It's understandable that former Gov. Michael Dukakis is trying to downplay the significant problems of the administration of his fellow Democrat, Gov. Deval Patrick. He recently claimed that Patrick left Massachusetts "in pretty darn good shape." Dukakis's efforts to mask the deep problems leftover from the Patrick administration are simply not enough: the facts just do not back up his claim.
FACT: Patrick left the state budget with a $765 million deficit for fiscal year 2015 that had to be fixed by Governor Baker immediately upon taking office.(Josh Miller, "Baker cites $765 million budget shortfall," Boston Globe, 1/20/15)
FACT: Patrick also left the state with a $1.8 billion structural deficit, which also had to be fixed by the Baker Administration. (Michael Jonas, "Baker’s budget balance: Governor shows a deft hand for give and take, CommonWealth, 7/17/15)
FACT: Patrick's poor fiscal management caused Standard and Poor's to downgrade the Commonwealth's fiscal outlook last month. S&P specifically cited Patrick's "previous [rainy day] drawdowns that occurred in [fiscal years] 2013 and 2015," in their report. (Bruce Mohl, "S&P lowers Mass. outlook to negative," CommonWealth, 11/23/15)
FACT: Patrick's disastrous handling of the Health Connector's changes under ObamaCare forced thousands of families onto MassHealth last year. (Felice Freyer, "About 400,000 in Mass. must seek new health plan," Boston Globe, 8/15/14)
FACT: Recent reports allege that Patrick's administration "appear[s] to have lied" to the federal government about the Health Connector's failures. (Shira Schoenberg, "Pioneer Institute report says Massachusetts Health Connector officials 'appear to have lied' to federal government," Springfield Republican, 5/10/15)
FACT: Patrick tried to blame the media for the Connector's problems. (Matt Stout, "Deval Patrick blames media for sensationalizing buggy Obamacare site," Boston Herald, 5/12/15)
FACT: The Patrick Administration's poor handling of the Green Line extension led to ballooning costs revealed this year. "DePaola also pointed to the contracting process being used for the Green Line extension, which the T has not previously used." (Nicole Dungca, "Green Line extension could cost another $1 billion," Boston Globe, 8/24/15)
FACT: Patrick's Administration secretly diverted millions to off-the-books accounts to fund his overseas junkets. (Joe Battenfeld, "Hidden junket funds: How Deval Patrick secretly diverted millions to off-budget accounts," Boston Herald, 6/10/15)
FACT: Patrick's out-of-control spending was funded by gutting support for cities and towns, which had to be restored by Governor Baker.
"Before stepping down, Patrick imposed more than $40 million in cuts that didn’t require legislative approval, including $18.7 million from regional transportation for school busing and $1.2 million from public-run charter school reimbursements. Patrick also asked the Legislature to cut money for cities and towns by more than $25 million in addition to $10 million from the Department of Transportation and $21.8 million from other agencies.."
"But Baker and others have signaled that local aid for cities and towns won't likely be a target. To the contrary, one of Baker's first moves as governor was to free up $100 million for local road and bridge projects..." (Christian Wade, "Baker, lawmakers say local aid is safe in face of budget crisis," CHNI, 1/13/15)
FACT: Patrick's out-of-control spending was funded by hiking taxes on small business. "When all is said and done, businesses collectively pay at least $150 million more annually in taxes, according to Widmer." (Shirley Leung, "Governor Deval Patrick’s hits and misses," Boston Globe, 12/17/15)