Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Deval Wins Barney Frank

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (Democrat-for-real, Massachusetts) is all in for Deval Patrick for governor. He could have hedged and hemmed until after the Party convention in two weekends, but he did it loud and strong and timely.

We'll paste the release below.

He praises Tom Reilly and Chris Gabrieli in passing, but it's all-Deval, all-the here. Frank will be campaigning with and for him.

We lefties have good reason to listen when Barney speaks. Today he says:
I have decided to support Deval Patrick for Governor of Massachusetts. I believe that the public policies he advocates embody better than any of the other candidates for Governor what is needed to achieve the best possible quality of life for the people of Massachusetts. In addition, I think that by the nature of his high intelligence, his energy, his ability to articulate, and his experiences he is both the best candidate for the Democrats to nominate and the best qualified to serve as Governor.

I do not say this because of any dissatisfaction with the other Democratic candidates. Tom Reilly and Chris Gabrieli are both men whose values I admire and whose abilities I respect. Any of the three Democratic candidates for Governor would be a significant improvement over the current administration, and over the Lieutenant Governor who has been – until very recently – an unquestioning, ardent supporter of the current administration’s policies. I stress this because I think it is important for Democrats to unite after the September primary on behalf of whoever wins. Sixteen consecutive years of Republican sloganeering, masking hostility to the legitimate role of government in a complex urban society, have cost us. I have seen this particularly in Southeastern Massachusetts, which represents a very large part of the Congressional district I represent, and has suffered from malign neglect from the Republicans who have governed for this period. In just the past several years, Governor Romney and Lieutenant Governor Healy have been inattentive to that region on such important issues as protecting Buzzards Bay from oil spills and providing commuter rail from Boston to Fall River and New Bedford. There is one skill possessed by our string of Republican Governors and Lieutenant Governors that I grudgingly acknowledge: their ability to blame others for the consequences of their own actions. Every judge appointed in Massachusetts since January 1991 has been appointed by a Republican. The MBTA has for nearly sixteen years been run entirely by Republicans. The reconstruction of the Central Artery has been wholly under the supervision of Republican officials. The Port Authority, the Turnpike Authority, and all of the agencies of state government have been Republican ruled. Despite this, the Republicans still claim in many cases to be the agents of change. It should be clear by now that any “change” that a Republican Governor could bring would be an example not of reform, but of much needed self-improvement.

Deval Patrick is the Democratic candidate best suited to carry this fight against sixteen years of Republican indifference and incompetence. His thoughtful passion, informed by his own experiences both in life and in work, make him our best choice for articulating the point that Massachusetts needs both a vigorous and prosperous private sector, and an adequately funded and enthusiastically led public sector. Again, I refer to the southeastern part of the state, which is an area that very much needs a higher and better level of public service from both the state and federal governments. A thriving private sector is important but environmental cleanup, transportation, affordable housing, and accessible higher education require an adequately funded government led by someone who understands the importance of common action if our society is to allow everyone in it to reach its full potential. On this issue, Deval Patrick clearly stands out among the candidates. More courageously than any other, he has made the point that we cannot provide the public services that are so important both economically and socially if we were at this point to further reduce the amount of revenue that the state government collects.

In addition to these other factors, Deval Patrick in my view best understands the importance of an ongoing vigorous commitment to fairness on the part of society as a whole, through government among other avenues. In this connection, there is one very relevant factor, which everyone in the state understands but which too many are uncomfortable in discussing: race. The problem of racial discrimination has been and continues to be one of the most serious faced by American society. We have obviously made enormous progress, but three hundred years of slavery and legally enforced segregation, buttressed by a diminishing but still present racism, cannot be entirely overcome in a few decades. Deval Patrick understands the bitterness of unfair discrimination, and to his enormous credit, he has spent much of his life fighting against this discrimination, not just against people of color, but because he understands the pain of prejudice, against other forms of discrimination as well. His strong leadership for fairness for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population of our state is an example of this.

Race is important also for us as Democrats. African Americans are an indispensable part of the coalition that Democrats need if we are to be able to win elections and carry out the policies to which we are committed. Excluding any of these important groups from the opportunity to win high office is both unfair and unwise from the political standpoint. No Democrat should be happy at the fact that in America today, so far only the Republican Party has nominated African Americans for statewide office at the highest level – for the Governorship in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and for the Senate in Maryland. In each case, I believe that the Democratic opponents of these men better represent the interests of all people, including African Americans, and I would not support any of the three Republicans. But the contrast between the parties does us no good. Were Deval Patrick lacking in ability, or wrong on the issues, this would not count for anything. But given the impressive qualities and insight he brings to this contest, then as Democrats I believe we should take into account the consequence of continuing a policy in which no African American is ever nominated by us for any office higher than State Senate, as a matter of both fairness and enlightened self-interest.

For all of these reasons, I will vote for Deval Patrick for Governor at the Democratic Convention and I will be campaigning with and for him from now on.

Deval Update:
An hour later, Deval issued comments:"I am delighted to have Congressman Frank's support. He has been a strong voice for good government and social justice for a long time, in the House and across the country. He stands up for what he believes and you always know where he stands. That's what I am trying to bring to Massachusetts.

I'm an outsider on Beacon Hill. I have no political chits to cash in for this or any other endorsement. I welcome and I appreciate Congressman Frank's endorsement as an endorsement of my vision for Massachusetts, and the experience I bring to get the job done.

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Bugsy said...

Deval gets Frank, Silbert wins a straw poll by a wide margin, and Cape Cod gets an alternative site for Cape Wind.

It's been a good day for everyone.

Lizzy said...

Strong endorsement.

Not enough to convince me of his worth over the others though. I am still undecided.

Things I like about Deval:
Experience, outsider to Beacon Hill, improving the rail service around Boston, increasing the permit process on the state level and increasing spending on stem cell research.

Things I do not like about Deval:
raising minimum wage (qualifier: it does depend on how hig. too high (subjective I know) has a trickle down effect that causes inflation)

Things I am unsure about wrt Deval:
How does he intend to reinvest in the cities? What concrete plans has he for making life more affordable in the state? How does he intend to gain more industry than the two major present (education and biotech)?

massmarrier said...

Well, I pored over his policy at his site -- and what the others have on theirs, what pathetic little the others have.

He's the most specific by far. In fact, when I saw him come out so early with such detail and such a largely progressive program, I figured we'd have serious debates about the issues and other candidates saying they had better plans. The other guys seem to be either 1) mice or 2) of very narrow focus on only a couple of issues.

I confess that there are things I disagree with him on. However, he's platform is so far beyond the others, I don't see a comparison.

Maybe we'll see some serious proposals after the Party convention heading to the primary. For me though, they'll have to convince me.