Gov. Patrick’s Priorities: Dying Girl? No. Illegal Radio Station? Absolutely!

deval fingers crossed

The only reason Justina Pelletier is trapped in a psych facility, denied treatment for her mitochondrial disorder and kept away from her family except for one hour a week is because the state of Massachusetts’ DCF keeps going to court and demanding it.  And who is in charge of DCF? Gov. Deval Patrick.

For more than 14 months, Gov. Patrick has refused to make the single phone call that would free her. Justina could be home in Connecticut with her family right now (where, if they chose to, the CT DCF could investigate the family) if Gov. Patrick simply called DCF and said “drop the case.”

He won’t. Maybe because Deval is too busy calling the federal government on behalf of an illegal Boston radio station:

On Thursday, federal agents shut down the unlicensed radio station TOUCH 106.1FM, located in the Grove Hall neighborhood around Roxbury and Dorchester. The station billed itself as “the fabric of the black community” and had been on the air for eight years. On Friday, Governor Deval Patrick called out the FCC for what he felt were rash actions towards a local media staple.

“I’m incredibly disappointed,” Patrick said to the Boston Globe. “I understand what the legal basis is, but you’d like to think of their bringing more of a problem-solving approach. TOUCH is a pretty important voice in the community. I’ve been on it many times and have tremendous respect for the team over there.”

Governor Patrick has made several appearances on TOUCH***, as have other local politicos, despite it not being licensed.

For eight years, this radio station has been operating illegally. The federal government finally treats it the same way it would treat any other illegal radio station…and Gov. Patrick steps up to defend them in a way he refuses to help Justina. What has she done wrong? What have her parents done that’s illegal?

The Globe notes further that the governor has been in contact with a lawyer on behalf of TOUCH, as well as with FCC officials in Washington D.C., in hopes of getting Clemons and company back on the air.

Regulating the airwaves is a federal job. It has nothing to do with Gov. Patrick. Calling them is irrelevant. And whether you’re a fan of Touch 106. 1 or not, they were clearing breaking the law for years. Gov. Patrick was supporting a criminal enterprise, entirely beyond the scope of his job.

Regulating DCF, however, is entirely the job of Gov. Patrick. He can fire any and every member of the staff tomorrow. Olga Roche works directly for Deval. One phone call and stuff happens. But he won’t make that call. He won’t make it on behalf of a girl who is dying, and who has done nothing wrong.

So an illegal radio station is more important to Gov. Patrick than a dying girl?


***On an entirely personal and petty note, how hilarious is it that Gov. Patrick appeared on an ILLEGAL radio station, but refused to appear a single time on my show–even when he was in the WTKK studios with me.


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Michael Graham
Radio talk show host, columnist for the Boston Herald, stand-up comic and former GOP political consultant. Learn more about Michael here.

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