Score one for Reilly

I mean Tom, obviously.

Andy at Mass Revolution says Deval Patrick's resignation from the board of directors of Ameriquest's parent company is a testimony to Patrick's leadership. But I've got to respectfully disagree. This is a victory for Tom Reilly, plain and simple. The AG made Patrick uncomfortable by hammering away at this issue, and now he gets to spin Patrick's exit as proof he was right--i.e., that Patrick's relationship with Ameriquest was sketchy.

Also, let me just acknowledge that unlike David at Blue Mass Group, I'm not much of a prognosticator.

Here's the latest spin from the Patrick camp. As you read it, ask yourself: would Patrick be leaving if Tom Reilly hadn't turned this into a campaign issue?

BOSTON—Monday, May 15, 2006—Deval Patrick, saying “the company is on the right path now” to prevent future lending missteps, today said he would leave the board of Ameriquest’s parent company, ACC Capital Holdings, by July 1st.

Patrick said he was pleased with the company’s progress in implementing new procedures necessary to prevent future abuses.   A special monitor, Michael Moore, the former Attorney General of Mississippi, is now overseeing compliance with the agreement reached among attorneys general and the company.

In addition, Patrick worked with company officials over the past two weeks to bring a special pilot program to Massachusetts that will help overextended borrowers avoid home foreclosures.  Mayor Thomas Menino last Tuesday announced the start of discussions concerning that program in Boston.

“I said all along I would stay on the board until I was satisfied that reforms to correct past practices and prevent future missteps were in place and underway.  That is now the case.  Ameriquest is on a path to be a better, more responsible company now.  If they keep at it, they will be a model for the industry,” Patrick said.  “I am proud of my role in helping to set a better course.”

“I understood from the outset that my work with Ameriquest would make some people uncomfortable.  Progressives are sometimes uncomfortable in principle with people who work for companies.  Political rivals try to make it an issue.  But I still believe that lasting reform requires the effort of good people both outside and inside.  Whether at Texaco, Coca-Cola or Ameriquest, I have never left my conscience at the door. “

“Unfortunately, that spirit is largely missing from our current political culture.  Many of our political leaders prefer to concentrate on getting and keeping office rather than performing the hard work of devising real solutions to our most difficult challenges.  That's why we need a change,” Patrick added.

Patrick personally worked with Ameriquest to bring credit counseling and foreclosure avoidance programs to Massachusetts that Ameriquest has used successfully elsewhere.  He also helped to arrange placement opportunities with a competing financial services company for all Ameriquest employees who were recently laid off in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

“Leadership is more than grand announcements.  It's more than press conferences and photo ops.  Sometimes leadership is the slow, steady, unglamorous work of making reform real,” Patrick said.

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