The Globe Delivers a One Two Punch to Governor Patrick

Today’s Boston Globe furthered the political misery surrounding the Patrick Administration, with two stories culled from internal emails putting the Administration in a very bad light.

Contradicting a series of steadfast denials, internal e-mails show that Governor Deval Patrick’s top aides controlled the appointment of state Senator Marian Walsh to a high-paying job at a state authority, from setting her salary to crafting her job description. They also provided the agency’s talking points for the news media in an attempt to quell a public uproar. “I’m going to send you a proposed job description from [Patrick chief of staff Doug Rubin] soon,” Patrick senior adviser Jay Gonzalez told the two top officials at the Massachusetts Health and Education Facilities Authority in a March 11 e-mail.

The Patrick Administration has steadfastly denied any involvement in the Walsh hiring, pointing to HEFA as the responsible entity. While not many placed any credibility in those denials today’s Globe story outs them as totally false, with the entire operation being run out of the Governor’s office. The salary offer of $175,000 to Senator Walsh was also orchestrated by Patrick Chief of Staff Doug Rubin, who had the HEFA Board make the salary offer in spite of a survey done showing that a market rate salary for this position would be $128,500.

The salary level of $175,000 originated with the administration, the e-mails indicate. They also show that Rubin drafted Walsh’s job description. Patrick’s press office wrote the script for public statements by the agency.

On the weekend before the Patrick-controlled HEFA board unanimously approved Walsh’s appointment as assistant director, Larson asked Gonzalez to justify why the Democratic lawmaker should be paid more than $128,500. That was the amount that a Burlington-based consulting firm, The Survey Group, reported as the average market base pay for the position.

Larson asked Gonzalez to contact Rubin for backup information that would support a $175,000 salary.

“Generally, it’s lower than the $175,000 figure,” Larson wrote to Gonzalez, referring to the consultant’s survey of pay at other government agencies. “It would be helpful if Doug or others could send along some comparables so that we have substantive justifications.”

Even though the HEFA Board chair continues to deny the orchestration by the Governor’s staff it is quite clear that that is exactly what happened. And while it is no big suprise to many it is just another terrible story at a time when the Governor could use a good story or two. The Governor was not served well by staff on this matter, and the appointment of Marion Walsh to this position has to be considered “in trouble”. It is time for the Governor to cut his losses.

Read the Globe story here.

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9 Responses to The Globe Delivers a One Two Punch to Governor Patrick

  1. Matty K says:

    That story was good, but the Aloisi Blog story is even better…

    But the e-mail exchanges offer a window into the machinations of the Patrick administration in managing media coverage as it proposes a controversial transportation overhaul, and the e-mails show that officials realized Aloisi’s blog would not help.

    At one point, Rubin wrote, “I guarantee you just gave [state Senator Steven A. ] Baddour (chairman of the Transportation Committee) . . . fodder to use against us.”

    Like

  2. Bob LeBlanc says:

    Gee, I thought Doug Rubin and Steve Baddour were close friends.

    Like

  3. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    I could smell this guy before his election. Turned out just as I thought. Together we couldn’t.

    I have the same feeling about his Chicago buddy.

    Jules

    Like

  4. Fred Mertz says:

    Politically tone deaf. BMG makes a good point: you’d think that lawyers would know enough not to use email if they didn’t want to see it on the front page of the Globe.

    I hope they have time to recover before I have to write in Jules for Governor!

    -FM

    Like

  5. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,
    Now that I think of it, one finds solace in the fact that the Kennedy house newspaper is throwing Deval Patric under the bus.

    I always felt that Democrats eat their own.

    Jules

    Like

  6. Fred Mertz says:

    Jules:

    I think they call that “intellectual integrity”.

    😉

    -FM

    Like

  7. Jules Gordon says:

    Fred,

    Intellectual Integrity = Cannibalism??

    No matter, I just live to see your check mark by my name when I run for Governor.

    Jules

    Like

  8. Fred Mertz says:

    Jules:

    Yes, it’s because we’re not parrots for the party line …

    Or, to loosely quote the wisdom of Opus the Penguin:

    “If a thousand people do a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing”.

    After the transportation bill, I am leaning ever closer to supporting your candidacy.

    -FM

    Like

  9. Jules Gordon says:

    Fred,

    Politics does make strange bed fellows.

    Jules

    Like

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