Deval Patrick Expertly Plays the Game

1216128537Governor Deval Patrick had a pretty good half-year, despite the death of his casino bill. The budget he signed on Sunday was largely his creation. He played ping-pong without much controversy. And, he finally showed some ability to use the press to his advantage when his daughter announced she’s gay.

The governor still has the golden touch, apparently. Today’s Globe reports that Patrick is paying off some of his campaign expenses by circumventing the state’s limit on how much an individual can donate to a candidate, and that very few people have gotten worked up over the move.

A picnic that will be held at Patrick’s estate in the Berkshires later this month has a $5,500 price tag. Five hundred dollars of the admission goes directly to the governor’s coffers, while the rest goes to the Massachusetts Democratic Party. Once the party cashes the check, they use the money to help the governor pay his bills.

Sure, it’s kind of sketchy. But the practice is legal, and looks to remain so for the foreseeable future, largely because no one can be bothered to pass legislation to prohibit the practice.

“It is not on the table because other more contentious and pertinent issues have to be cleared up,” said Representative Garrett J. Bradley, a Democrat from Hingham and House chairman of the Joint Committee on Election Laws.

It’s almost as if he’s learned how to play politics.