SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election Forum

October 12, 2012

Column: Restoring balance to the Governor's Council

(Continued)

Here are some reasons why.

In 2003, judge Maria Lopez resigned amid public outcry at her lenient sentence of issuing probation to a transgendered convict, Charles Horton, who was convicted of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy. She was a controversial judge first appointed under the recommendation of the Governor’s Council by then-Gov. Michael Dukakis. The appointment has long been regarded as an example of a one-party rule leaning toward political appointees that support strong progressive principles that sometimes may not be beneficial to the collective interests of a community.

In a more recent issue, the Ware report in 2010 exposed the rampant nepotism and patronage that was virtually codified in the state’s probation department led by Commissioner John O’Brien.

So what can one person do to counter the forces of public disinterest that dominate our politics? Plenty, when that person advocates along time-honored principles of representation without conflict and self-interest.

This year, it seems particularly appealing to deliver a candidate to the Statehouse who is a mom, teacher and community-based activist, rather than an attorney or professional politician, which is the usual qualification for this post. Thanks to Maura Ciardiello, we can avail ourselves of the opportunity to send a message on Nov. 6 that tolerance for public servants who do not serve the public need not apply.

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Joe D’Amore writes from Groveland.

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