Friday, July 11, 2008

Questions I Ask: Deval's Town Hall Tour

Deval's Back to the Roots Summer Town Hall Meeting Tour is underway. The governor is traveling around the state, listening to people. While it is true that we can contact the governor online, via email, phone, fax, or letter through his campaign website and his official website, what we need is more "listening". (Oh, there's always a good chance to see him in person, and until recently you'd do that by going out of state). I personally was disappointed with having only 11 ways to reach the governor, and I'm glad he invented this twelfth way.

But I do wonder if there's some carbon-based lifeform who could answer this question:

Who's paying for this, the government of Massachusetts or his campaign committee?

If it is the Deval Patrick Committee, at least this choreographed barnstorming tour is kind of paid for privately. Mind you, it's still true that he's using many public facilities to the cost of the town, and his security detail isn't free either. You can follow along on this campaign activity on his official website. For that matter, he's likely taking the time that should be devoted to his job for this. On the heels of the campaign-funded "Readiness Project", just how much of Deval's civic job is he attempting to shift over to his campaign apparatus, and is this thorough mixing of political and policy functions healthy for our democracy?

If it is the Government of Massachusetts, this is a disgrace. In addition to being a waste of money, the meetings are an abuse of that money. I count no fewer than eight campaign signs in this one photograph alone. All introductions thus far are being done by Democratic officials. Shouldn't the Democratic Party be paying for this activity?

In other states, the opposition party would be asking these questions. But with the morons in charge of the Mass. GOP, it falls to us. (I'm not hoping for more Republicans in the State House, necessarily, but I am hoping for more accountability in our state government.)

Update: As sco pointed out in comments, I was wrong to presume that photo was related to the a matter of fact, the photo used at politickerma is from a 2006 campaign rally. I still don't know who is paying for the other externalities of Patrick's tour, however.


sco said...

Um, regarding the photo -- the caption says that it's from a 2006 campaign rally and not from any town hall event.

I know the Governor kicked your dog or whatever, but don't blame him because PolitickerMA didn't have anyone taking pictures at the town hall meeting.

Quriltai said...

Sorry about that. I was dumb enough to think the photo applied to the article...considering how rife that site is with misspellings, probably should have known better. I'll correct it in the article.

Mind you, the rest holds true -- is the campaign committee paying for the security and usage fees as well? And as for the "governor kicked your dog", that flavor of snide dismissal of critics that surrounds all Axelrod projects is a big reason I dislike them in the first place.