SPRINGFIELD - To gather support for his proposed 19-cent gas tax hike, Governor Deval Patrick launched a statewide campaign yesterday in the home of a woman who had called the idea "unconscionable."OK. You drink the expensive stuff at Starbucks. What's your point?
Sitting in front of a fireplace in Teresita Alicea's home, Patrick blamed the need for the gas tax hike on a failure by previous administrations to address a looming transportation funding crisis.
"Our grandparents sacrificed with less income to build this infrastructure," Patrick said. "We're asking for the equivalent of a large cup of coffee a week to maintain it for the next generation. I don't think that's unreasonable."
He said that given the number of trips he has made to Western Massachusetts - Patrick has a home in the Berkshires - he felt comfortable striking at the knee-jerk criticism among many in the area who consider any funding for transportation to be unfairly charging them for the Big Dig.Look - It's nice when the Guv walks in our parades. It's great that he even acknowledge we exist, unlike his predecessor. It's even better that he owns property out here. BUT A country estate built with a personal fortune so he could claim residency to run for governor does not give him "bonafides." Until he actually lives here, rather than "weekend in the Berkshires", saying something so clueless will get him the same reaction I give the summer tourists who wonder why all the stores close at 6pm.
"We're going to have to get past . . . policy-making [based] on regional grievance," Patrick said. "And I say that among friends. I think my western Massachusetts bonafides are sound."