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Governor defends budget, comments on Don Imus controversy

Posted by Martin Finucane April 12, 2007 01:56 PM


A day after the House released a budget proposal that scaled back many of his priorities, Gov. Deval Patrick said his administration would continue to fight for his initiatives.

"We submitted a balanced and responsible budget that had no gimmicks and no patches and plugs, and the House has submitted a different kind of budget where they haven’t made those hard choices," he said.

The governor, in an appearance in Natick, also reacted to the controversy surrounding comments made by radio host Don Imus about the Rutgers women's basketball team last week.

Patrick said he was frustrated with "toxic and corrosive" public discourse.

"I am so tired of words that cut, the careless and offhand comment that somebody thinks is funny and is, in fact, hurtful," Patrick said. "I think it has absolutely nothing to do with political correctness. I think it has to do with respect."

Patrick also said the comments illustrate the challenge black parents face preparing their children for racism in society.

"Parenting is tough all around, but we’re having to teach our kids all the time to learn to love across differences, to steel themselves against the careless remark, and to keep going and to try to see and look for the best in other people and expect that in return."

The governor spoke in Natick at the headquarters of Boston Scientific after meeting with executives at the medical devices maker, which is one of the state's largest corporations. He was on a swing through the suburbs west of Boston that also included appearances in Framingham and Needham.

The House budget eliminated funding for 250 new police officers and cut $5 million in property tax relief proposed by Patrick.

"It's the beginning of a process," Patrick said of budget deliberations. "We have our proposal. We are going to fight for it. The House has its proposal. The Senate's will come next month.

"Then we will all work together toward what I am counting on being a very purposeful and forward-looking set of compromises."

-- John C. Drake

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