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Why I am Voting for Governor Patrick

4:02 PM ET, 10/27/2010
Dear Friends,

For three years I had the privilege of working with Governor Deval Patrick as his cabinet Secretary for Administration and Finance.  On November 2, I will be proud to vote for Governor Patrick to help assure that he has the chance to continue the important work he has started.  I am writing to tell you why I admire and respect the Governor so much, and to ask that you give him your vote on Election Day, November 2.

Governor Patrick has been challenged by the worst recession in generations, and it has required him to find budget solutions of approximately $13 billion during his four years in office.  For a governor deeply committed to making state government work for individuals, families, businesses and communities, balancing the budget was not a responsibility Governor Patrick relished.  Nonetheless, he took it very seriously, and personally made sure that even as he was forced to find budget solutions, he did it in ways that reflected his values and priorities.  Education is Governor Patrick's top priority -- one stemming from his own personal story -- and under his leadership Chapter 70 education aid has reached its highest level ever.  He preserved health and human services spending as much as possible to make sure the Commonwealth's most vulnerable citizens were protected when they needed help the most.  He has made targeted investments in green jobs and other environmental initiatives, and in the life sciences and other industries where Massachusetts is most competitive.  These investments have helped Massachusetts lead the nation in recovering from the recession.

Some governors let their staff do the heavy lifting on budget development.  Not Governor Patrick.  Time and again, I watched as he personally put his own stamp on the choices he made, taking each budget document home with him and working long into the night, making adjustments in his own handwriting to ensure the final product reflected his values.  He took it personally every time he had to make a cut that hurt a program or a person.

Governor Patrick's opponents would like to paint him as a big spender.  It's not true.  Governor Patrick's four budgets have averaged spending increases of 1.7% year over year.  In contrast, Mitt Romney's budgets increased by 6.6% on average, and when Charlie Baker was in charge of the budget, annual increases averaged over 5%.  And in spite of the recession, Governor Patrick's management of the state has earned reaffirmations of the outstanding double-A rating from the three bond rating agencies again and again at a time when many states have been downgraded.  Contributing to their favorable ratings have been the many reforms led by Governor Patrick:  ethics and lobbying reform, curbing pension abuses, abolishing the Turnpike Authority and reorganizing the transportation agencies, education reform, auto insurance reform, allowing civilian flaggers to work on some road and bridge construction projects, and successfully implementing Massachusetts Health Care Reform.  Other governors only talked about these reforms; Governor Patrick got them done, and is continuing to work on every single one.

This is going to be a very close election, and every vote matters.  That is why it is very important for every voter who supports the Governor to take the time to go to the polls on Election Day, November 2.  I hope that you will be sure to vote, and that you will join me in supporting Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray.


Leslie Kirwan

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