Jan. 27, 2012
BOSTON — In a half-hour interview with WGBH News, Gov. Deval Patrick and host Emily Rooney covered everything from controversial legislation to his proposed budget to his Super Bowl bet with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. These are some of the highlights:
The Tim Murray scandal
Patrick defended the decision not to release the cell phone records of Lieutenant Gov. Tim Murray, who was involved in a mysterious early-morning crash last November. Patrick admitted it's possible to create a list of calls Murray made around the time of the accident — but thought generating that list would set a dangerous precedent.
"I can see where that would lead," he said. "I’m going to have everybody checking every single time I make a call to everybody or other and speculating what was said when it was said."
Murray has been expected to run for governor in 2014 but his changing explanations of the crash have raised doubts about his political future. However, Patrick maintained his staunch support for his deputy. "I love the guy and he's been a wonderful partner" in government, Patrick said. "Thank God he's alive."
Also casting a cloud are allegations that disgraced Chelsea housing chief Michael McLaughlin illegally raised money for Murray's campaign. Murray has asked for an investigation.
The allegations are "very, very concerning and I think the lieutentant governor was right to involve the Ethics Commission," Patrick said, adding that Murray "feels personally betrayed" by McLaughlin's actions.
The "three strikes" bill
As the Mass. House and Senate prepare to send Patrick legislation that could deny parole to some criminals, the governor warned the Legislature not to overreach.
He clarified the difference between what he wants and the currently debated proposals:
"There are two parts of what I'm looking for from the Legislature," he said. "One is to extend the period before which you are eligible for parole if you have committed three of these especially violent crimes. That does not mean that on the third one you get locked up forever. But it does mean the period within which you become eligible for parole would be extended. The Legislature, on both the Senate and the House side, has taken that a little bit further by eliminating the opportunity for parole for this list of crimes."
Patrick also said wants the Legislature to reduce prison terms for nonviolent drug offenders, saying, "We have been warehousing these folks for a long time" at great public expense.