Beacon Hill flux

By EDITORIAL  |  March 28, 2007

Astute and technology-savvy local bloggers, including the trio of activists at Blue Mass Group, Northeastern’s Dan Kennedy, WBZ’s Jon Keller, and the Phoenix’s David S. Bernstein (read this editorial at for hyperlinks) all have differing views about what Governor Patrick’s initiative will mean and how it should be refined.

In our view, it is a welcome innovation. It’s also classic Deval: innovative, but less than perfectly executed. Secretary of State William Galvin performed a valuable public service by pointing out that the state’s voter roles face potential corruption as a result of Team Patrick’s sloppy execution — that is, initially publishing citizens’ home addresses. Dan Kennedy is particularly good on this point.

The inadequacies will be addressed, and already the potential for this powerful tool to be hijacked and co-opted by special pleaders and special interests is being realized. But democracy is, by its very nature, an untidy enterprise. If the governor’s scheme gives him leverage to do what he was elected to do, the state legislature may not like it, but we are betting that voters will.

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