THE SPINE MARCH 7, 2007
Deval Patrick has made many mistakes in his bare two months as
governor. None of them particularly serious, although two or three reflect
a strange strain for luxury in his character. OK,
he wants his own privately paid-for summer vacation McMansion, let him go
But an article by Frank Phillips in Tuesday's Globe revealed that the
governor had made a phone call to Robert E. Rubin, former secretary of the
treasury and now a top official at Citigroup, to smooth the paths for a
corporate loan. So who was the lender? ACC Capital Holdings, the
owner of Ameriquest. This firm is well-known for predatory lending, and it
was an issue in the campaign because Patrick had been on the board of
ACC. Very sloppy. Very dirty. And oh-so-stupid.
Stupider still was Patrick after he has apologized. He said he did not
call Rubin as the governor of Massachusetts but simply as a private person
vouching for the company. And, of course, Rubin pushed from his mind the
fact that Patrick was, indeed, governor.
Patrick was paid $360,000 a year during the two years he served as an ACC
director. And now ACC has gotten its money's worth. Citigroup has put a
large cash infusion into the troubled company. By the way, Citigroup also
does much bond business with the state. Did that ever occur to Patrick
when he called Rubin?