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Deval Patrick for governor

Plus, endorsements for attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, and the state ballot questions.

11/2/2006 5:48:27 PM

After 16 years of Republican rule, it is time to return a Democrat and a leader with a sense of humanity to the governor’s office. It is in that spirit — and for other reasons as well — that we urge voters next week to vote for Deval Patrick. It will come as no surprise to regular readers of this page that we believe the reign of Mitt Romney has been a series of false starts and misconceived policies. Among his many disappointments, his first lay in choosing the supremely unqualified Kerry Healey to be his lieutenant governor. And his most defining action has been to surrender his office in all but name after only two years of service in order to pursue the Republican nomination for president. Massachusetts deserves better.

Deval Patrick is an immensely inspiring talent. Just 18 months ago he was a political novelty, an outsider bent on showing the go-along-to-get-along elements of the Democratic Party that intelligence and integrity still hold strong appeal for Massachusetts’s voters. It looks like his gambit is going to pay off.

If it does, Patrick will have his work cut out for him. Some critics rightly point out that despite impressive service in President Bill Clinton’s Justice Department and his tenure in the upper reaches of corporate America, Patrick has never had a job in which the buck ultimately stopped with him. That, of course, is true. But few come to any governor’s office having held that sort of responsibility. What Patrick offers the citizens of Massachusetts is hope: that we can do better, that we will do better, that we can be better. That’s a tall order, but we believe Patrick is the man for the challenge. And his running mate, Worcester mayor Tim Murray, shows the able promise of helping Patrick redirect and re-energize state government.

Attorney General
Middlesex County District Attorney Martha Coakley deserves your vote. Coakley is a fine prosecutor with solid progressive instincts. And that is critical because the attorney general’s office is largely about establishing legal priorities. Against what ills do you use your resources, the most important of which are the lawyers on the AG’s staff? Coakley will likely continue to prioritize the best of outgoing AG Tom Reilly’s efforts in the realms of consumer protection, child safety, and racial discrimination. Like others supporting her candidacy, we’re counting on her to be more aggressive on gay rights and health-care issues, and to take more-vigorous stands on political corruption — especially that black hole of special interests known as the Big Dig.

Secretary of State
Incumbent Bill Galvin may not be flashy, but he’s good, and he’s serious. Galvin deserves re-election.


It boggles the mind that the Republicans could not field a viable candidate to challenge incumbent Democrat Tim Cahill, who has done a competent job in his first term, but has not demonstrated great leadership in this important office. We would like to be able to recommend Green candidate James O’Keefe, a software engineer making his second run. But he is even less impressive. So we recommend a vote for Cahill in the hope that a second term will inspire the treasurer to better use his office to the economic benefit of the commonwealth’s citizens.

Incumbent Joe DeNucci is one of the few in state government (along with Inspector General Gregory Sullivan) who has actually tried to do something about the Big Dig fiasco at a time when it might have mattered. It’s not DeNucci’s fault that few on Beacon Hill paid attention to the reports and warnings he issued. DeNucci deserves to be re-elected. There is, however, reason to consider voting for Rand Wilson, who is running on the ticket of the Working Families Party. If Wilson can capture three percent of the vote — as seems possible, due to the backing of some progressive unions — the Working Families ticket will get ballot status in the 2008 elections.

Ballot questions
Question One, the so-called wine-at-food-stores initiative, may not be perfect, but neither is it as evil as its opponents would have voters believe. It will increase convenience for consumers while maintaining local control over licenses and caps on the number of permits any chain can hold. We urge a yes vote.

Question Two would allow a small party, such as the Green and Working Families Parties, to cross list the candidate of another party. This is a creative measure that would increase the leverage and influence of smaller parties inside the existing political structure. It’s a creative reform that aims at inclusion and political cross-pollination. Vote yes on Question Two.

Question Three would allow unions to organize workers at small, almost mom-and-pop daycare centers. Sounds good, but it isn’t. It’s the brainchild of a single union that is trying to increase its bargaining power with the state, and there is no credible evidence that it will do anything to improve either standards or the quality of care itself. Vote no on Question Three.

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  • DEVILS IN THE DETAILS:   John McCain or Mitt Romney: Hard to say who’s worse
  • FROM VIETNAM TO IRAQ:   Corrosive wars that destroy the social fabric of democracy and the institutional integrity of political life
  • WHAT NOW?:   Republican defeats are just the first step in turning the nation around. Plus, the constitutional imperative of gay marriage.
  • THE MORMONATOR:   Mitt Romney’s blinding ambition. Plus, the inexplicable opposition to an Armenian-genocide memorial.
  • MUGGED BY REALITY:   North Korea, Iran, Iraq, and those pesky congressional scandals have finally caught up with George W. Bush
  • HEALEY'S HYPOCRISY:   In the matter of the LaGuer controversy, Patrick was a disappointment, but the Lt. Governor was a disgrace
  • FOLEYGATE:   The former congressman’s true crime
  • BEING GAY IN THE GOP:   Congressman Mark Foley: A model of political hypocrisy and personal cowardice
  • FEAR ITSELF:   Reflections on a disturbing, but undeniable phenomenon

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