Endorsements on Parade: Winning by a Statewide Margin…
Beyond the Governor’s office, there are others that have a critical role in the function of government. Who wins voters’ support on Tuesday could have an incredible impact on policy and administration of the commonwealth.
Is US Senator really a down ballot race? No. Technically it outranks governor, but the race is not nearly as competitive as the gubernatorial election. Neither, it must be noted, are the candidates as even matched by all other discernible measures. Even were that the case, Ed Markey deserves a full term in the Senate.
Although an incredibly junior senator, Markey brings a great deal to the job. A longtime member of the House from Malden, he develop a knack for particularly technical, but also critical issues like energy and climate change. Although such legislation has minimal chances in the Senate and almost zero in the House and Markey does not sit on related committees, it is invaluable to have his experience in the Senate as we face the warming of the Earth. On countless other issues, he is a workhorse.
Markey’s opponent, Brian Herr, a Hopkinton Selectman, does not really have much to offer. We agree with opposition to casinos, but much of his platform is widely out of step with Massachusetts and certainly with us.
Markey may, to some extent, serve in Senator Elizabeth Warren’s shadow, but they complement each other well for the good of Massachusetts and the nation. We urge that voters keep that partnership going and return Markey to the Senate on Tuesday November 4.
With Martha Coakley running for governor, the commonwealth’s chief law enforcement officer slot is open. During the primary, we emphatically backed Maura Healey for the Democratic nomination. In the general, she retains our support. Healey, a former Deputy AG, is facing John Miller, an attorney with an international lobbying law firm. Miller has tried to make this race about how Healey used to work in the AG’s office and therefore is tainted. Such is the stuff of nonsense.
Miller’s argument might carry more weight if he had not made a living representing concerns that make millions on government contracts or working for a firm that regularly lobbies attorneys general. Supporters have praised his intellect. However, intelligence is a morally neutral attribute. How it is used is what matters.
Healey has already shown she can and will leverage the law for the good of the commonwealth and its people. Healey has not only the record of accomplishment and the commitment to reducing gun violence, enforcing civil rights and protecting workers and consumers. She has put together in-depth plans to address these and other matters. Her promise to take on the issues is not just window dressing. For Healey, the issues are real and she is prepared to tackle them for the good of the commonwealth. Vote for Maura Healey for Attorney General on Tuesday November 4.
Treasurer & Receiver-General
As Steve Grossman sought the governor’s office, the commonwealth’s top financial official is open as well. The office is hardly Massachusetts’s highest profile post, but with control over the lottery, Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, and the Massachusetts School Building Authority, its importance cannot be overstated. The candidate with the right mix of experience for this truly diverse post is Deb Goldberg.
Goldberg, whose family once owned Stop & Shop some years ago, has served as Select Board member in Brookline and has been active in political causes for some time. She has emphasized using the commonwealth’s leverage as a user of financial services to encourage progressive policies. Her business experience checks the financial boxes. However, it is ultimately her select board tenure that catches our eye. Select Boards exist on the smallest of towns, Brookline is quite different from most of its peers. Though, affluent, it is a mix of urban and suburban tucked next to Boston. The Treasurer’s office deals in policy that affects municipalities and a perspective about their needs and challenges is eminently useful.
Mike Heffernan, Goldberg’s opponent, has a financial background as well, but in our view he overemphasizes that at the expense of the diversity of the post’s responsibilities. Treasurer, despite its title is not a bean counter.
We need more than that and we will get it in Deb Goldberg for Treasurer on Tuesday November 4.
Secretary of the Commonwealth
The battle between incumbent William Galvin and challenger David D’Arcangelo, a Malden City Councilor has at times seemed a bit one dimensional. D’Arcangelo has criticized the results of his own pursuit of public records from Galvin’s office. As Secretary Galvin oversees public records. But beyond that narrow point of contention, Galvin has administered the commonwealth’s election laws, lobbyist files and, yes, even public records laws well, such that he deserves reelection.
This is a unique situation for us, because as a blog focused on politics, we are also a prodigious user of the records, files and laws Galvin administers. Anecdotally, we are satisfied customers.
Starting at the top, we have appealed denial of records to the Secretary. We have lost some and we have won some. There are patent deficiencies in Massachusetts’s public records law, and Galvin has advocated corrections. Perhaps his advocacy could be stronger, but he is in favor of better record laws. His office has consistently been helpful as we have pursued public records appeals.
On other areas, the lobbyist and corporation files are accessible and kept up to date. Election administration has been without major complaint. Galvin stepped in swiftly during East Longmeadow’s fraud troubles in 2012. He was upset that it happened, but he took action. Then of course there is the voluminous election records he has made accessible online.
D’Arcangelo’s complaint and argument seem, frankly, small. The office has not been run perfectly, but the complaints D’Arcangelo has of Galvin are meager. You do not stop going to a restaurant because once or twice your burger comes out medium instead of medium well. Nor will we fire the chef. Reelect William Galvin as Secretary of State on Tuesday November 4.
This one is particularly difficult. Incumbent Suzanne Bump is seeking reelection facing Patricia Saint Aubin. On the whole we are satisfied with Bump’s administration and are wholly unimpressed by Saint Aubin. However, to nitpick, there are a couple of areas that give us pause on giving Bump our nod.
Bump is the better choice than Saint Aubin. She has released several audits, some of them fearlessly challenging the powers that be in both Boston and Springfield. We love that. We can understand the reservations some had in 2010, but she revived an office that, as The Globe noted, withered under her predecessor. However, like The Globe, there is a concern about the number of audits performed. They appear to be behind the pace needed to fulfill her statutory obligation to audit all departments every three years. Her answer, yes fewer audits, but better ones just does not cut it.
Let not this stand as an invitation to elect Saint Aubin instead. Quite unlike The Globe, we cannot bring ourselves to back her. The Globe cites Saint Aubin’s background in accounting, but that was decades ago. Our concern over Bump’s auditing rhythm does not supersede the expiration date on Saint Aubin’s qualifications. Reading her background on her website, Saint Aubin seems to not even highlight what The Globe divined from her.
We expect Bump to win and hopefully carry on and expand upon the work done, but there is catching up to be done. For that reason we withhold our endorsement for auditor this cycle.