October 19, 2006 – Vol. 42, No. 10
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Deval: ‘Politics of Kerry Healey ... disgust me’

The following is a statement from Deval Patrick, made on Friday, Oct. 13.

“For nineteen months now, I have answered every one of your questions. Today I just need to speak my mind.

Thirteen years ago, while living in San Diego, California, my sister Rhonda was the victim of a sexual assault. I have not made her experience a subject of this campaign, because I believe it serves no victim to have to relive such a thing in the public eye. But the media today has tried to take that option from me.

The assailant was her husband Bernie. He plead guilty to the charge and served a short time in jail in California.

In 1995, about a year after my sister moved to Milton, she and her husband reconciled. They took a personal crisis and rebuilt a life. They have raised two wonderful children. They are deacons in their church and live a deeply religious faith. They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this past summer with a recommitment ceremony. They now counsel troubled couples.

Their lives are about redemption, forgiveness and grace. I am proud of their turnaround and I love them both.

I got into this race with no illusions. In a world where negative campaigns are commonplace, I expected to have my own accomplishments trivialized, my own judgments questioned, my life choices challenged. I haven’t always liked it, but I knew it was a price I would have to pay to be an agent of change — not just in our policies, but in our politics.

And I took the time to prepare my family for what I thought would be coming.

My sister and her husband went through a difficult time, and through hard work and prayer, they repaired their relationship and their lives. Now they and their children — who knew nothing of this — have had their family history laid out on the pages of a newspaper. Why? For no other reason than that they had the bad luck to have a relative who is running for governor. It’s pathetic and it’s wrong. By no rules of common decency should their private struggles become a public issue. But this is the politics of Kerry Healey. It disgusts me. And it must be stopped.

Kerry Healey has never offered a single reason why she should be governor that doesn’t depend on tearing me down. She has no vision, no plan, no positive agenda, and no leadership experience. Her record on jobs and the economy, on health care, on higher education, on crime has been one of shortcuts, gimmicks and failure. And so rather than deal with that, she has done everything she can to change the subject.

Well, my message to the Healey campaign is that I will not let you run from your record any longer. You can try all you want to change the subject and shift the blame, but we are going to expose for all just how your failed policies and your failed politics are the reason so many people are stuck and struggling and losing hope. The garbage peddlers who shopped this story around town are part of that failed politics, too.

We are going to ask the people to choose whether the politics of fear, division and personal destruction is what they want or whether we’re better than that and are ready to finally throw out those who dump this trash in the public square.

We need a change. Gimmicks, slogans and dirty politics is no substitute for progress. The politics of fear is no acceptable alternative to the politics of hope. That’s the change we need. And if anybody in the Healey campaign or in the public thinks I am unwilling to fight for that, you have badly underestimated me.”

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