By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – I’d be tempted to call Sunday’s Boston Globe account of the gross financial mismanagement of the Green Line extension by the MBTA unbelievable – if it weren’t so believable.

According to the Globe, “even after four contracts related to the long-awaited Green Line extension project were approved at a price more than 44 percent over budget,” Patrick administration officials rushed ahead on the multi-billion dollar job so that they could win a federal grant “before the Governor’s term ends,” according to a Beverly Scott e-mail.

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The result – shoddy oversight produced deeply-flawed budgets giving away the store to contractors, and stuffed with “extravagant” designs and expensive community sweeteners.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

The entire project is now in jeopardy, and a state bailout could strip scarce resources away from other infrastructure needs.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

This is the same sorry story of the Big Dig, a needed project propelled at warp speed by the carrot of federal cost-sharing, corrupted by flagrant politicization of the process, and bungled by incompetents.

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Now it’s up to the Baker administration to dig us out of this latest mudslide.

Baker was a co-conspirator in the Big Dig fiasco back in the day; that puts extra pressure on him to not play games with this travesty.

But hey, some good news: I just came up with that new Massachusetts state slogan we’ve been looking for.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

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Jon Keller