Patrick: Mitt right on Ruane, Turnpike

This wasn't the Sister Souljah moment I had in mind, but it's a start. By siding with Mitt Romney in the Mike Ruane pension flap and the battle over who controls the Mass Turnpike Board, Deval Patrick is showing voters he wouldn't be a patsy for the Legislature if he's elected governor.

Here are the relevant comments, made in an interview with Jim Braude that'll be broadcast on NECN tonight at 7:

JB: Mitt romney says no special deals despite the sympathy [for Ruane's widow]. Who is right in that debate?

DP: He is.

JB: Mitt Romney.

DP: Mitt Romney is right. First of all let me say I want to send my sympathy to Mr. Ruane's family. This is not about Mr. Ruane with due respect to him, and I understand that many legislators feel in a difficult position because they see a colleague in a tough position and they want to help, and I respect that sentiment. What troubles me is the notion of using the public fisc as a piggy bank to deal with that. I mean there were opportunities given this legislator to make contributions into the pension system, but when they make these kinds of judgments outside the process and changing the rules for special cases I think it diminishes confidence in the system as a whole.


JB: Your position is that Romney should have the power to appoint that third board person like he did?

DP: Let me be clear. I want the power to appoint that board person. I want the power to appoint Matt Amorello's successor. I want that as governor and I understand why this governor would want that power. I wish that we were focusing on what is a much more critical issue which is how we get at those cost overruns.

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