That would be Deval Patrick, the Obama-lite former governor of Massachusetts, who did such a bang-up job on his state that the People’s Commonwealth replaced him with a Republican. But he did okay for himself:
Former Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration secretly diverted nearly $27 million in public money to off-budget accounts that paid for a $1.35 million trade junket tab, bloated advertising contracts, and a deal with a federally subsidized tourism venture backed by U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, a Herald investigation has found.
The maneuver to fatten the hidden “trust” accounts with millions from state quasi-public agencies allowed Patrick to skirt the state Legislature and evade state budget cutbacks during the recession, the Herald found. State lawmakers never approved the funding plan, and it’s not clear who even knew about it, but it is clear who orchestrated the end-around the budget and got state agencies to contribute.
“The (Patrick) administration asked us to,” said Katie Hauser, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which kicked in the largest amount to the trusts, $23.5 million. One of the trusts was run by a close Patrick loyalist, Betsy Wall, a former top campaign aide later appointed as the $134,000 head of travel and tourism.
The trust dinging taxpayers for Patrick’s around-the-world travel was funded by Massport and the Mass Tech Collaborative, an obscure agency that gets state and federal dollars, including an injection of Obama stimulus money.
Such is life in a one-party state in which that party happens to be a criminal organization masquerading as a political party.
Records show that from 2011 to 2014, Patrick and his traveling entourage rang up a $535,558 hotel tab, $332,193 in airfare, $305,976 for limos and transportation and $175,000 in other costs. All told, it came to $1.35 million.
The total cost of Patrick’s overseas trips, including a $225,000 visit to China in 2007 — before the trust accounts were created — cost $1,573,949, according to records from the state’s Housing and Economic Development office, which oversaw the accounts. The 10 overseas junkets, including a $364,000 trip to South America, cost far more than the Patrick administration previously disclosed.
Patrick started a nonprofit designed to pay for the trade missions in 2010, but after spending only $130,000 in private donations, the effort apparently was scuttled. Records at the attorney general’s office show no spending or donations to the nonprofit after 2011. Those two agencies, along with the MCCA, funneled nearly $27 million to the trust plan.
Wait til we learn the extent of these kinds of shenanigans after Obama leaves office. One suspects the luxury travel is only the tip of the iceberg. No wonder Boston talk-radio icon Howie Carr dubbed the former governor “Cadillac” Deval.