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Former Mass. Governor Joins Boston '24 Push, Possibly Creating Tension With Incumbent

Former Mass. Governor Joins Boston '24 Push, Possibly Creating Tension With Incumbent

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Patrick was among those who flew to USOC HQ in Colorado Springs to welcome Bach
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick "has stepped up his involvement in Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, taking on a new role as a global ambassador who will sell the city" to the IOC, according to Michael Levenson of the BOSTON GLOBE. Patrick "will be paid, but aides would not reveal information about his salary." He "will join a bevy of former aides from his days as governor who are working at Boston 2024." Patrick "has long been supportive of the bid." AroundTheRings.com last month reported that Patrick was among those who flew to USOC HQ in Colorado Springs "to welcome" visiting IOC President Thomas Bach (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/7). In Boston, Owen Boss wrote Patrick's appointment is seen as "setting up tensions with his successor," Charlie Baker. The "low-profile, end-of-week announcement that Patrick was the group’s latest in a series of high-profile political hires was made late Friday, possibly in an attempt to minimize backlash." Baker and Democratic leaders "are mulling whether to hire a consultant to guard against any public cost that could be incurred by hosting the Olympics." That "could put Baker at loggerheads with Patrick as he pushes the Olympic bid" (BOSTON HERALD, 3/8).

CRITICS ABOUND: In Boston, Hillary Chabot writes Patrick's hire was "probably meant to strengthen the Olympics bid and mollify some critics" but "instead has brought more criticism raining down." Olympics opponents claim Patrick’s "new role as 'global ambassador' and consultant creates the not-so-subtle impression that the state itself is backing the bid -- while the average Joe doesn’t have a say, and the sitting governor, Charlie Baker, only learned about Patrick’s appointment from the media" (BOSTON HERALD, 3/9). Also in Boston, Howie Carr wrote as if the evidence "wasn’t already overwhelming that this proposed Olympic boondoggle is nothing more than a shadow hackerama for unemployable layabouts, now the most incompetent governor in state history is burying his snout in the 'nonprofit' trough" (BOSTON HERALD, 3/8).

GOING FOR BROKE?
In Boston, Yvonne Abraham examines the role of Boston Mayor Martin Walsh in the city's Olympics bid and wrote he "can’t be both cheerleader and watchdog." Boston '24 is "now one" with Walsh, who "has fully melded his operation with the one run by John Fish and other titans pushing the Games." The mayor "is doubling -- no, tripling -- down on a Boston Olympics, even though public support for it, especially among his own constituents, has slipped." What is "really troubling is how, by going all-in, Walsh has compromised his ability to protect his own constituents." He is "acting as if it’s certain a 2024 Olympics is what is best for his city, when in fact, that has yet to be decided" (BOSTON HERALD, 3/8).

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