Gabrieli: let's make a deal

Good move, this--kind of a local Democratic version of the Contract with America. Gabrieli is obviously trying to offer his own version of the GOP's Let's-clean-up-the-mess-on-Beacon-Hill script.

Here's the full press release the Gabrieli camp put out a moment ago. (My only issue is that the quote marks around the word Deal make it sound like something sketchy is afoot, but that's a minor criticism.)

Gabrieli Proposes “Deal” with Massachusetts Voters to Bring Accountability and Results Back to State House

Highlights seven common-sense reforms to get better results from state government

BOSTON, MA – Gubernatorial candidate Chris Gabrieli today offered to "make a deal" with the people of Massachusetts, offering a package of common-sense reforms designed to bring accountability and results back to state government.  

"Massachusetts is stuck, and 16 years of Republican governors haven't gotten people the results that they deserve," Gabrieli said at a Boston news conference today.  "Government needs to be more accountable, more accessible and more responsible.  So, I'm going to make a deal with the people of Massachusetts.  I'll implement these common-sense ideas to make government work better.  And if I don't, then I ask people to hold me accountable."

According to the non-partisan Government Performance Project, Massachusetts is currently rated C+ overall in how well we manage our money, “At present, Massachusetts does not do much to link cost to performance, and there does not seem to be a concerted effort to move in this direction.” 

As part of his deal with the people of Massachusetts, Gabrieli will:

Conduct a top-to-bottom performance review of every major state program

I will make state government more efficient by developing specific goals and benchmarks for every major state program. By setting a high standard for each program and making it public, government will have a much harder time avoiding accountability.  Each performance review will be evaluated to assess effectiveness and address potential inefficiencies. This data will be available to the public in the form of a spending statement so you know actually know where your tax dollars are going, and you know how well the state programs those dollars fund are actually performing.

Eliminate wasteful state spending

I will take a critical look at every agency and program – from expenditures like employee travel to small details like government cell phone bills– and enforce good spending practices so people get good value for their tax dollar.

Crack down on Big Dig-like cost overruns

As consumers, we double-check our bills and credit card statements to make sure we don’t get overcharged.  Unfortunately, as we’ve seen with projects like the Big

Dig, the government is not nearly as careful with your tax dollars.  I will make sure that our cost estimates for capital projects are more accurate, and I’ll refuse to do business with companies that habitually overrun costs.  If you can’t do the job on time and on budget, then you can’t do business with the state.

Prepare long-term budgets

I’ve been in the business world for two decades, and I’ve never encountered a successful business that only budgets one year in advance.  It makes it nearly impossible to plan or maintain fiscal discipline.  As Governor, I will draft long-term budgets and commission long-term revenue forecasts to help us plan for the future. 

Improve and expand the reach of e-government

The Internet is revolutionizing our economy and our lives, making daily tasks more convenient and more cost effective while increasing access to information.  Yet government lags behind.  I will work to ensure that we offer a 21st century e-government that is current and accurate, while expanding the reach of e-government to cut costs and improve service at both the state and local level.

Hold regular town hall meetings in every region of the state

On-the-record, public meetings with residents will allow for the accessibility that our current administration is lacking.  Photo ops are great ways for politicians to get the coverage they want, but useless for getting voters the answers they want.

Be a full-time, full-term Governor

Republican governors have failed to get results for us, and one of the primary reasons is their consistent use of our Governor’s office as a stepping stone.  I love our state, and I am firmly committed to fulfilling my term.  You won’t see me making regular trips to Iowa and New Hampshire.  My goal is to be Governor of Massachusetts.  Period.

When other states lead the way in good government practices, Massachusetts needs to take notice.  Louisiana is a leader in performance based budgeting, Iowa excels at publicly disclosing program performance, and Rhode Island has an initiative that saves taxpayers millions of dollars.  There is no reason why we cannot be a leader in all of these aspects.  All it takes is a governor who is willing to demand accountability and get results for Massachusetts.

“People are tired of politicians who make lofty promises they can’t keep,” Gabrieli said.  “These ideas may not get headlines, but they are common-sense ideas that will get results for Massachusetts.  They’ll make government work more efficiently, and will bring more accountability to the state house.”

Starting tomorrow, Gabrieli will travel across Massachusetts, bringing his deal directly to the people.  He also will begin airing ads on radio stations across the state talking about these ideas. 

For more information about Chris Gabrieli and his deal with the people, visit
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