Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Image: Flickr user Pierre LaScott
After declaring this “Car-Free Week” in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick was caught by Boston’s CBS affiliate being driven to work in the back of his Chevrolet Tahoe. In classic do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do political form, Patrick was quick to point out that he was merely carpooling with his state police assigned driver.
Car-Free Week was declared in Massachusetts as an extension of Car-Free Thursday, which is a worldwide initiative to do without the automobile on Thursday, September 22. Some 1,000 cities, spread across 40 countries are participating.
Taking public transportation would have been a legitimate possibility for the governor, who lives within walking distance of three transit stations. Some would point out that this poses a security risk, but the governor, unlike regular commuters, would be accompanied by his state police bodyguards.
Patrick acknowledged his gaffe, chalking it up to a busy schedule this week and calling Car-Free Week a “great initiative for people who can make the most of it.” In other words, common people without busy schedules, state-issued cars or state police chauffeurs.