MELEE IN MASSACHUSETTS : WHAT THE BLAZES IS CHARLIE BAKER THINKING ?

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^ serious politicking, at least this time : Charlie Baker (left)  joined the campaign of now newly elected, Western Massachusetts State Senator Donald Humason (center).

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The “brawl in Boston” being decided, attention now turns to the “melee in Massachusetts” : the first open race for Governor since 2006. It begins with Charlie Baker, because he has already run for Governor once, in 2010, and thus starts a fair bit ahead of the pack in terms of name recognition and state wide organization.

You would suppose that Baker, having already established himself as a credible governor — losing to Deval Patrick in 2010 by 6 points only — would be broadening his themes, addressing all the issues that face Massachusetts today, from transportation and infrastructure, to a higher minimum wage, to the needs of immigrants, environmental legislation, and serious reform of the legislature. You would indeed suppose that, but it seems that you would be wrong.

You might also think that he would be congratulating the US Senate for passing ENDA legislation, on a bi-partisan basis ; but so far, not a peep about ENDA from the man who in 2010 chose as his running mate Rich Tisei, the original Legislative sponsor of Massachusetts”s transgender rights bill (which is now Law, albeit without public accommodations protection).

For the past week I have regularly attended to Baker’s facebook pages and his twitter account, and all I can see is that (1) he visits lots of businesses (2) his tweets are re-tweeted by Tea types, including the  eliminate-a-social safety-net crusader Brad Marston (3) he has fewer twitter followers than a Boston City Councillor and (4) he has tied himself up in the demagogic and quite irresponsible movement to repeal the gas tax automatic adjustment — the tax with which Massachusetts will try to pay for at least some of the huge transportation and infrastructure needs that have accumulated during a decade and more.

If you don’t think that this repeal is irresponsible, just ask Jim Aloisi, who served as one of Massachusetts’s best informed Secretaries of Transportation.

Businesses are great, and it’s nice that Baker thinks so. but the impression he is giving is that he’s running for President of AIM, not Governor of Massachusetts.

Nobody likes to pay more taxes, but Baker’s lending his presence and name to the gas tax repeal suggests that he wants to be President of the Pioneer Institute or the Mass Fiscal Alliance, not Governor of Massachusetts.

Being liked by such as Brad Marston gives Baker the Marston vote, but it suggests that Baker seeks to become a fellow at the Cato Institute or the Koch Brothers’ several GreedPAC’s, not Governor of Massachusetts.

Of course it’s early in this campaign still. Maybe Baker is just fist bumping a few bumps on the Right Wing log.

Meanwhile, however, he has yet to respond to my Wednesday tweet : “what will you do as Governor to establish Innovation Centers in Roxbury and Hyde Park ?”

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

NEXT : Martha Coakley

Author: hereandsphere

Here and Sphere is an online journal of news, opinion, reviews, advice, & bits n' pieces of everything else - from HERE to SPHERE...... Co-founded by Michael Freedberg, a long-time Boston Phoenix journalist, and Heather Cornell, a South Coast Massachusetts columnist and editor.

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