to vote for him.
So much for civic engagement. Together we might have.