Tim Murray Lieutenant Governor

August 2009 Archives

For details on the memorial events for Senator Ted Kennedy, please visit: www.tedkennedy.org.
Statement from Lieutenant Governor Murray
on Senator Edward Kennedy

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"This is a profound loss for our Commonwealth, our country, and people around the world who have had Senator Kennedy as their champion for peace and justice. I am deeply saddened by his passing and I extend my sympathies to his wife Vicki, his children and the entire Kennedy family.

"We all know of Senator Kennedy's reputation as a statesman and a leader in the United States Senate. For me, he has been an inspirational figure for decades. I will be forever grateful that I had the privilege of getting to know him and of working with him from my earliest days as a City Councilor and then as Mayor in Worcester.

"Senator Kennedy may have walked with presidents and prime ministers, but he was always accessible to the people of Massachusetts and he was dedicated to improving the quality of life of individuals and families in every region of the state that he loved."
Tim led a Democratic National Committee (DNC) conference call on Monday with State Democratic Party Chair John Walsh to  highlight how President Obama's Recovery Act is creating and saving thousands of jobs in MA and playing a key role in helping to stabilize the state economy.

"Were it not for federal stimulus money here in Massachusetts and around the country I don't think we would have been that successful in stabilizing the economy, which was on the precipice of depression," Murray said. The state expects to receive approximately $9 billion total from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Read the press release.
Listen to audio of the call.

Relate News Coverage:
Worcester Telegram: Top State Dems Say Stimulus a Success
Metro: Dems Continue Stimulus War of Words
Lowell Sun: Murray, State Democrats Defend Stimulus Spending
Boston Globe: City Adds $720,000 in Stimulus; Funds Total 172.6M

Worcester Tornadeos Game

On August 22, Tim and his daughters joined the Massachusetts Democratic Party at Fitton Field in Worcester for a baseball game between the Worcester Tornadoes and the Brockton Rox.

See more photos from the game on Flickr.
Lt. Gov. Tim Murray today announced a $500,000 U.S. Department of Labor grant to help Massachusetts veterans obtain training and employment in green industry professions. This grant was one of only 17 awarded nationwide.
"This funding will allow us to train some of our most deserving men and women for the jobs of the future," said Lt. Gov. Murray, who chairs the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services.

The grant provides funds to assist veterans in obtaining "green" jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy, modern electric-power development and clean vehicles.

Read the release.
Read the brief in Metro
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Tim's Trivia Tuesdays: Which patriot served as Lt. Gov. of MA - John Hancock, Sam Adams or Ben Franklin? Please reply @TimMurray2010.
follow me on twitter @TimMurray2010
SouthCoast Today
Jack Spillane column

Tim Murray is fond of talking about the importance of the "blocking and tackling" jobs in government.

Building and repairing roads and bridges; reforming the loose ethics laws that give politicians a bad name; making sure that cuts to public education happen only in the most dire of circumstances.

Those are the kinds of on-the-ground policies that don't garner big headlines, Murray says, but they're the types of government work that put the lie to cynical folks who think government never does anything right.

"Blocking and tackling" was how Lt. Gov. Murray this past Thursday, described the state's construction of a $320,000 new pier and fuel dock on the tiny island of Cuttyhunk. He had traveled on the New Bedford ferry to the furthest of the Elizabeth Islands to dedicate the dock, which is the remote islanders' only supply line.

The lieutenant governor also took the occasion to hang out with city leaders for a while, helping break ground for the new downtown hotel, and to do the interview for this column. The state funding for the Cuttyhunk dock and a nonprofit grant for the New Bedford hotel are the kinds of "blocks and tackles" that make up the real business of government, Murray said.

The Cuttyhunk dock will protect the island population's very survival, as well as tourist business, he noted, and the hotel is important to the city's revitalization.

"I realize they're not sexy headlines," he said. "They're not going to fill up hours on talk shows. But when the blocking and tackling of government doesn't work, when it breaks, people know it."

Murray, 41, may be the lieutenant governor, but outside of his hometown of Worcester, he's far from the second best-known politician in the state.

A lawyer, city councilor and ceremonial mayor of Worcester (the city has a weak-mayor form of government), Murray used the power base of the state's second largest city to outflank the multiple Eastern Massachusetts candidates running for the same job two years ago.

An unassuming, down-to-earth style, and an ability to talk the common parlance of second- and third-generation Bay Staters, has helped Murray forge alliances with politicians in the state's old industrial-era cities and their inner suburbs, including state Rep. John Quinn of Dartmouth.

The son of a history teacher and a nurse, the lieutenant governor seems like a guy on your after-work softball team, your brother-in-law who teaches public school, or your uncle who was the first member of his family to graduate college.

"I love this state," he says. "It's been great to my family," he said, noting that three of his grandparents were Irish immigrants.

Murray's affable personality fit well with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Deval Patrick in the 2006 campaign, and the governor has since given him a seat at the governing table equal to cabinet members.

He has his own portfolio representing the state's post-industrial cities, the place with evaporated economies that Patrick and Murray have determinedly dubbed the "Gateway Cities."

In that job, Murray's been a godsend to the mayors, representing their interests in a way that's probably been absent since Mike Dukakis was governor. So while the public at large may not know Murray well, Scott Lang, Bob Correia and James Harrington in Brockton certainly do.

Bringing more attention to the old urban centers was a big part of the reason he ran for lieutenant governor, Murray said. That, and his conviction that the majority of the state's government is focused on Greater Boston, at the expense of the central, western and southeastern parts of the state.

"I thought, if nothing else, that if I got elected, municipal officials were going to have somebody to pick up the phone and talk to," he said.

Murray argues that it's in the suburbs' own interest to make sure the state's cities revive. "None of us can hide, no matter where we live, from some of the issues and challenges that we face," he said.

The urban centers continue to be the medical, educational and architectural hubs of the state's different regions, he said.

Murray walks and talks like a true son of the middle class. There's not a whiff of limousine liberal about him, nor a taint of an elite, university hot-house type.

That doesn't mean Murray, a history buff and Fordham graduate, is blue-collar.

It simply means that he seems like a guy who's still grounded in the world of mortgage bills and college tuition. In fact, he seems much more a child of the city neighborhoods than the Ivy League-educated Patrick, or any number of other recent Democratic gubernatorial nominees for that matter.

Murray says he and the governor are presently trying to just hold their own as the winds of the greatest economic downtown since the Great Depression whirl around them.

"Right now, the focus of the administration is to try to manage our way through this fiscal crisis in a way that, as best as possible, maintains the integrity of core services," he said. The administration is interested in spending taxpayer money wisely, providing value for the dollar; and new programs will have to wait for a better economy, he said.

But as lieutenant governor, Murray said he's had a seat close enough to power that he has seen the great opportunities, as well as the challenges of the big job.

"I'd love to be governor some day," he said.

He acknowledges that the measure of he and Gov. Patrick will be how well they respond to the tough challenge of the present bad economy. But that's an opportunity for greatness too, he said.

Perhaps with a bit of the traditional Irish love of poetry, he tried to recall a poem he said that someone on the Southcoast -- he forgets who -- told him on one of his trips down here.

"It's easy to be captain of the ship when the seas are calm. But you really demonstrate what type of captain you are when the storm has hit, and the sea is whackin' the boat," he said.

That sounds more like your next-door neighbor than poetry.

Murray thinks a bit more, reaching back for the actual words of the poem. Then he finds it, inspiration and all.

"It's easy to be captain of the ship when the seas are calm and the sun is shining," he said. "It's a lot harder when the storm is raging and the waves are pounding."

Contact Jack Spillane at jspillane@s-t.com

Related story: Cuttyhunk dedicates new 'lifeline' dock
Tim joined New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang and U.S. Rep. Barney Frank last Thursday to celebrate the official ground-breaking for the future Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites Hotel.

The 'symbolic' hotel will be the first in the city's downtown since the New Bedford Hotel closed its doors in 1969.

Read the story.

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Today, Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, accompanied by a group of legislators, municipal officials and residents, led a ribbon cutting of the revitalized Town Pier and Fuel Dock in the Town of Gosnold on Cuttyhunk Island.

"The dock is an anchor for Cuttyhunk Island and residents of Gosnold," said Murray.  "Without these desperately needed repairs to the pier and dock, residents of Gosnold would have difficulty obtaining basic deliveries and services."

Murray chairs the Massachusetts Seaport Advisory Council (SAC) to enhance and develop the commercial aspects of the ports and harbors in the Commonwealth's coastal communities.

Read the full release.
Encouraging news on the economy in The Globe today.

The Boston Globe

Consumer and business confidence continued their upward swing in July, adding to the evidence that the Massachusetts economy has hit bottom and begun to turn around, two groups reported yesterday.

Read the full story.
"Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a living example of service to others. Her life's work has changed society's view of those with developmental disabilities and helped countless individuals with special challenges reach their full God-given potential with respect and dignity." -- Tim Murray
The New York Times recently published a great editorial praising the Massachusetts health care reform model.

The New York Times
"The state's experience so far suggests that it is more than possible to insure almost all citizens and stay within planned budgets. ... Three years after the program began, 97 percent of Massachusetts residents have health insurance -- by far the highest rate in the nation. That has been achieved without huge increases in state spending."
Read the full editorial.
Governor Patrick and Lt. Gov. Murray traveled to New Bedford Wednesday to announce details of the long-awaited South Coast rail project. Under the plan, a fully operational SouthCoast rail line will be in place by 2016, creating up to 3,800 new jobs.

"South Coast Rail will be a catalyst for economic and community development in the region," said Lt. Gov. Murray.  "It will give thousands of people access to new job opportunities and a better connection to a growing area with more affordable housing prices."

Read the press release

Read the Patrick-Murray Op-ed
Tim was unanimously re-elected as the East Regional Chair of the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) by a bi-partisan group of his peers at the Association's Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland last week.

During the conference, Tim participated in panel discussions, workshops, and shared best practices with fellow Lieutenant Governors. This November, Tim will host a group of Lieutenant Governors for the NLGA Executive Committee Meeting in Boston.

Read the full release

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