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The Mass Media

Thanks For Making My Choice Easy, Ms. Healey

Thanks For Making My Choice Easy, Ms. Healey
Thanks For Making My Choice Easy, Ms. Healey

Christy Mihos has interesting ideas, one of the funniest TV ads I’ve ever seen, and loads of his own cash.

Grace Ross has lofty ideas, but no cash, no ads, and no coverage.

Deval Patrick has ideas, cash raised from a widespread grassroots organization, and ads that convey a relentlessly hopeful tone.

Kerry Healey has a fifty page PowerPoint presentation but only one idea: “Deval Patrick: Bad! The Legislature: Bad! Illegal Immigrants: Bad! If You Agree, Vote for Me! Hooray!”

Since she’s essentially an incumbent and the Massachusetts Republican Party doesn’t really have anyone else to offer, Healey didn’t have to come up with any ideas during her “primary.” The most we heard from her was her late in the game attack ad on Chris Gabrieli.

On the eve of the primary, Healey threw her own little “victory party” in an attempt to steal some thunder from whichever Dem won. She got a little limelight and used it to stay on message: “Deval Patrick: Bad! Legislature: Bad!”

Since the night of the Democratic primary, all Healey has had to talk about are both standard Republican characterizations of Democrats, e.g., “soft on crime” and “he’ll raise your taxes,” as well as real missteps Deval Patrick has made, i.e., he probably extended himself too far as a civil rights defender by writing in support of parole for a convicted rapist he’d never personally met or observed, he did get behind on his taxes, and he hasn’t voted in elections as often as he should have.

Healey hasn’t acknowledged the legitimacy of the other two candidates, much less their ideas. Worse, she hasn’t even deigned to come up with any ideas of her own. Remember how the Romney/Healey administration was going to create jobs and bring big companies to Massachusetts? Whatever happened to that? She hasn’t mentioned it.

Remember universal health coverage which the Romney/Healey administration promised without a trace of irony after dropping 70,000 seniors from MassHealth coverage a couple of years ago? Where’d that go, and oh, yeah, how were you going to pay for that, anyway? I still know plenty of working people without health coverage, and Kerry Healey doesn’t mention it much.

Remember when Romney announced that Kerry Healey would take the lead in working with the cities and towns of Massachusetts to work through the process of disbursing state aid to municipalities tied to the state’s revenue? She never came to my town, or any town where members of my family live, and our property taxes and fees are skyrocketing.

Remember how this administration was going to be tough on crime? Reported incidents of rape are down (not that that means the actual numbers are down) but murder is through the roof. Kerry Healey hasn’t mentioned it, or offered a plan on how to fix it.

Remember how the Romney/Healey administration was going to clean up the Big Dig and hold the contractors responsible after finally ousting Matt Amorello? Then Bechtel’s back doing the inspections on the tunnel they themselves screwed up. And the administration, through Kerry Healey, is talking about ending tolls in Western Mass instead of paying attention.

These things are not all completely Healey’s fault, but my point is that she’s missed almost every opportunity to demonstrate herself as a leader. With Romney spending half his time out-of-state campaigning since 2004, she’s had plenty of time to do so.

Multi-party balance on Beacon Hill-and in government in general-is a valid concern. But has either Romney or Healey really brought balance to the legislature, or has the legislature more or less accomplished it itself? The Democratic legislature has been able to pass any amount of spending they wanted for years before the administration, since they have enough votes to override a Republican governor’s veto.

I’m done with leaders who have no ideas. I’m done with governors who use Massachusetts as a stepping-stone to a cushy national position. I’m done with campaigns comprised solely of snippets of quotes pulled out of context so that the opponent looks bad. I’m done with watching my teenage cousins go to school in a trailer so they can learn just what they need to pass the MCAS so that our town can get enough state funding so that they can get out of the trailer and into a classroom with heat without raising our property taxes and fees even more than they already have been.

I want my income tax to stay where it is and my property taxes to go down. I want my in-state college tuition to stop increasing, and oh yeah, a new parking garage might be nice, too. I want a financial incentive to use public transportation instead of my car. I want hope. I want vision.

Even President Bush has abandoned “Stay The Course.” It’s too bad for Kerry Healey that she hasn’t.