Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tom Reilly: Taking a Bow as He Exits Stage Left

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Now that Tom Reilly's about to go his wayward way, he's actually doing a little good. He's taking the fight to the feds on behalf of the people - which is exactly the kind of inspired leadership that could have gotten him elected Governor if he had done these things several years ago. I applaud his efforts in taking Bechtel to task - and if that's why he was so quiet during the primary, he would have said so. He'd have gotten praise, not scorn.

Sometimes elections make good people do bad things. Sometimes it makes them do good things. It can all be very confusing; no one really knew who Tom Reilly was. Was he the politician who thought our state couldn't afford reductions to the income tax at this time, or was he the guy who thought we needed to cut taxes no matter what (schools would have to have layoffs)? Was he the politician that was opposed to gay marriage, or the one who was in favor of it, but not in favor of investigating fraudulent signatures to push marriage-banning amendments? Confusing!

With three very good stories all coming out of Reilly's office within a few days, I'm kinda feeling proud of the guy (especially over the very non-fancy environmental case and trying to block the LNG plant in Fall River, even if he lost) . He's leaving on a very high, graceful note. The pressures about having to worry about politics while running an Attorney General's office was poisonous, though that's sadly no excuse. It turned him into a slightly mean, obfuscating politician that only 24% of the state would vote for - and that was a sad truth. I'm glad he didn't just hunker down after his loss and actually did something with his last remaining days in office. Kudos to him - these three cases could restore his legacy as an Attorney General.

It almost makes me want to suggest to a certain incoming Attorney General to avoid even thinking about running for higher office in the years ahead. Massachusetts needs an Attorney General willing to get in the hell-pits of the federal government. The Bay State needs an AG willing to protect our environment even if there are no political rewards - and willing to fight hard even if public opinion is an ugly beast on the loose.

2 comments:

Aaron said...

I appreciate the kind words toward the AG. However, the confusion over his lack of support for gay marriage seems to belong only to you. He supports gay marriage, stating in an interview from February 2005 that "Once right are given they should not be taken away."

I know many people disagree with our Blue Laws, as do I, but the Attorney General cannot pick and choose which laws to enforce.

Ryan Adams said...

I'm not talking about enforcing laws. He was against gay marriage before he was for it. He didn't pay the fraudalant ballots the due they deserved. It's all in the past, though, and he eventually came to the right conclusion and no harm was done.

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