BOSTON, Mass – Monday was a really bad day at the office for Governor Charlie Baker.
And, in the week ahead the newly-crowned King of the Bay State has a slew of major problems to tackle. If you’re a golfer hoping that Dictator Baker might decide to open up driving ranges since 49 states allow ranges to be open, don’t bet on it, based on comments at his daily press conference today.
With the anger level on talk radio & social media reaching epic proportions in greater Boston, we still have a man who is demonstrating an amazing lack of leadership in a crisis situation.
I attended the Governor’s press conference again today expecting to ask two questions: “Why are driving ranges still closed when 49 other states allow it?” And, “Why are the two-state owned-and-operated golf courses still closed?” Every day Mr. Baker, a state employee with 14 years total career service, preaches how private sector businesses should open safely but we don’t see any examples of state government opening safely. Why is that?
After the Governor’s somber 14-minute opening statement I knew golf was not going to be on the agenda. However, what dominated the discussion was not the usual COVID data, but rather a shocking dodge-and-weave exhibition in which the Governor said “thank you” to the protestors who took to the streets of Boston Sunday night, some causing riots and looting. I almost fell out of my seat when he said ‘thank you’ to the thousands of protestors who showed up in Boston at 6:30 p.m. Sunday to demonstrate solidarity for the killing six days ago of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
I asked the Governor why he failed to make a public comment about the highly-publicized protest when he became aware of it Sunday afternoon, instead of sending out a Tweet at midnight condemning the violence and looting.
Watch a video of the press conference from Monday June 1.
City officials say 20,000 people took to the streets in Boston on Sunday in largely peaceful demonstrations. Later in the night, violence broke out between police and a smaller number of instigators, leading to the burning of a police car and some looting. Boston police arrested 53 individuals from Sunday’s violence, 27 of whom hailed from outside the city. Nine police officers and 18 civilians were hospitalized for injuries.
This is the same man who four weeks ago refused to allow a foursome to play golf and threatened them with arrest because he thought is wasn’t safe. This is the same man who knew thousands of protestors were congregating in Boston Sunday night in clear violation of government mandates that he set in place. This is a man who stayed silent before the protest when he should have had courage and conviction and told protestors to stay home or they’d be arrested, like he threatened golfers who showed civil disobedience.
Is Baker accountable in any way, shape or form for condoning this protest and subsequent violence and looting? Why would he ever say ‘thank you’ to protestors? There are other protests planned so will he encourage more acts of freedom, which he has taken away from small business owners the past 77 days.
What really stunned me today was when Baker went into a tirade condemning President Trump, implying the violence and looting in Boston was the President’s fault. Baker said he missed the Monday telephone call with the nation’s governors, and used harsh words to place the blame on anyone but him.
“I’m a small business owner who is outraged by how tone deaf the Governor is concerning reopening the Massachusetts economy,” said Steven Aicardi, Executive Producer of ‘Golf Destinations,’ a popular television show that’s been filming for 25 years. “Never before have I heard the anger, confusion and helplessness from golf course operators and driving range owners as their businesses, like many in the state, take unprecedented economic hits. These folks work 12-hour days, live on razor thin margins and in most cases are true family businesses. It’s an abomination that Massachusetts is the only state with driving ranges closed.”
I wanted to ask the Governor a few more questions but the sessions are brief and fast-moving. If you watch, you can see first-hand Baker’s verbal ability to not answer the question and then move on. I will say this. The mainstream media asks softball-type questions, treating Baker with hands-off, non-critical approach, generally accepting of his laisse faire style, even when citizens are sizzling mad and feeling unsafe. There is not more than a dozen assembled media every session to ask Baker any tough, pointed questions. But we know his scripted answer includes “due to an abundance of caution.”
“Governor Baker should reconsider his executive orders that harm and shut down businesses while thousands are permitted and encouraged to march the streets of Boston,” said Mass Fiscal CEO Paul Craney. “Understandably, the frustration people feel were demonstrated in the streets of Boston, yet business owner’s livelihoods should not be overlooked during this economic shut down. If the public can march the streets of Boston for a cause they feel passionate about, business owners should be allowed to make a living for themselves.”
Not your typical Monday, but still one devoid of leadership!
Make a difference and voice your opinion about opening driving ranges and send an email to the Governor or call his office at: 617-725-4005.