via The Boston Herald Online...
On May 13, 2009, "lisa2" wrote -
"Why would anyone believe Eric Fehrnstrom? He was a $100K apologist for former state Treasurer Joe Malone, a treasurer so inept and incompetent that the greatest theft in state history occurred under Malone. Fehrnstrom was a paid apologist for Mitt "the weathervane" Romney who, if you gave the Utahan a minute, would give you two divergent opinions on the same subject. Oh yeah, an good ol' honest Mitt, the alleged fiscal conservative, okayed the largest fee hikes in Massachusetts history. Romney was and is an out and out fraud. Mihos is probably a Republican wingnut too. But at least he's entertaining. Romney's a bore and a manipulative cynic. And Ferhnstrom? Well, he's a Romney apologist. Must pay well, huh?"
On May 13, 2009, "TheoriginalV" wrote -
"Eric who??? He's just miffed that Christy tried to expose his boss and Muffy for what they were doing, and what they were not doing. Muffy was the weakest candidate the GOP has put up in a long time. Fehrnstrom should just go away and let the MAGOP do what it needs to do to win. And Charlie (who is he) Baker? If that's the best Fehrnstrom can do, he's got a lot of catching up to do. In a recent poll, more than 56% of questioned voters didn't even know who the guy was. At least Christy Mihos has been out there, with his own money, trying to raise awareness of the corruption and incompetence of the Patrick administration. Christy broke Regan's 11th commandment. That wasn't a good thing and he's had to mend fences because of it. Fehrnstrom breaks it in a spiteful, lame opinion piece here and we%u2019re supposed to do what? Time to move on Eric. Charlie (who is he) Baker should stay at HPHC. If you want a job that bad, apply there, maybe he%u2019ll have a job waiting there for you instead of the job you so desperately want; the same job you had for Mitt."
"Gov’s base decays to Tim Cahill’s benefit"
By Eric Fehrnstrom, Wednesday, June 10, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Op-Ed
Listeners of WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan” morning show are familiar with Iggy, the liberal producer who argues with conservative Gerry Callahan about the news of the day. You can count on Iggy to reflexively defend President Barack Obama, the Democratic Party and left-wing politics.
Only he doesn’t feel the same about Gov. Deval Patrick.
The other day, Callahan asked Iggy to explain the rationale for Patrick’s re-election. The question was answered initially with silence, followed by Iggy’s confession that he doesn’t plan on voting for him.
Neither may most voters. In March, a Survey USA poll found that only 28 percent of Massachusetts adults approved of his performance, while 69 percent disapproved. Among Democrats, disapproval of the governor was 53 percent.
Patrick’s popularity is even lower among Democrats in the Legislature, who cheered his 2006 election. What accounts for this turnaround? He postured in opposition to the Legislature’s increase in the sales tax, even as he sought higher taxes of his own on alcohol, gas, soda and candy. Legislators will forgive a governor of the same party many sins, but putting their own re-election at risk by hypocritically criticizing their tax vote is not one of them.
For Treasurer Tim Cahill, this is good news.
Cahill and Patrick have been circling each other like scorpions in a bottle. With Patrick’s implosion, it seems more likely Cahill can forgo a long-shot independent bid and become the Democratic nominee. His hurdle is qualifying for the ballot among the labor activists, state employees and special interests that make up the Democratic State Convention.
But now, with the backing of legislative Democrats, getting the requisite 15 percent of the delegates should not be so hard. In 1990, conservative John Silber squeaked by the convention with 15.64 percent of the vote, thanks to the help of his legislative patron Billy Bulger. He crushed convention favorite Frank Bellotti in the primary.
Cahill has his own problems, to be sure. A weak stock market has left the pension fund he oversees in tatters. Lottery sales are anemic. Our per capita debt burden is the nation’s highest.
But, with his blue-collar Quincy roots, he’s smartly positioning himself to the right on fiscal matters. He has urged a focus on cuts and restructuring.
“There’s no one tax increase or even multiple ones that will even get us through it all,” Cahill says. He’s refreshingly blunt, telling South Coast leaders that the rail service Patrick promised is “virtually impossible” in light of the state’s finances.
Naturally, Patrick’s minions have been leaking stories suggesting Cahill’s ethically compromised. The headlines are not flattering. Cahill declined to curb retirement abuses by lawmakers. He hit up financial firms to pay for an educational conference sponsored by his office. He favors certain vendors because of their ties to his fund-raiser friends.
But it all got washed away last week in the news of former Speaker Sal DiMasi’s arrest. The federal indictment reveals an embarrassing set of facts about the role the governor’s office played in facilitating the award of a $13 million contract to a software firm that had DiMasi on its secret payroll.
It was more than 30 years ago that the last incumbent governor was toppled in a primary, when the conservative Ed King defeated the liberal Michael Dukakis. In 1978, Dukakis had alienated the Legislature with his arrogant, know-it-all style, and lost broader support with his unhappy combination of tax hikes and spending cuts.
The same script is now writing itself all over again, to Cahill’s advantage.
Team Romney finds a way to pay the bills. From the release going out Wednesday: “Four political veterans with a strong mix of campaign, government and private sector experience today announced the formation of the Shawmut Group LLC, a Boston-based strategic communications, public affairs and political consulting firm,” per the press release. “The Shawmut Group consists of Beth Myers, Peter Flaherty and Eric Fehrnstrom, all of whom served in senior leadership roles with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and Rob Cole, a senior aide and political adviser to former New York Governor George Pataki.”
Source: "Deeds & Words -- Can Obama reconcile with himself on health care reform?" (ABC News: The Note, By RICK KLEIN, 6/10/2009).
Photo by Mark Garfinkel. (file)
"Mitt Romney portrait to be unveiled"
By State House News Service, Saturday, June 27, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics
Former Gov. Mitt Romney, who walked out of the State House in January 2007 into a presidential campaign, returns to the State House for the first time next week, to be presented in painted form next Tuesday, when his official portrait is unveiled at the Grand Staircase.
Between 150 and 200 people are expected for the event, the first glimpse at artist Richard Whitney’s rendering of the Commonwealth’s 70th governor. Romney is depicted in an "office setting," said his spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom.
"There are no armadillos," cracked Fehrnstrom, referring to the painting of former Gov. Bill Weld. Romney administration budget chief Thomas Trimarco emcees, and former Senate President Robert Travaglini and former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey are expected to deliver remarks.
Senate President Therese Murray plans to attend, her spokesman said. Romney discovered Whitney’s work during a visit to the New Hampshire capitol, where he saw former Granite State Gov. John Sununu’s portrait, Fehrnstrom said.
The painting cost $30,000, paid for through Romney’s state campaign account, according to Fehrnstrom. "He’s excited to come back to the building and see old friends," Fehrnstrom said of Romney.
"Single-payer simplistic: Good intent, ill-conceived health plan"
By Eric Fehrnstrom, Monday, June 22, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Op-Ed
The lesson from health care reform in Massachusetts is that you don’t need a government insurance plan to get everyone covered.
It’s a lesson lost on leading Democrats like Howard Dean, who insists there can be no meaningful overhaul unless you “give Americans a choice between a public and private system.” With their blind insistence on government insurance, liberals run the risk of derailing the entire reform effort.
In Massachusetts, the groundbreaking health care reform signed into law by Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006 has led to 440,000 more people getting coverage without a government-run option. Nearly 98 percent of citizens are now enrolled in a plan. No other state has made faster progress in covering its uninsured.
Liberals attack it because it’s not single-payer, and some conservatives object to the individual mandate, but 69 percent of the public expressed its approval in a recent survey. It passed with support of the business community, hospitals, private insurers, Republicans and Democrats. In the 200-member Legislature, there were two dissenting votes, a bipartisan miracle.
The market-driven Massachusetts approach is simple: Strip away regulations to lower the cost of private policies, require everyone to have coverage just as they must for their autos, and convert the money we already spend on free care into subsidies to help the needy buy insurance.
Is it perfect? No, like any bold experiment, it’s going to require fine-tuning. But already some of its best features are being copied by President Barack Obama, such as a health insurance exchange where individuals and small businesses can shop for affordable plans.
Critics who complain about the cost of the subsidies overlook the progress in reducing state payments for free care, a nearly 40 percent drop from $661 million in 2007 to $410 million in 2008. Having achieved near-total coverage, there’s no reason Gov. Deval Patrick can’t further reduce that number. He can drive costs down even more by making adjustments in benefits and by requiring everyone to contribute something to the cost of their insurance.
As it is now, none of the constituencies needed to make health care reform a success are willing to fully get behind Obama’s effort as long as it includes public insurance - not the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, not the American Medical Association and not the 1,300 insurers represented by the national association America’s Health Insurance Plans.
And who can blame them? Obama has long been an advocate of a single-payer system, as is Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
In 2003, as a state senator, Obama told the AFL-CIO, “I am a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program.” Last year, Obama pledged to build on the existing system, but still wouldn’t rule out single-payer down the road.
Sebelius, speaking at Harvard in 2007, said, “I’m all for a single-payer system eventually,” but for now wants to “work with what we’ve got” to fill the gaps.
No wonder free market advocates fear a Trojan horse strategy that moves us to single-payer “eventually.”
The last thing America needs is a government takeover of health care, which represents 17 percent of the economy. Massachusetts proved it’s possible to get more people covered by strengthening the free market. This is the course that national health care reformers should follow.
“The senator needs glasses to read, and his hair is turning gray. Don’t take away one of the few remaining momentos of his youth.’’ -- Adviser ERIC FEHRNSTROM, on state Senator Scott Brown posing nude for Cosmo magazine in 1982.
Source: "Quotes of Note", The Boston Globe, September 19, 2009.
"Brown taps Romney campaign vet as spokeswoman"
Associated Press, February 1, 2010
BOSTON (AP) -- Senator-elect Scott Brown has tapped a Romney campaign veteran to be his new communications director.
Gail Gitcho (GIT'-choh) has been working most recently as national press secretary for the Republican National Committee.
Brown says Gitcho is "well known to the national and Washington press corps and has a reputation for being fair and responsive to reporters."
Before joining the RNC last May, Gitcho was a regional press secretary for Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign. She also worked for John McCain's 2008 Republican presidential campaign as mid-Atlantic communications director.
The new job reunites her with Beth Myers, Eric Fehrnstrom and Peter Flaherty, the three Romney campaign veterans who led Brown's upset Senate campaign over Democrat Martha Coakley.
Brown expects to be sworn in to succeed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy next week.
"Social Security represents years of hard work, not entitlement"
The Boston Globe, Letter, August 16, 2016
ERIC FEHRNSTROM’S piece on Trump’s flawed economic plans would be more credible were he to abandon the Republican pretense that Social Security is an “entitlement” (“Romney’s lesson unheeded,” Opinion, Aug. 11). Those of us old enough to be eligible for Social Security know that we have paid into this government-mandated savings plan all our working lives. We also know that Social Security would be solvent had Republicans not raided our savings accounts to cover the failure of their economic policies. So please, let’s be honest here. American citizens have paid into Social Security to ensure a secure retirement and old age for ourselves and our families. This is not an “entitlement.” If you want those of us over 65 to listen, then please respect our decades of work and contribution to these funds rather than perpetuating linguistic falacies.
Marilyn R. Stern
- Jonathan Melle
- Amherst, NH, United States
- I am a citizen defending the people against corrupt Pols who only serve their Corporate Elite masters, not the people! / My 2 political enemies are Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., nicknamed "Luciforo" and former Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. / I have also pasted many of my political essays on "The Berkshire Blog": berkshireeagle.blogspot.com / I AM THE ANTI-FRANK GUINTA! / Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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