Summertime, and the Living is Easy

Post by Daisy

The Patrick/Murray administration announced yesterday that our esteemed Governor and Lieutenant Governor are embarking on a summer “listening tour.” They’ll be taking time out of their busy schedules to talk with the public, to listen to our frustrations and our concerns. Well that’s not a bad idea. Surely they will be going to all parts of the state, to hear from people who are still struggling in this economy, to talk to those citizens from whom they might not usually hear – right? Let’s take a look at their itinerary: Lenox, Boston… Martha’s Vineyard?? You have got to be kidding me.

“Governor, can we talk?” Patrick to hit the Vineyard

Let’s start with the obvious – going to the Vineyard on a summer weekend and calling it a “listening tour” is a little silly.

Then there’s the Governor’s Friday afternoon stop in Lenox, which is conveniently right next to his Richmond mansion. Considering the amount of time the Governor spends at his Sweet P Farm, holding a town hall event out there isn’t so much ‘getting out to hear from the people’ as it is ‘talking to your neighbors.’ Do the taxpayers really need to fund a “conversation tour” for the Governor in Lenox when he could probably just stop by the grocery store and accomplish the same thing?

Not to mention, these cities and towns seem hardly representative of the state as a whole. A quick look at their local unemployment rates reveals that they are all doing fairly well, at least compared to the state. Their unemployment rates are comparable to or lower than the state’s seasonally unadjusted rate of 7.4% (town-by-town data is only available as seasonally unadjusted). To be fair, the Governor’s office hasn’t yet announced the location of their South Coast visit, and that is likely to be a town with high unemployment (Fall River is at 14.9%). But with dozens of Massachusetts communities with unemployment still above 9%, it’s unbelievable that our Governor and Lieutenant Governor are primarily visiting communities with unemployment under 7%.

And really? Arlington? Northampton? Boston? Lenox? If this were a campaign bus tour for Patrick, it would make sense for him to visit these liberal strongholds. But this isn’t a campaign event, it’s being paid for by the taxpayers… READ THE REST at CriticalMASS

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