Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Big Spin

Attorney General and presumptive gubernatorial candidate Tom Reilly is starting up another investigation of the Big Dig in the wake of the recent questions over tunnel safety. In the Herald article, Reilly is criticized by state Republicans:

"It seems every time something happens over the Big Dig, Tom Reilly's knee-jerk reaction is to start an investigation," said Tim O'Brien, executive director of the Republican Party. "Where are the results?"
Well, as Romney is a Fraud pointed out, it seems that every time something happens over the Big Dig, Mitt Romney's knee-jerk reaction is to try to fire Turnpike chairman Matt Amorello. Where are his results?

Now, far be it from me to stick up for Amorello -- after all I'd just as soon scrap the Turnpike Authority and start over from scratch -- but I have a feeling that Romney doesn't really care if Amorello should keep his job or not. What he cares about, in my opinion, is the public perception that the Big Dig is a government problem. People, for some reason, still think that Republicans are going to shrink the government. Therefore, if the Big Dig is a government problem, people may be more likely to vote Republican in 2006. If, on the other hand, the Big Dig is seen as a corporate problem, the Democrats would be the ones who would traditionally have credibility in reigning in corporations. The more of the blame that falls on Bechtel/Parsons Brinkerhoff, the worse it is for our governor.

The truth, of course, is that there's plenty of blame for everyone here. But, in politics, perception is more important than truth. And that, really, is the reason why it is going to be so hard to not only get any sort of results for taxpayers as people on both sides of the political spectrum try to spin the facts to further their political agenda.