BOSTON, MA – “In Deval Patrick’s Massachusetts,” observed Representative Jim Lyons, “terrorists are granted more privacy protection than the police, fire, and first responders who risk their lives for us.
“If this were not such sad and tragic moment in our state history,” Lyons continued, “this action by Governor Patrick would almost be considered a sick comedic punch line. But in these days after the Boston Marathon bombing, the Patrick Administration’s solicitous concern for the privacy of terrorists is pathetic and outrageous.”
Rep. Lyons, an Andover Republican, was referring to an April 25 story in the Boston Herald that reports the Patrick Administration is denying public access to any information regarding taxpayer-funded benefits received by the terrorist Tsarnaev brothers.
“Governor Patrick is shutting out openness and transparency, and opting for a veil of secrecy” said Lyons. “The Patrick Administration is telling decent, hard-working taxpaying families: ‘You have no right to know how your tax dollars supported these murderous terrorists! We will not be accountable for welfare, EBT, housing, unemployment, higher education or any other benefits that we forced you taxpayers to grant to the terrorists.
“In the Patrick Administration,” Lyons added, “the public right to know doesn’t matter. The primary rights belong to those terrorists who collected taxpayer-funded subsidies.”
Lyons noted the world-turned-upside-down aspect of the governor’s secrecy. Right now, the income, retirement, and other earned benefits received by our police, fire, and other first responders are all a matter of public record. Citizens, taxpayers, and the media have access to information regarding public safety employees at all times.
“Those who work daily to protect us and our children,” Lyons noted, “understand that in our open society, the public has a `right to know.’ These are our police and fire and other public safety workers – persons we respect and rely upon.
“But Governor Patrick pulls down the curtain of secrecy,” Lyons continued, “to shield a couple of evil terrorists from public scrutiny.”
Lyons has pledged to work tirelessly to right this wrong. He promised to craft legislation that will expand public access to information about taxpayer expenditures.
“Something in state government is completely out-of-order,” Lyons emphasized, “when felons, murderers, and terrorists are granted more privacy rights than police, fire, and first responders.”