Deval Patrick Will Make $7,500 a Day for Boston 2024 Services

The salary information reveals the group's strategy in hiring political insiders.

Associated Press

Associated Press

Those watching Boston’s bid for the 2024 Olympics were eager to learn Tuesday that the group pushing to host the 2024 Summer Olympics in Boston will pay former Governor Deval Patrick $7,500 a day for his services. The information came along with the salary data for numerous other officials on the group’s payroll, all of which give us a better sense of the strategy and operations of the group vying to make Boston the site of the 2024 games.

It might seem, at first blush, like none of our business what a privately funded organization does with its money. And yet, there were calls for the committee to disclose the amount it would pay its employees and consultants. As the Boston Globe notes:

Though Boston 2024 is a nonprofit committee that receives no public money, its salaries became an issue after the group last week confirmed that Patrick would take on a paid role with the effort but did not immediately say how much the former governor would make.

Public leaders like Mayor Marty Walsh and Governor Charlie Baker called on Boston 2024 to be transparent. After all, the committee does, in some part, answer to the public. Large-scale opposition to Boston’s bid certainly wouldn’t help its odds. The group encountered pushback after its opponents argued that it had made the initial bid to the U.S. Olympic Committee shrouded in mystery.

Now, the transparency allows us to see the way the committee is using connected insiders to help make their case. Patrick, for instance, will serve as a “global ambassador.” Though his per diem has been released, the committee said it didn’t yet know how often it would call on him. Some, like the Boston Herald, have reacted to the salary information by criticizing former officials who take a paycheck from the group. But the more interesting revelation is probably what it tells us about the machinations of the group itself. As the Globe notes, it reveals “a multimillion-dollar organization with formidable influence.” The more that influence is put on display, the less the Boston public will feel confused by the outcome.