January 25, 2017/Press Releases
Governor Baker Remains Silent on Trump Agenda, Takes Page from his Playbook with Alternative Facts: Governor ‘Living in An Alternate Reality,’ Says Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Democratic Party today responded to Governor Charlie Baker’s State of the Commonwealth address and forthcoming budget plan:
“As President Trump silences his critics and announces plans to deport our neighbors, take away our health care, and implement the most conservative governing agenda in decades, Governor Baker is living in an alternate reality where what happens in Washington doesn’t affect us and the facts don’t matter,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford. “Instead of confronting the conservative Republican agenda that will harm millions of Massachusetts residents, the Governor took a page right out of the new White House playbook, peppering his speech with alternate facts.”
The Massachusetts Democratic Party plans to highlight Governor Baker’s numerous falsehoods related to the state budget, the MBTA, education-funding and healthcare throughout the day. The Party also plans to remind Governor Baker of the issues important to Massachusetts voters which he conveniently forgot to address during the State of the Commonwealth.
Background: Governor Charlie Baker’s Alternative Facts
Baker Alternative Fact #1 – The MBTA didn’t have a financial problem, it had a management problem.
Of course the T had a financial problem. Even the Governor’s “Special Panel” concluded the T needed more money-and it still does. That’s why Baker raised fares for MBTA riders. Baker is the only one who continues to try to sell this ridiculous notion.
Baker Alternative Fact #2 – We’ve provided record Ch. 70 aid for local education.
The Governor has already announced that he will provide the smallest increase in Ch. 70 aid since 2011. The Governor is only adding $20 per student to help improve local schools—not enough to keep up with rising costs. His budget will force many school districts to make painful cuts.
Baker Alternative Fact #3 – We don’t rely on the Rainy Day fund.
That’s because Baker’s last budget diverted money from the Rainy Day Fund before it arrived. And his budget raided the state’s trust funds, using those one time revenues to fill gaps in his budget. This fall Baker raided the health care trust fund for the uninsured, leaving thousands without the health insurance that fund was set aside to provide.
Baker Alternative Fact #4 – We’re increasing access to affordable health care.
Instead of fighting the Republican agenda that would take away health insurance from millions of Americans, Baker is participating in their plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act piece by piece with his new attempt to eliminate benefits for Obamacare beneficiaries here in Massachusetts.
Baker Alternative Fact #5 – We’re a national leader in the fight against opioids.
Baker’s proposed Medicaid cuts and a recent round of 9C budget cuts directly cut funding for opioid abuse prevention programs.
Baker Alternative Fact #6 – I closed a 1 billion dollar budget deficit.
Governor Baker inherited a balanced budget, and has put forward budgets that use one-time revenue and accounting gimmicks to skate by. Commonwealth Magazine wrote that the Governor’s “dire warnings…about a $768 million deficit for fiscal 2015 have turned out to be off the mark.”
Baker Alternative Fact #7 – Baker is proud of his Administration’s achievements in education.
The Governor failed to mention that Massachusetts voters rejected his radical education agenda by a stunning 24-point margin.
“Baker got one thing right: it’s his job to represent Massachusetts to Washington. But he’s completely failed to speak up against the Trump administration’s dangerous appointments or the conservative agenda of his own party in Congress,” said Bickford. “Instead, he’s emulating their behavior and being dishonest with the people of our state. Massachusetts residents are growing tired of Governor Baker’s consistent silence on issues that matter to us. We expect him to show some courage as we enter this dangerous time for our nation, not act like nothing has changed.”
It’s clear that the people of Massachusetts want their leaders to speak out against Trump and the conservative Republican agenda. More than 16,000 Massachusetts residents have already signed the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s petition calling on Governor Charlie Baker to take a stand against President-Elect Donald Trump’s choice of Steve Bannon, a prolific white supremacist and anti-Semite, as Chief Strategist and Senior Counsel. Last week, more than 6,000 Massachusetts residents rallied at Faneuil Hall to defend the Affordable Care Act, and 175,000 participated in the Boston Women’s March for America this weekend, which Governor Baker was too busy to attend.