Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan today for his monthly Ask the Governor segment on Boston Public Radio. During the hour he spent in studio, Patrick narrowed down his list of post-governorship job options ("The one thing I'm certain I don't want to do...is university president"); said he hopes interim DCF commissioner Erin Deveney becomes a candidate for the permanent position; and revealed that, if he were siting a casino in Eastern Massachusetts, he'd probably put it on one of the Boston Harbor islands.
The most noteworthy part of Patrick's interview, however, may have been his forceful but qualified defense of embattled Mass. Gaming Commission chair Steve Crosby. Crosby recently recused himself from deliberations on the aforementioned Eastern Massachusetts casino after the Boston Globe revealed that he'd attended a Kentucky Derby party hosted by Suffolk Downs, which is bidding for the license.
The governor rejected the suggestion--voiced by several of his would-be replacements--that Crosby should resign altogether. But his support for Crosby and the Commission as a whole came with a caveat.
[2:42] "The Commission has been doing a great job--slower than a lot of us would like, but without a doubt with great care and thoughtfulness," Patrick said. "And I think that's good for us in the long run.
"I'm not one for, sort of, ritual resignations," Patrick added. "...We haven't come to a point, and we shouldn't jump to a point, that when people say, 'Off with his head,' we should put that head on a stake at the gate."
Patrick also defended himself against criticism of his upcoming trade mission to Israel, and of his broader penchant for traveling abroad to sell Massachusetts to international business leaders.
[6:42] "In the case of Israel alone, there are some $6.2 billion...in Massachusetts revenue, and some 6,700 people who work here in Massachusetts, from some 200 Israel-based countries," Patrick said. "And that number has grown to that level on direct account of our having been there and built relationships. And that's one of the reasons why we've gone back."
"In every place we go--I mean, ask the businesspeople who come along!--we go with a specific emphasis on what our strengths are here in the Commonwealth," he continued "...And we meet with companies and with sector leaders who are compatible. And that's how doors get opened."
You can listen to the full Ask the Governor segment above.