FOR MASSACHUSETTS: OUR GUBERNATORIAL RACE – Marilyn Armstrong

I spent some time today reading about races that are close and which are not. Here in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren is expected to win handily and I am glad. She’s a live wire in a house full of deadheads.

Charlie Baker, our Republican governor, is considered extremely likely to win in more or less of a landslide because everyone likes Charlie Baker. Even I like Charlie Baker, but I’m not going to vote for him.

BOSTON, MA. – SEPTEMBER 26: Gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez speaks to media at The Massachusetts Statehouse on September 26, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Patrick Whittemore/Boston Herald)

I’ve been thinking as a middle of the state semi-rural resident of Worcester country, I’d like to know what exactly he has done? He certainly hasn’t done anything around here.

He hasn’t paved the roads, repaired the bridges, or updated our disastrous trains (commuter trains, and Amtrak). He hasn’t invested in new or improved schools, better healthcare, or extended MassHealth (our state’s Medicaid) to people who need it. I can’t think of anything he has done that has anything to do with me or anyone in this county. I’m pretty sure the rest of Massachusetts would agree with me.

But he is a pleasant fellow. Your basic nice guy. Garry once told me the nicest people you’ll ever meet are politicians and mobsters. I’ve met both.

Garry was right.

Flowers growing in the potholes

Other than being nice, what else is Charlie Baker doing? All the problems we had when he took office are still with us. And if you live in this state, you absolutely know — 100% sure — the rails will stop working as soon as we get snow. Moreover, we won’t have enough snowplows, sand, or salt.

Charles Baker, Governor – Massachusetts

Charlie Baker is Boston’sΒ mayor. He has little or nothing to do with anyone outside greater Boston or the wealthy areas along our eastern coastline. In short, he’s not our governor. If you live in Newton or Framingham, maybe he’s your guy, although I’m not sure what he’s done for you, either.

In fact, I’m not sure he does anything except be pleasant. He is, however, committed to supporting the Republican ticket because that’s where the money comes from. He may act like a Democrat to get elected in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, but make no mistake. He is not. It’s a political shell-game.

One of the things Gonzalez said during the debate was that anyone who doesn’t live in or around Boston must wonder when the government might do something for them. He actually said he had wanted to do this debate in Worcester, but Baker’s staff would not agree. He said he would like to be governor for the entire state because everyone west of greater Boston was still waiting to some any kind of public transport, much less upgraded transport.

That is exactly how I feel. I get that we are always outvoted by the city and its suburbs, but we live here too. Wouldn’t it be nice to at least get back the amount of taxes we pay in? Maybe have an extension so we could take aΒ  train to Boston? How about a minibus so if you can’t drive, you are not helpless.

I don’t think charming Charlie is enough. We deserve better. Not that this post is going to change the race, but we need to stop electing pleasant do-nothing governors and find one who will actually accomplish something.

The last good one we had was Michael Dukakis — more than 30 years ago.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

21 thoughts on “FOR MASSACHUSETTS: OUR GUBERNATORIAL RACE – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Marilyn, I’m a bit confused. Charlie Baker is the governor of the state or the mayor of Boston or both? Is that allowed? Or did you mean he was only governing for Boston and surrounding metro area? I get that. We used to hear that complaint a lot on South Australia, the majority of the population lived in the Adelaide metro area and people from the rural areas always felt, quite rightly, that they didn’t get their fair share of funding. I am sure that hasn’t changed since I lived there.
    I was looking at maps of your area recently, playing an imaginary game of where would I go if I won the lottery and wondering if it was possible to visit with you without making you drive to Boston. Anyway, I see the railway lines and it ought to possible to get to somewhere like Worcester which I believe is not so far from you. But, obviously it’s not that easy, either the services are unavailable or unreliable or driving there to catch the train is impractical for you or it’s expensive. Probably all of the above.
    So yes, if there is a candidate who says he’d govern for the whole state that is the guy I’d be voting for. Of course, whether he actually did what he said we can’t say. I tend not to expect much from politicians anymore, it saves disappointment. I value niceness, we have a mean-spirited, nasty lot in Canberra at present, but it is not enough on its own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is the governor of the state, but he ACTS like the mayor of Boston. I don’t believe it would be legal to be both. But because Boston is the only large city in the state, and the Statehouse is there as well as the official Mayor’s residence (he doesn’t live there … it is for public receptions et al) … AND because the vast majority of the votes come from Boston or nearby, Governors work hard on fixing Boston’s problems and do absolutely nothing for the rest of the state. New York has the same problem with the governor putting their energy into New York city and ignoring the upstate area — which is much bigger physically, but low in population.

      The energy of the head of a state (and this is nationally true, too) tends to go where the votes are and that is generally the big cities and not those who live in rural and farming areas. So they get their problems fixed — or at least the government takes them seriously — but we don’t have enough votes to make a difference. We are ignored.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I thought that was what you meant but wasn’t certain. Here former and sitting mayors of Launceston and Hobart have often run for state parliament but I am not sure if they are allowed to hold both offices at once.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You can’t hold two offices at once. In some offices, you can’t have any other job. It depends on the job. Federal, I think you can only have one. It’s one of the reasons it helps to have money if you are running locally. Local reps don’t make much money. A LOT less than you can earn elsewhere. It’s one of the big reasons rich people run and poor people work. Sometimes, after you get rich, THEN you run. Which is why we also have a lot of OLD candidates. They had to get rich first.

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          1. Yes I think that is true everywhere. Or if you are young you have patrons but then you become part of somebody else’s agenda. Probably the reason a lot of lawyers run for office too, they have the money and the connections.

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      2. I’m not overwhelmed by Jay Gonzalez – from his 2 debate performances. Baker called him out on “where are you gonna get the money for your grand plans?’ That’s the problem with seemingly naive political hopefuls. Agree Baker has a “nice guy surface” but hasn’t done anything about our infrastructure. Marilyn’s right – you have to go back 30 years to the last Governor who actually tried to get stuff done – Michael Dukakis. Still in limbo about how to cast this vote.

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  2. Mike Dukakis was 30 years ago?? God i feel old all of a sudden? 😦

    Charlie Baker looks like a slightly more handsome, better dressed version of our current Prime Minister-in-waiting, Bill Shorten! πŸ˜‰

    I’m sure Charlie is doing something…. making some people rich(er). If he wasn’t he would not be up for election again and a replacement who could be relied upon would be in his place.

    Politics has made me very very cynical i’ve noticed. Justifiably so ! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob — yes — 30 years! Scary, eh? We knew Dukakis and he shared his woes about the Presidential campaign screwups. Duke was a savvy guy and I had access to him to discuss thorny political issues I was covering. Duke almost had a Jimmy Stewart quality in his vision of how to get things done. He was the real deal.

      Cynical? Of course! How else do you look at these wankers who are promising the world in order to get elected.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Scary Indeed! πŸ˜‰

        I did not know all that much about Dukakis, but heard his name a fair bit in our news from the US. I got the impression that, for a politician, he was one of the ‘good guys’ πŸ˜‰

        Times have definitely changed a fair bit since those days.

        ‘Wankers’?? have you been watching too much Rake and Jim Jeffries??? πŸ™‚

        (You are quite right – as usual!) πŸ˜‰

        Good luck for next week’s vote.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Ha! I knew it. πŸ™‚

            If you like you can get an ‘early’ start for free by going to the ABC (Aussie TV) website – finding ‘I-View’ and searching for Rake. The new series is currently on our tv ( tonight in fact) and I-View stores all current episodes for download. πŸ™‚

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  3. You have “task forces” we have “Royal Commissions” both a terrible waste of time and money and accomplishes nothing.
    Leslie

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      1. Marilyn, you’re right about my affection for some old school mobsters. Their word was their bond. They didn’t pick your pocket like some smarmy pols and lobbyists. No, I am NOT talking about Whitey Bulger here.

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