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Show me proof Romney can create jobs

By G. Michael Dobbs
Managing Editor
October 24, 2011
Wow. Keeping up with who is the Republican frontrunner these days is a tough job, as the person in the number one position seems to shift pretty often.
To say the race is “fluid” isn’t an understatement and I like how the media breathlessly announces each poll change with declarations the race is over and there is an unbeatable frontrunner.
I was hearing how former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was practically the nominee when businessman Herman Cain surged to the front of the line.
I think Mitt still might wind up being the nominee, though, and a close examination if his record on job and business development would be in order.
In the recent Republican debate conducted in New Hampshire, the Boston Herald reported that Romney said, “[The American people] need someone who knows how to create jobs and I do.” He then cited how he was involved in the creation of Staples.
This triggered a memory of an event I covered when Romney was running for governor. He met with a group of local businessmen and manufacturers at the second Basketball Hall of Fame building and explained that with his experience and contacts he was going to entice businesses to move to Massachusetts — for the purposes of this campaign stop, Western Massachusetts — and create jobs and opportunities.
It was clearly a stump speech and Romney added that he would also connect the two halves of the state together, bridging the divide, especially for businessmen, which has existed since the time of William Pynchon.
Romney looked a little taken aback when one of the businesspeople explained the business connections in this part of the state have always been much more north and south than west to east. Historically, it was the Connecticut River, then the rail lines, and now I-91 that connect firms in Western Massachusetts with their primary customers.
Romney didn’t know quite what to say.
I’m not sure how many jobs Romney helped bring to Western Massachusetts, although my initial reaction would be not very many. He never spent much time in this part of the state, when he was in the state.
While I will salute Romney for his ousting of Billy Bulger from his cozy perch at UMass and for attempting to do something about healthcare — boy, is he paying for that now! — I can’t abide with the claims that he knows how to create jobs when within government.
Please show me the proof.
***

Back stage stuff: Endorsements may have meant a lot to voters at one period, but I doubt they actually translate into people changing their minds.
And unless they indicate some sort of sea change in terms of support, they don’t make for great news stories.
I received a press release from the Pluta campaign last week that the mayor was going to make a “game changing” announcement.
I was miffed I couldn’t be in two places at once that night as I had already decided to cover another story.
The “momentous” news is that Congressman John Olver was going to announce his support for his former aide in her effort to be re-elected.
About the same time, Alex Morse made an announcement he had received his own Congressional endorsement from the former mayor of Providence, R.I., with whom Morse served as an intern.
Sorry, but Olver’s endorsement is no “game changer.” Whose vote is going to sway with that information? And a guy from Rhode Island? Who cares?
Pluta and Morse are two smart people and Holyoke has two solid candidates for mayor who are offering voters different stands on real issues. That is what truly matters.
***

Ever wondered what happened to those boxes of Finance Control Board documents that were going to come to Springfield? The emails and documents are currently being held by the Department of Revenue, which is sorting through them and arranging them.
The question is whether or not this information will be released before the election, as there are questions some people have asked that the documents could answer.
Government bodies are frequently loathe to do something that could interfere in an election, but people in Springfield should know how the mayor and other officials were involved in issues such as the creation of the side agreements for the school superintendent.
Hey, agree with me? Disagree? Drop me a line at news@thereminder.com or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.
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