Republican Charlie Baker Just Isn’t Having a Great Week

First, his Republican Party is caught up in a scandal involving allegations of bribes and delegate intimidation and fraudulent vote counting practices. Then, he’s hit with a potential pay-to-play scheme involving New Jersey Governor Republican Chris Christie,¬†famous for the Ft. Lee¬†“Bridgegate” scandal.

Poor Republican Charlie Baker. He’s just having another bad week.

 

The Same Old Charlie Baker

“About a month ago, Charlie Baker launched his ‘new’ campaign for governor promising a ‘new’ version of himself and a whole ‘new’ attitude,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair John Walsh. “Thank goodness because the Charlie Baker who voters rejected in 2010 had some really terrible positions on issues that Massachusetts voters really care about. So we decided to see what was so different about the ‘new’ Charlie Baker. Not much so far, it turns out.”

The Massachusetts Democratic Party released the following video this afternoon highlighting Charlie Baker’s refusal to answer questions about his involvement in the Big Dig Financing Scheme and his “old” and “new” positions on issues important to the Commonwealth.

 

Finally: The answer to ‘what he knew and when he knew it’

The Associated Press uncovered an interesting memo from inside Charlie Baker’s World. Looks like Charlie hasn’t been totally truthful about his role in the Big Dig:

As he concluded his tenure as budget chief in Massachusetts, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker wrote a memo labeling Big Dig spending “simply amazing,” warning that it would force “draconian” cuts to other road and bridge projects — and recommending they be taken only after his boss was re-elected in 1998.

We will be posting more on this later today.

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When “Less Irresponsible” is His Best Option

It’s Wednesday in Charlie Baker’s World, and it seems Charlie Baker is having a hard time getting over the hump. The Boston Globe reported today that Charlie’s tax cut plans could lead to some serious consequences for our communities in the real world:

At times, Baker has suggested he would seek the reductions immediately after taking office, while at other times he has suggested he wants four years to phase in the cuts, to soften the $2.5 billion blow to the state budget.

The distinction is important, because if Baker were to try to implement the tax cuts right away, they would almost certainly force him to break his pledge not to slash local aid to cities and towns, budget specialists say, since the state is already facing a projected deficit of $2.5 billion next year.

In Charlie Baker’s World, Charlie says he opposes Question 3, the ballot initiative that would roll back the sales tax to 3 percent. In the real world, experts say his tax plans could create the same cuts to state services as if Question 3 were to pass:

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the timing of Baker’s tax cuts is critical, because if Baker were to sign them next year, they would increase the deficit to about $4.5 billion and “require drastic cuts across all of state government,” including cuts to local aid and higher education.

The impact, he said, would be equivalent to passage of Question 3, the ballot question to cut the sales tax rate from 6.25 percent to 3 percent, which Baker opposes.

So if Charlie chooses to phase in tax cuts, things will run smoothly, right? Not so fast:

Spread over four years, the reductions “would still require major cuts in programs across state government,” but “might be less irresponsible,” Widmer said.

Sounds like in the real world Charlie’s plans are either irresponsible or, er, less irresponsible?

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Longing for Loscocco

So we learned in this morning’s Herald that Charlie has proposed term limits for legislators. Sounds great in Charlie Baker’s World, but in the real world this has some unintended consequences:

Baker’s running mate, Senate Minority Leader Richard R. Tisei (R-Wakefield) has held elected office on Beacon Hill since 1985 — long past his expiration date in Baker’s view. Tisei did not return calls for comment yesterday.

This reminded us of one of our favorite viral videos of the campaign. You gotta wonder what it feels like for Richard Tisei over in Charlie Bakers World:

I mean, it’s hard enough for us to take it and we just look inside Charlie Baker’s World. Richard has to live there!

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