Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Always Impressive Eileen Donoghue

Thanks to the always-impressive blogging of the great Lynne Lupien, I've been introduced and reintroduced (at least electronically) to the wonderful Eileen Donoghue. Today, Eileen took a courageous and politically risky choice to wade into the murky waters of one the ugliest of Lowell political battles yet, which is saying a lot. For those of you not familiar with Lowell, 6 members of the Lowell city council appear to have violated state law by axing a city manager employee's position (for political reasons). Here's what Eileen had to say from the link above,
The troubling fact is that the six councilors’ recent action would appear to violate the spirit and intent of the Plan E form of government — and sets some dangerous precedents going forward. Simply restoring funding for the position, then, while a necessary step, would not seem to be a fully adequate remedy.

In this regard, Massachusetts General Law chapter 43, section 107 provides that neither the City Council nor any of its members “shall direct or request … or in any way take part in” the removal of any person in that portion of the city government for whose administration the city manager is responsible. The framers of this law thought this check and balance was so important that there are serious penalties for a violation of the statute, including fines, prison time, removal from office, and even making the elected official permanently ineligible for “any office or position, elective or otherwise, in the service of the city.”
...
To condone the action of the six councilors here is to set a dangerous precedent. If they can “de-fund” the manager’s assistant this year, maybe next year they will de-fund the city’s CFO or the DPD director or whoever else is not to their liking. In addition, if they can appropriate the manager’s authority with respect to personnel, what will stop them from unduly interfering with his duties and responsibilities in other respects?
One of my least favorite things about politics is the fact that it makes a lot of very good people risk-averse. Not many people choose to wade in hot waters, because what's in it for them? That's how the thinking goes, even when the issues are front and center, imperative to government and society. Being risk-averse may help someone get elected, but it doesn't always help government run effectively. It doesn't help make what's right become what happens. It's often how good policy dies.

Eileen Donoghue should be credited for standing up for what's right, for acting like the grown-up in a room full of kids -- and for having political fortitude aplenty. We need more Eileen Donoghues.

She's also a very talented politician, smart and competent. For those who don't remember, she was about a week or two away from winning Nicki Tsongas's seat, a seat Tsongas almost embarrassingly lost to an inept Republican, a narrowly-missed national embarrassment. I didn't know much about Donoghue back then; I'm glad I know more now.

In fact, I wish I had the chance to vote for Donoghue for something... like, say, State Treasurer. Hmm? After years of Cahill's gross incompetence, maybe we could use someone like a Donoghue -- someone who's not a Beacon Hill insider, someone with talent, intelligence, drive... and ethics. Oodles and oodles of ethics. Eileen?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seems to me she might make a good AG, assuming there's a vacancy there.

Anonymous said...

Risk averse???
OMG, Ryan! HOw I love to read those comments!
It doesn't matter on what level you listen but its become politically incorect or something to criticize local pols and tell the truth. Doing so risks local enemies of the buddies, cronies and small minds too lazy to read the law or understand how government is supposed to work.We have become tolerant of incompetence at all levels and willing to endorse the superficial smile or white teeth.
We need candidates of substance who know the law and are willing to take a stand.
Cahill? Sorry! But I think he's toast and he's digging himself deeper with each dumb maneuver.

Anonymous said...

as someone who actually lives in Lowell and voted in the 5th district election, there was no chance ogonowski was going to win. tsongas won rather easily. it wasnt a blowout because nobody thought it would be close. most people didn't bother to vote in a special election. everyone knows the democratic primary was the real battle. eileen wouldnt have done any better.

victor said...

its a really intresting post ,,
thanks



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victor
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victor said...

its a really intresting post ,,
thanks



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victor
For 3 Months Enjoy Free 28 Premium Movie Channels

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