By Jeff Fish
Itís a sad, sad week in Boston. Like many (all) Patriots fans, Iím crushed about Sundayís defeat, once again, at the hands of the New York Giants, but that doesnít make me love the Patriots any less, including owner Bob Kraft, who has been an extremely influential figure not only in the NFL, but as a member of the Massachusetts community.
Also, believe it or not, some political stuff did happen this week, like Gov. Deval PatrickĎs plan to revitalize community colleges, Mitt Romney winning Nevada, and Scott Brownís STOCK Act passing the Senate. So letís talk about that, too.
High-Five: Bob Kraft. I really canít say enough about what the Patriots owner has done not only for the franchise, but for the state of Massachusetts in general. Kraft became the owner of the Patriots in 1994, saving them from a move to St. Louis, so itís because of him that the Pats were able to stay in New England and enjoy so much success. He also saved football this year, as an instrumental figure in ending the NFL lockout.
But I donít want to focus solely on Kraftís role in the NFL. The development of Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place after that, financed by the Kraft family, created jobs and revitalized the area, turning a huge lot of land into an open-air shopping center that now buzzes with activity. He and his wife Myra, who died in July, poured millions of dollars into charity over the years.
Itís apparent just from watching interviews with Patriots players that they hugely admire the Kraft family and sincerely mourned Myraís death. Kraft inspires loyalty among everyone that works for him, probably partially because he treats them well; every time the Patriots have made it to the Super Bowl, Kraft has sent every last one of his employees, down to those who work at the pro shop. This may be a politics column, and Kraft might not be a politician, but the impact he has had on this state and the respect he commands locally, nationally, and globally deserves a high-five.
High-Five: Gov. Patrick trying to improve community colleges. Higher education is a complicated issue, but it seems like Patrick has a solid idea of how to boost the stateís 15 community colleges. His plan would centralize funding for the colleges by giving the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education control over the budgets, based on a formula that includes enrollment and performance data.
Patrick aims to implement programs tailored to help students get jobs when they graduate by striking up more partnerships with local employers. Opponents are concerned because community colleges in Massachusetts are typically gateways for students to four-year institutions. If Patrick moves forward with these plans, he needs to make sure to keep that tradition intact.
Dope Slap: Romney wins Nevada Caucus. Yeah, Romney won another state -- big surprise. Nevadaís large Mormon population undoubtedly propelled him to victory and further cemented his front-runner status. I donít like Newt Gingrich better than Romney by any means, but the former Bay State governorís success nonetheless annoys me. Heís not winning because people like him or because they are in any way enthusiastic about him. Heís winning because he has the most money and the most efficient political operation. Mitt Romney, the product nobody really wants, is being shoved down our throats.
High-Five: STOCK Act passes through Senate. Last week, I reported on Scott Brownís sponsorship of the STOCK Act. This week, Iím pleased to announce that it passed overwhelmingly through the Senate in a 96-3 vote. Now the bill just needs to make it through the House before it reaches President Obamaís desk, where he will sign it into law.
'High-Fives and Dope Slaps' is TNGG Boston's weekly politics column, written by Jeff Fish.
Photo of Bob Kraft by BrokenSphere (Wikimedia Commons)
About Jeff -- I'm a senior at Suffolk University, majoring in journalism and political science. I'm the editor-in-chief of my college newspaper, The Suffolk Journal, and I did a six-month co-op at The Boston Globe. I love politics, reading, movies, TV, and anything pop culture. My mind is a font of useless knowledge.
The author is solely responsible for the content.