Patronage for me, but not for thee

That seems to be the message sent by Governor Patrick to Barnstable County Sheriff Cummings as the Gov signaled his intention to sign a $325 million supplemental spending bill, using the most exacting of veto scalpels to carve $104,000 from the appropriation.  For those of  you keeping track at home, that means the Governor objected to exactly 0.032 percent of the new spending that he is about to pile on top of the fiscal 2011 budget.  Why?  Let the State House News explain:

Gov. Deval Patrick said Monday that he intended to sign a $325 million mid-year spending bill sent to his desk 10 days ago but veto $104,000 for the Barnstable County Sheriff’s office, which took heat this year for hiring former Republican state Rep Jeff Perry.

“I’m going to sign all of it except the appropriation for the Barnstable sheriff. By all accounts, including his, he has the resources he needs for his operations. We don’t have extra money to spread around,” Patrick told reporters as he prepared to head into a leadership meeting with House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray.

Sheriff James Cummings hired Perry this year to a $110,000-a-year position after the former Sandwich Republican lost his bid for Congress last November to former Norfolk County District Attorney William Keating…

Patrick said the veto was not directly because of Perry, but because the salary was for a position that had been vacant until Perry was hired.

It’s been awhile now since anyone asked with a straight face whether Deval Patrick knows any sense of shame, but even by his low standards this sanctimony is pretty rich.  Whether or not Perry’s was a patronage hire is open to legitimate debate, but the notion that Deval Patrick’s fiscal sensibilities are offended by the filling of a previously vacant government position is a laugh.  Hello – Marian Walsh?  Coleman NeeDana Harrell? … READ THE REST at CriticalMASS

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