When is the former dynamo known as Deval Patrick going to step up? Or was his campaign an anomaly, and what we’re seeing now is the real Patrick? Boston Herald reporter Jay Fitzgerald has the latest. It’s a bit convoluted, and I suspect it speaks to Patrick’s lack of leadership rather than to anything more nefarious.
In a nutshell, the Legislature recently passed a law allowing employees to collect triple damages if they win a wage dispute with their employer. Patrick opposed the bill but, unlike his predecessor, Mitt Romney, declined to veto it. Instead, he allowed it to become law without signing it.
Naturally, this will be a boon for lawyers — including Patrick’s wife, Diane Patrick, who was one of six lawyers at Ropes & Gray to sign a letter to clients alerting them about this new legal hazard. (Question: Did R&G really need her signature to drive the point home? This would be less of a story without that angle.)
Nearly two months ago, then-Boston Globe columnist Steve Bailey reported that Patrick’s doomed proposal to build three casinos in Massachusetts would benefit Ropes & Gray, which has an extensive practice helping casino owners fight off gambling addicts and campaign-finance laws. Nice.
It’s all pretty remarkable and disheartening. In this week’s Boston Phoenix, Adam Reilly attempts the meta-take, looking at Patrick’s communications strategy. Reilly writes:
The problem is simple: while Candidate Patrick seemed to say or do whatever the situation required, Governor Patrick frequently does exactly the opposite — whether it’s picking fights with the media, neglecting his staunchest grassroots supporters, or making ill-advised decisions that complicate his job instead of making it easier.
Over at WBZ-TV, Jon Keller reports that Patrick’s approval rating continues to nosedive. According to a Survey USA poll commissioned by WBZ, just 41 percent of registered voters now approve of the job Patrick’s doing, as opposed to 56 percent who don’t.
By now it should be obvious to Patrick that the governor’s job is hard — hard to learn and hard to do well. So why does he keep stepping in it, over and over again