Maura Healey clear choice for state attorney general

Last modified: Monday, December 15, 2014

Democrat Maura Healey deserves election Tuesday to continue the aggressive activism of the Massachusetts attorney general’s office that has been a hallmark of her former boss, Martha Coakley, who is stepping down to run for governor. The attorney general’s office under Coakley has had a high national profile on issues such as civil rights.

Healey is well qualified to continue that effective leadership because she spent seven years working for Coakley before resigning a year ago to run for the office. Healey began as head of the Civil Rights Division and then was chief of the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau and the Business & Labor Bureau. She managed 250 lawyers and staff members.

She led the successful challenge by Massachusetts to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which limited marriage to a man and woman. If elected, Healey would become the nation’s first openly gay attorney general. She also directed a civil rights case against subprime lenders to recover overcharges.

Healey has been a passionate advocate for protecting women’s access to reproductive health care. After the U.S. Supreme Court this year ruled the Massachusetts buffer zone law unconstitutional, she sent legislative leaders a five-point plan detailing how the state could strengthen protections for women seeking services at reproductive health centers. Healey supports repealing the state law allowing the licensing of three resort casinos, and she has offered detailed recommendations about reducing gun violence and combating prescription drug and heroin abuse.

Her Republican opponent, John B. Miller, has worked for more than 30 years as a lawyer in private practice. He led the international construction law practice at Patton Boggs, and has a doctorate in infrastructure systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Miller’s campaign has focused on how to make state government work better. While his background may be suitable for an administrative position in government, it is not a good fit to be the state’s top law enforcement official.

Healey has the experience, leadership skills and vision needed to be an effective attorney general from the day she takes office and we enthusiastically endorse her election.

Markey for U.S. Senate

After 37 years in the House of Representatives, Democrat Edward J. Markey won a special election last year to fill the Senate seat vacated when John F. Kerry resigned to become secretary of state. Markey now seeks re-election to a full six-year term against Republican challenger Brian J. Herr.

While Markey does not get the national attention of other recent U.S. senators from Massachusetts — including Elizabeth Warren, Kerry and the late Edward M. Kennedy — he has a long track record as an effective legislator. Markey is regarded as an expert on issues ranging from energy and climate change to telecommunications policy.

Herr’s background is in commercial construction and his government experience is limited to various roles in Hopkinton, including chairing its Select Board.

Markey clearly has the edge in experience and deserves election to a full term in the Senate.

Goldberg for treasurer

There are three candidates on the ballot for state treasurer — Democrat Deborah B. Goldberg, Republican Michael J. Heffernan and Ian T. Jackson of the Green-Rainbow party. The incumbent, Steven Grossman, did not seek re-election and instead ran unsuccessfully for governor, losing in the Democratic primary.

Whoever is elected will oversee an office with broad responsibilities, including supervising the lottery, chairing the Massachusetts School Building Authority and overseeing the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, the Pension Reserves Investment Trust Fund and the state retirement board. The job of treasurer requires fiscal experience, strong management skills and an understanding of how state and local governments work together.

Goldberg would bring a strong and varied background to the office. As a member of the family that once owned Stop & Shop supermarkets, Goldberg held a number of executive positions, gaining valuable knowledge about running a business and being an effective manager. She also has local government experience as chairwoman of the Brookline Select Board.

We believe Goldberg is the candidate best suited to be a successful state treasurer.

Story and Kulik

Two incumbent legislators from Hampshire County face challenges Tuesday. We endorse the re-election of Democratic state representatives Ellen Story of Amherst and Stephen Kulik of Worthington.

Story, who is seeking her 12th term from the 3rd Hampshire District, has a long history of leadership on issues including education, children’s services, women’s health, election reform and GMO food labeling.

Her opponent, Kenneth J. Roberts Jr. of Granby, was recruited by the Libertarian Party and his campaign has done little more than parrot its platform.

Story is by far the superior choice for voters in Amherst, Pelham and Precinct 1 of Granby.

Kulik has served 21 years in the House where as vice chairman of the Ways and Means Committee he has a leadership role in preparing the state’s budget and often is a negotiator on conference committees which reconcile legislative differences with the Senate.

Kulik has been a strong leader on many issues including public education, the environment, agriculture, and health insurance, and he has been particularly effective in representing the rural interests of his 1st Franklin District, which includes eight Hampshire County towns. Earlier this year, for example, Kulik was instrumental in shaping a $12.7 billion transportation bond bill which included two major road reconstruction projects in the Hilltowns, and he played a key role in increasing to 90 percent the state’s reimbursement to towns for regional school transportation.

His Republican opponent, Dylan Korpita of Deerfield, has run an aggressive campaign, but his resume would be more appealing if he gained experience in local government before seeking a legislative seat. Kulik served 11 years on the Select Board in Worthington before advancing to the House.

Kulik’s seniority and effectiveness in representing his rural constituents make him the clear choice to be returned to the House by voters in Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Williamsburg, Worthington, Ashfield, Buckland, Conway, Deerfield, Leverett, Montague, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Whately and Chester.


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