By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Tag: tolls

Patrick’s snowstorm appointment

Gov. Deval Patrick must be extremely proud of appointing Joseph Aloisi as secretary of transportation. Otherwise, why would he have announced it in the midst of a snowstorm on the Friday before Christmas?

Patrick manages to work in the words “reforming” and “reform” in discussing Aloisi, which is exactly the first thought that springs to my mind upon learning that Aloisi collected $3 million in legal fees from the Big Dig.

At Blue Mass Group, David Kravitz writes:

[W]hen it’s the bottom of the ninth, two outs, two on, and the home team down by two (which strikes me as a fair description of where we are right now), who do you want at bat? Do you want a .205 hitter with a record of not many extra-base hits and a lot of strikeouts? ‘Cause that’s how Aloisi strikes me, based on his history with Kerasiotes, Amorello, and all the rest of it.

I think Kravitz is being kind, but we’ll see. What worries me is that House Speaker Sal DiMasi may be too weakened by the ongoing corruption investgation to act as a counterbalance.

DiMasi saved Patrick (and us) from casinos, and he’s intent on saving us from massive toll hikes as well. But he’s not going to be able to do that if he’s forced to spend most of his time huddled with lawyers.

Let the Pike go bankrupt

This story in today’s Boston Globe, reporting that the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority will face bone-crushing additional debt payments if the Legislature tries to repeal the absurd toll increases the authority’s board recently approved, has me wondering why we shouldn’t just let the Pike go into bankruptcy.

Regardless of why and how all this happened, the idea that the Legislature can’t replace something stupid (toll hikes) with something smart (a higher gas tax) because of deals that the Pike negotiated in the credit market smacks of extortion. I hope legislators will seriously consider doing what they think is right for the public, and let the Pike stew in its own mess.

Weirdly enough, some of this has to do with the bankrupt financial firm with which the Pike did much of its business, Lehman Brothers.

And by the way, I think my credentials as a good-government liberal are pretty much indisputable. If I’m taking a Howie Carr-like position on all this, then I think it’s likely these hacks have lost virtually all the support they ever had.

The Outraged Liberal has some additional thoughts.

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