Left In Lowell

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October 25, 2010

De-Bates

by at 8:52 pm.

Tonight was the last Gov debate, a rather freeform event on TV and radio. (Honestly, though I prefer Charlie Gibson to Keller, I didn’t love the format much). It was a debate Charlie [Baker] needed to break out with, and failing to do that, he didn’t do well enough to turn his flagging campaign around. To be honest, I thought his tired rewiring of trickle-down memes was a bit of a broken record, even if you believe that nonsense.

Of course, the Big Dig memo was brought up (I missed the beginning unfortunately), and both Patrick and Cahill had some things to say about it. I don’t think Baker came up smelling like roses. But it’s this part of the Boston.com reaction to the debate that I really like (bold and commentary mine):

Baker wrote the memo after he had already engineered a financing plan that borrowed against future federal highway money [swaptions!] to pay for some of the project’s peak construction expenses. At the same time, Baker was helping to push some of the project’s spiraling expenses onto the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which would rely on future tolls to repay the loans.

Thank you. Someone else is finally putting these elements together coherently in the media. There is a big picture here that has been missing - that the subterfuge-full fiscal instruments of the Big Dig under the Weld/Cellucci/Baker executive branch(es) has repeatedly come back to haunt us since, all so that no one back then had to make the tough choices.

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