JANUARY 08, 2009
Media coverage of a governor’s taxpayer-financed extravagance is racist according to his attorney wife, who offers a newspaper’s description of his pricey luxury sedan—a departure from the less expensive model used by his predecessor—as evidence.
Massachusetts First Lady Diane Patrick, a partner at a major global law firm, accuses the state’s largest newspaper of racism for calling her husband’s taxpayer-financed Cadillac upgrade as “tricked out.” Shortly after taking office in 2007, Deval Patrick exchanged the cheaper Crown Victoria traditionally used as a state car for the more expensive ($46,000) Cadillac DeVille.
It was one of several questionable expenditures of public funds by the independently wealthy governor whose state is in a dire financial crisis. He also spent thousands of dollars on new furniture and curtains for his office, used a state helicopter to chauffer him around and hired a $72,000-a-year aide to schedule interviews for his busy wife.
She assures that the term “tricked out” is, not only racist but inaccurate because her husband’s fancy state car doesn’t have boom boxes or speakers on the outside. The paper’s editor explains to the Juris Doctor that the term has no racist implications but rather is a 100-year-old synonym for decorated or adorned.
Deval, who made headlines for becoming the state’s first black governor, has been involved in a variety of controversies in his short tenure. A former Clinton Justice Department attorney in charge of civil rights, the governor has publicly said he believes illegal immigrants should get drivers licenses and in-state college tuition. He even killed a Massachusetts policy that allowed state troopers to detain illegal aliens.
Deval has also come under fire for working to reverse a longtime state law that allows employers broad access to the criminal records of potential employees. His plan seeks to ban employers’ access to the criminal records because he believes it discriminates against the convicted felon.
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