Ah, these criticisms of Mitt Romney by Paul Cellucci and Joe Malone bring back memories — of when Cellucci and Malone were running against each other for the Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1998. A big part of Malone’s campaign was charging Cellucci with being a big spender, like Michael Dukakis. With the early ’90s budget crisis resolved and the surpluses rolling in, spending was starting to rise at two to three times the rate of inflation.
Cellucci and Malone also had a race to see who could endorse a rollback of the state income tax rate to 5 percent faster. Malone ended up endorsing the rollback first, but it was Gov. Cellucci who helped pass the ballot measure that made it a reality — almost. The Democratic legislature froze the voter-approved rollback at 5.3 percent in 2002, during what would have still been Cellucci’s term if he hadn’t up and moved to Canada to serve as an ambassador.
I’ll give Cellucci credit for helping to knock down the income tax rate from 5.85 percent to 5.3 percent. But it was under his handpicked successor, Jane Swift, that the Democrats derailed the voters’ decision to have it go all the way back down to the pre-Dukakis 5 percent.
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