Wednesday, December 31, 2003
A Fraud in Review

We’ve always hated ‘this is the year that’ reviews - largely because we dislike seeing what we missed, and being reminded of what we were unable to avoid.

However, in our attempt to satisfy our many reader requests, listed below are a handful of highlights of Team Reform’s first year in office.

And while not rank ordered, we begin with our favorite fraud of '03 which is a microcosm of all we have witnessed since Romney took office:

· The Fraud Governor claimed to cut short his vacation to oversee security in the Commonwealth, then left the Commonwealth for vacation!

Romney also,

· pledged to save the taxpayers $2 billion in waste, fraud and abuse, but did not;
· pledged to not raise taxes, then increased a gas tax (and shifted the money into the General Fund), proposed a new tax on IRS closing agreements, proposed a new tax on diversified savings and loan companies, and proposed a new tax on late-filed refund returns;
· pledged to manage better without seeking new revenue, then implemented $500 million in new fees;
· pledged to not cut core services, then tried to reduce school aid, including reimbursements for the cost of educating severely disabled students;
· pledged to abolish the hack-infested MDC, then created a new state agency, largely staffed by former MDC employees;
· pledged to not hire cronies or insiders, then cherry-picked from the staff of former state Treasurer Joe Malone, who headed one of the worst administrations in state government since Sir Edmund Andros (in 1689);
· pledged to create full-day kindergarten, but did not;
· pledged to protect seniors, yet has repeatedly cut elder programs and failed to fund Alzheimer’s programs;
· pledged to create more affordable housing, but cut state housing and rental programs;
· allowed his toll-free, waste hot line to become an ad for dial-a-porn. (Doubt us? Go ahead, dial 1-888-END-PORK and follow the instructions, if you dare!);
· pledged to embark on an extended out-of-state mission to bring jobs to the Commonwealth, but did not;
· pledged to reform the judicial nomination process, then nominated, as his first judge, an insider;
· initiated almost a dozen task forces after campaigning against the use of task forces;
· proposed across-the-board budget cuts after criticizing former Gov. Jane Swift (R-Flag Bearer) for implementing across-the-board budget cuts;
· pledged to implement a transportation policy based upon a defined, public process, then declared that Greenbush would be completed – before he finished his defined, public process for setting transportation policy.

Oh yeah, and most of these are just what we’ve noticed since the beginning of September!

So hold on to your wallets, kids. Team Reform has another three years at the trough. In the meantime, we’ll break out a clean slate and chalk box.

RiaF will return … next year.

Happy Hogmanay!


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