FOXBORO, Mass – Massachusetts continues to be in the news for all the wrong reasons. And, as we close out day 45 of a lockdown on the golf economy, today was memorable due to the Governor’s colossal display of poor judgement and stubbornness.
At Gillette Stadium, New England’s largest outdoor arena, the Governor presided over a graduation ceremony involving 240 State Police trainees graduating from the academy. The large venue allowed troopers to maintain social distancing, which was streamed online so that family and friends could watch. No spectators were in attendance.
Immediately after the 40-minute ceremony Baker told reporters he had “no problem’ with presiding over the ceremony because family and friends of the recruits were not present.
“I had mixed feelings about whether or not it made sense to do something like this, but I needed to swear them in before they could actually go to work, and I need them to go to work,” Baker said in defense of his decision. “This was deemed as a way to accomplish both of those objectives as quickly as we possibly could. I had no problem with it since family and friends were not present.”
Baker’s stay-at-home advisory and 9 p.m. curfew is still in effect and his latest I-am-in-charge order requires all citizens to wear masks or be subject to fines. Also, by his executive order all grade school, high school or college graduation ceremonies this spring are prohibited, unless of course, he’s involved. A check of Websters Dictionary defines “hypocrisy” as the practice of professing virtues that one does not hold.
“If Gillette stadium can be used for a graduation for law enforcement, then it’s safe to say that golf courses and other recreational activities should be allowed to operate that come with a much less risk,” said Paul Craney, President of Mass Fiscal. “For Massachusetts to be the last state to open it’s golf courses is inexcusable.”
In a 30-minute question-and-answer session the Governor explained that effective today it is mandatory for every Massachusetts resident to wear a mask at all times. Baker preached that he knows best how to make critical decisions in a large-scale public health crisis, even though Barnstable and some parts of Plymouth County show marginal cases.
The Governor was pelted with three golf questions. And, as is his custom, he gave long-winded answers with no definitive plan to reopen. Both Vermont and Maryland announced today that golf is open-for-business beginning Thursday May 7.
Massachusetts is now the one-and-only state where the golf economy is still shutdown. Seems the man has evolved into one tenacious, power-crazed politician.
How many times does the man have to be reminded the Mass golf economy is estimated at full capacity to be $2.7 billion with 25,000 jobs and 400 golf courses? The financial ruin through 45 days could reach as high as $50 – $60 million.
From early March when the coronavirus crisis started to peak in the United States, 35 Governors never shut down their golf economy. At any time over seven weeks Mr. Baker could have picked up the phone and asked Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo or Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont two questions: Explain why you never shut down golf? Explain how to play golf safely?
The man has a difficult job ahead and we are all in this together. Allowing golf is one headache off his shoulders, so this is no time for a politician to engage in government overreach. Mr. Baker’s performance is disappointing and discouraging.
Is today the tipping point for Mr. Baker? It’s a long, rocky road ahead and golf is only one important part of returning Massachusetts back to financial solvency.
It’s time to take all signs down that read “Golf Course Closed.”
(You Tube of Governor’s Press Conference at Gillette Stadium)