Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Leaving the Important Things to Last

So, Governor Patrick's appointing cronies or something to state bonding positions, or something. Except, well, he's not. That's basically the gist of this much-ado-about-nothing article.

The Globe's saying they got their hands on an email showing that the Governor wants to replace Benson Caswell with Senator Marian Walsh as executive director of Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority. Apparently, she has zero qualifications for the job...
A former Suffolk County prosecutor and longtime legislator, Walsh has no detailed job experience in public bonds and nonprofit debt. The current executive director, Benson T. Caswell, has an extensive background in the field.
At least, if the Globe's going to continue with their insinuations, you'd think they'd discuss what Senator Walsh could bring to the table right up top, right? No. You have to wait all the way to the second to last paragraph for it. Correct me if I'm wrong: this isn't a bad resume, right? (Emphasis mine.)
Walsh holds a theological degree from Harvard Divinity School and a law degree from Suffolk University. She has broad exposure to state finances and financial regulation. She served as Senate chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Joint Committee on Banks and Banking. She also led efforts in the Senate to force private, nonprofit organizations to open their books to the public.
Instead, at the beginning of the article, they make it sound as if she has no experience and would be a terrible choice. Furthermore, they don't even discuss why the administration may be wanting to make a switch - there's just an assumption that the person currently holding the post is doing a swell job. Is he? We don't know; the Globe never goes there.

Throughout the article, the Globe makes it sound like Patrick is going back on a campaign promise - that lawmakers need not apply for administration positions - but he made no such promise. In fact, the Globe admitted as much buried deep in the article. (Emphasis mine.)
Within days of his landslide election, Patrick took a tough stand against patronage, warning legislators they would be wasting their time pressuring him to hire their cronies or supporters. He did say he would not exclude lawmakers or their supporters from taking jobs in his administration, but said he would seek only the most qualified for the jobs that he fills.
Believe it or not, a state lawmaker of more than a decade has a ton of experience on many issues. They often know both policy and how things really work. They also know how best to advocate for their agency inside the statehouse, which can't be underrated. They're obviously not the only people qualified for administration positions, but clearly they're not the only people being hired for the job: Patrick's taken on three legislators to administration posts since being elected - he's not exactly Governor Patronick. Anyone else fail to see the problem - or story - here?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Governor has consistently played the patronage game and this is no different. Doug Petersen clearly was a patronage appointment although it was pretty good news that his sorry ass was no longer representing the 8th Essex.

Ryan Adams said...

Again, I bring up the concrete fact of there having been only 3 appointments coming from the state leg. Luckily, for the state dept. of ag resources, there's a lot of stellar people working under Doug Petersen, so his movement to there was a definite all-around net plus. LOL.

Anonymous said...

How you can justify Petersen's appointment as Agriculture boss is remarkable. The closest he ever got to agriculture was the fact that he was full of crap. The man is a hack and the appointment was a disgrace.

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