Tag Archives: Deval Patrick

My latest for the Huffington Post

CHILDREN VERSUS BRIDGES

Jeremiah Oliver is a 5-year old boy from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, who hasn’t been seen since September of last year. The boy was supposed to be under the supervision of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, but, it has since been learned, DCF social workers not only were negligent in their oversight of Jeremiah, they also misrepresented their work to keep that fact hidden. Little Jeremiah is now feared dead.

Still, Governor Deval Patrick had the temerity to say yesterday that the problems at the DCF are “not systemic.” Is that a fact, Governor? Why is it, then, that your own independent investigation into the DCF found that nearly 20 percent of required home visits to check on children like Jeremiah were not made by your DCF’s social workers? How is it that more than one-third of the social workers employed by the DCF are not licensed to practice in their field? And what of the evidence unearthed by the Office of the Child Advocate showing that 249 allegations of physical and sexual abuse and poor care involving youngsters in state-watched settings were made last year?

While a normal person recoils in horror upon hearing about the consequences of the incompetence at his DCF, Governor Patrick sees them as “a great opportunity… to rethink and reinvigorate the department.” So, the cruelties that Jeremiah and hundreds of other children suffered are tolerable because they present an opportunity to for the Governor to fix the DCF? No, the problem is that the Patrick administration has been at the helm for more than six years now. He was supposed to make sure the DCF was doing their job before these things happened. Jeremiah Oliver is a person, he’s not an “opportunity” for a bureaucrat to do what he should have done years ago.

Nevertheless, the governor presses on, determined to distance himself from the problem. “It’s troubling to me too, but the question is, is it troubling to people who actually know what is engaged, what is involved in being a social worker in a child’s welfare agency?” he told the media yesterday, as if he was a randomly-chosen pedestrian doing a man-on-the-street interview. Perhaps his penchant for being out of his office, nestled in his mansion in the Berkshires or traveling the world, is what gives the Governor the sense of detachment from the waste, fraud, and abuse for which he is responsible at the DCF.

Is there a person outside of Massachusetts who is aware of this scandal? Of course not, because all of the attention is focused on a Republican governor from another state who may or may not have had a hand in creating a traffic jam. But Deval Patrick is a Democrat with presidential aspirations and a close friend of President Obama. So, where’s the national media on this one? As the legendary Boston talk show host Howie Carr likes to say, “there’s nothing to see here, folks. Move along.”

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Benghazi Hearings will be Fascinating

So much about the coming hearings into the Benghazi tragedy will be worth noting.  First, what the president knew and when he knew it will be the key to this whole fiasco.  Few with an understanding of how such national security events work believe he 1) didn’t know what was happening in real-time and 2) that he didn’t know it was a terrorist attack.  As Col. David Hunt told a radio interviewer recently, the entire operational arm of the government is made aware of the situation on the ground immediately when American interests are under siege.

Almost as interesting will be how the politics play out.  Obama, of course, will have to worry that Republican majority in the House might seek impeachment over the findings, which are sure to embarrass–at the least–the White House.  Second, it will be interesting to see just how much more Hillary Clinton is willing to fall on her sword for this president.  She did so two weeks ago, but that was in the face of a presidential election.  With Obama re-elected, her willingness to be his fall-person will be weighed against her own future designs on the White House.  With Obama’s friend Deval Patrick reportedly interest in the Oval Office, the amity between Obama and Clinton could soon turn to enmityImage.  Finally, Sen John Kerry, who will be leading hearings, is set to become Clinton’s replacement at State.  It’s unlikely that he’ll allow the president to be embarrassed in the hearings, but that might lead to some heated criticism from the Republicans.  All told, there will be much to look for in the coming month.

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Massachusetts Governor Says No to Secure Communities

Associated Press (06/06/11)

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has announced that the commonwealth will not participate in the federal Secure Communities program, in which the FBI shares the fingerprints of arrestees with the Department of Homeland Security in order to determine whether or not they are in the country legally. In announcing his decision, Patrick said that he was concerned about the possibility that participation in Secure Communities would result in ethnic profiling, and that it would damage the relationships between certain communities and law enforcement. Despite the decision, Massachusetts will continue to share the fingerprints of all those arrested in the commonwealth with the FBI, which can then share those fingerprints with the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement if it chooses. Patrick’s announcement comes after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that his state’s participation in Secure Communities was being suspended. Illinois has also said that it will not participate in Secure Communities, while California is considering legislation that would allow individual communities to opt out of the program.

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LATEST on the Watertown/Brookline Raids…

By Bryan Bender, Martin Finucane, Milton J. Valencia, David Abel, Patrician Wen, Shelley Murphy, and Jonathan Saltzman, Boston Globe Staff

Federal agents searched a home in Watertown and a gas station in Brookline and arrested two people today in connection with the investigation of the attempted terror bombing in New York City earlier this month, authorities said.

The two men arrested are believed to have funneled money to Pakistan-born Faisal Shahzad before he allegedly attempted to detonate the car bomb in busy Times Square on May 1, an official in Washington said.

The official, who was not authorized to speak about the case publicly, told the Globe that investigators were trying to determine if the two Pakistani men, who are currently being held on immigration violations and have not been charged in the bomb plot, were accomplices or merely provided the funds without knowledge of Shahzad’s plans.

FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz said search warrants were executed at “several locations in the Northeast,” including a home on Waverley Avenue in Watertown. A second search warrant was also executed at a gas station in Brookline, state officials said.

State officials sought to reassure the public at an afternoon news conference that there was no reason to fear. There is “no immediate threat to persons or property,” Governor Deval Patrick said.

But members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, who were briefed on the developments, were alarmed at the prospect that Shazad, who is said to be cooperating with investigators, may have had accomplices in the Boston area and vowed to seek more answers. Officials in the Obama administration have said the attempted New York bombing was assisted and directed by the Pakistani Taliban.

“It is sobering to learn that some of those leads appear to have taken investigators into Watertown and Brookline,” said Representative Edward J. Markey, a Democrat whose district includes Watertown.

The Associated Press reported that there were also raids this morning in New York and New Jersey. A third person was also arrested in Maine, law enforcement officials said.

Christina DiIorio Sterling, a spokeswoman for the US Attorney’s office in Boston, said the two men arrested in Massachusetts faced administrative charges — not criminal charges — and therefore will not be appearing in federal court.

US Attorney General Eric Holder, testifying before a congressional committee today, confirmed that “several people” had been taken into custody.

A White House official, who spoke on the condition he not be named discussing an ongoing terrorism investigation, said President Obama, who was traveling in Buffalo, N.Y., was briefed multiple times on the new developments on the Time Square probe.

Brookline police said they had assisted the FBI in an operation at a gas station at 198 Harvard St. Police Chief Daniel O’Leary told reporters at the scene, “Brookline remains a very safe place. This is not targeting Brookline.”

Still, the raid rattled the neighborhood.

Read the rest here…

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