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Hello, Mr President: Deval Patrick

Personal Background:

Deval Patrick was born on July 31, 1956, in Chicago, Illinois, to a poor family, where he was raised by a single mother. The organization A Better Chance funded his high school career and he went on to attend Harvard for English and American Literature. A year later, he went on to attend Harvard Law School. After several different law jobs, Patrick was appointed by Bill Clinton to lead the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, where he enforced anti-discriminatory laws. He then took on a variety of leadership positions at Coca-cola.

From 2007-2015, he served as the 71st governor of Massachusetts and was the first African-American governor for the state. His surprise entrance into the Democratic field came on November 14th, 2019, and was fueled heavily by his Reasons to Believe PAC. Just six of his donors contributed 620,000 dollars to his campaign. Many big businesses see him as a moderate who can potentially win over progressives. However, his involvement in Super PACs could hurt his popularity and he needs 200,000 individual donors to appear in the debates, a number that he is grossly short of hitting. 

Major Accomplishments as 71st Governor of Massachusetts  

When serving as Governor of Massachusetts, Patrick’s main accomplishments can be categorized into three separate industries: transportation, innovation, and infrastructure.

Accomplishments courtesy of Mass Live 

  • guided Massachusetts through the 2008 recession 
  • modernized fragmented and disjointed transportation agencies
  • got rid of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and centralized transportation
  • major funding initiative for transportation, raised gas, income, and cigarette tax to fund projects
  • responsible for increasing jobs in life science, clean technology, and advanced manufacturing 
  • created several foundations for transportation and jobs 

Patrick has not served in Congress, thus he does not have a voting record. 

Main Goals & Platforms:

Patrick’s main platform revolves around education. He has stood in support of several different education plans, including Universal Pre-K and free community college. During his time as governor, he proposed doubling the number of public schools in Massachusetts. He also allowed undocumented immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition during his term. His biggest ambitions can be largely traced back to his own experiences with financial aid. Because Patrick came from a poor family and still received a high-quality education, he likely wants to give back. 

Apart from this, Patrick has leaned more moderately on a majority of contentious issues. While he is in support of a universal medicare program, he does not want to cut the private sector, and wants to create fully functioning public and private sector interaction. During his time as governor, Patrick implemented the Health Cost Control bill, a bill which saves 200 billion by linking healthcare costs to the growth of the economy. This bill ended up benefiting community hospitals and set an example for the nation, lowering costs while maintaining quality of care

Patrick has mentioned his interest in eliminating fossil fuels, hoping to create a new, more innovative plan of attack for addressing climate change. He is pro-choice, gun control, and supportive of the LGBTQ community. 

Criticisms:

One of Patrick Deval’s biggest concerns is the number of ties he has with larger companies. After sitting at the top of some of the biggest consumer industries (Coke, Bain Capital, Texaco, etc), Patrick has been criticized for violating the biggest parts of the Democratic party. Democrats who typically believe in cutting the private sector won’t be too fond of Patrick, who has spent a huge portion of his life within the industry. It’s also rather contradictory. Companies like Coke and Texaco are responsible for producing huge amounts of emissions. When Coke announced its huge sustainability plan, people were quick to notice the “bad math” involved. Texaco, a major gas company, isn’t doing much better. It’s quick to see how these two companies could fully violate the governor’s views on sustainability, a key issue for Democratic voters in 2020. 

via Taylor Swayze on Unsplash; Patrick is one of the heads and holds a huge stake in Coca Cola, a major, unsustainable industry.

From 2010-2011, Patrick tried to publish a Casino plan for the state of Massachusetts. The bill would have generated tons of revenue for the state. While it was initially rejected, it soon emerged again. News broke out that Patrick was actually meddling with gaming lobbyists. After promising the people that he was not talking to any lobbyists or making any money, it was revealed that Patrick had actually taken some 6,000 dollars in campaign contributions

Patrick has also had some questionable views on sex and rape. Benjamin LaGuer, a man accused of an 8-hour rape, was described by Patrick as “thoughtful, insightful, eloquent, [and] humane.” Furthermore, Saundra Edwards was dismissed from her chair on the Sex Offender Registry Board of Massachusetts after she and Jeanne Holmes tried to get Patrick’s brother on the registry because he had raped his wife. His objectionable way of dealing with rapists and sex offenders may be another red flag for democrats. 

Popularity & Electability:

Patrick’s late entrance into the race means that his already-unideal chances of winning the presidency are now extremely slim. Although no polls have been released yet, he’s not likely to poll too well. Because he entered late, Patrick has already missed several important deadlines, including filing his paperwork to appear on the primary ballot for Alabama and Arkansas. If Patrick doesn’t file paperwork within the next week for New Hampshire, Patrick’s chances for president are slim to none.

His already low popularity was brought up shortly after he announced his campaign, and his involvement in large scale corporations won’t help him. With little to no concrete plans on nearly every issue (foreign policy, climate change, or immigration), Patrick won’t have a solid base for the debates either, and his big-box donors can’t help him meet the 200,000 unique donor requirement for the December debates. 

Featured Image via Deval Patrick 

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Joanna Hou
Written By

Joanna Hou is a 16 year old high school student based in San Diego, California. She is passionate about current events, law, and politics. She is an avid writer, journalist, and musician (euphonium and flute). In her spare time, she enjoys reading and boba. Instagram: joannah_11

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