Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Via Dick Howe’s blog, a report from the Globe that Treasurer Tim Cahill is considering a run against Governor Patrick. Of course, he’s floating the idea balloon this early in order to assess interest like all pols, but the report says that he’s also thinking he’d run as an independent to avoid going against Patrick in a primary, where he’d be shellacked, in favor of being shellacked in the general. Indys don’t win many elections.
This, from the spendthrift whose tender ministry of the lottery has put revenues for cities and towns in jeopardy during this downturn? I am no big fan of the lottery, which besides being a tax on stupid people, is a tax on desperate people looking for hope, but:
State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill often says that the Massachusetts Lottery has enjoyed unprecedented growth under his leadership. But a review of lottery records shows that exploding administrative costs at the agency have soaked up a large portion of the new revenue, limiting the amount it shares with Massachusetts cities and towns.
Since Cahill took over five years ago, administrative spending has ballooned by nearly 50 percent, with higher costs for advertising, telephones, computers, and lottery ticket printing, including outside contracts signed with some of the treasurer’s campaign contributors.
Yeah, that doesn’t look like typical Beacon Hill culture, there. The lottery for Cahill has been a great way to secure loyalties from employees and campaign contributers alike. Like this:
On Cahill’s watch, the lottery increased its ranks of employees by nearly 10 percent. It bought 233 cellphones and BlackBerries for employees. It replaced most of its fleet of take-home vehicles for employees, spending $1.25 million to buy 73 new vans, crossover wagons, cars, and a Jeep in the last two years alone.
The lottery also agreed to a more costly lease to pay for $1.3 million in renovations at its Braintree headquarters, including a slick upgrade of the lobby. Visitors can now watch Keno and Mass Millions advertisements on two large flat-screen televisions as they lounge on lime-green art deco couches while a receptionist works under the glow of blue glass pendant lamps.
The HQ, Cahill claims, was redecorated to “make it ‘more enticing’ for visitors and winning ticket holders who come in to claim their money.” Um, hi, those people just won millions, I think that’s enticement enough to come pick up their money. And most of the growth in the lottery was and is eaten up by the burgeoning administrative overhead.
So why, exactly, would we want to put him in the top executive office in the state, where he could work the same magic of cronyism and dumb ideas that benefit his donors (which include gambling interests)? I mean, isn’t that what we’re supposed to be fighting under Patrick? (And at least with the current Gov, his interest in resort casinos wasn’t driven by his campaign coffers.)
Honestly, someone should run against him as Treasurer and put us out of our misery. And please, Tim, feel free to vacate that office and run for Governor where you are sure to be crushed by the Patrick juggernaut. The only thing I’m worried about with Cahill is his big-money donors and their ability to pay Cahill back for his largess while Treasurer. Which won’t sit well with voters, if they know about it.
I mean, is this guy for real?
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