Friday, September 15, 2006

Résumé or Rap Sheet, No to Wilkerson

Old New York and Old Boston and Old Chicago loved 'em -- those crooked pols. Well, they're not cute anymore, if they ever were. The stakes are too high. Dianne Wilkerson has to go, either by voters or maybe by her own through continued skirting or breaking of the law.

Let us not choose between good, progressive laws and ethical, legal behavior. Vote Sonia Chang-Diaz on September 19th in the Democratic primary for Second Suffolk State Senator. We strongly endorse her candidacy.

You can go to the Herald, Globe, Blue Mass Group and on and on to find lists of her crimes, oversights and pending troubles. The occasional blunder makes you human. Habitual lawbreaking and ethical violations should make you the ex-senator. It looks like a fair chance she could serve time for perjury -- do you really want a legislature who testifies falsely in court? She has admitted not filing taxes, maybe trying to shift the economic burden to the rest of us. There so much more, so many times.

Apparently expediency trumps morality for many on this choice. That's understandable but wrong-headed. Unquestionably, Wilkerson has sponsored or supported a lot of great lefty legislation. She's been a civil rights advocate of eloquence and passion. She has strongly championed gay rights, including same-sex marriage.

So, it's no surprise that many in the old lawmakers club, boys and girls, are in her camp. So is Mass Equality and Bay Windows. That's a pity, because we don't have to put up with amoral and scofflaw behavior to get a good senator.

It's like the old-style Western movies. She's the sheriff character. She helped clean up the town and drive the bad guys out. Now you're likely to find her snoozing. She can't remember where she put her gun -- or the contents of the town safe. It's time.

Even where Wilkerson is not skirting laws, she seems so befuddled that her efficiency and effectiveness suffer. She seems so distracted correcting errors that she can't do the work at hand. Telling us she's human and not perfect doesn't cut it.

Give Wilkerson a hearty and sincere thank you. Hell, give her a nice plaque. Name a civil-rights award after her. Then put her on the porch where she can't do more harm.

Yes, she did good things, quite a few of them. Now we have every reason to believe that Sonia Chang-Diaz would be at least as effective a legislator. She knows the players and process by experience. She understands the issues and comes down on the right side with solid proposals. She is highly articulate and convincing.

She also campaigns on accountability and honesty. She promises one essential thing that even after all of her blunders Wilkerson refuses, ethical behavior and no lawbreaking.

In short, we don't have to choose between ethics and effectiveness.

Thank you, Dianne. Welcome, Sonia.

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Anonymous said...

Wilkerson has been great, and I can't say that strongly enough. But she has also done herself in. She needs to take a break, get herself together, then come back for a fresh start. I can understand why MassEquality endorses her. After all, they promise to support those who support us, and Diane has clearly done that. At their request, I have in past attended Wilkerson fundraisers and donated money to her campaign. I can't do that any more. As you say, she has passed the "a few honest mistakes" mark. I don't fault their endorsement of her, but I'm going my own quiet way (Chang-Diaz) on this one. I suspect I won't be alone in making this quiet, respectful exit from the Wilkerson camp. I do sincerely wish her the best.

massmarrier said...

I could agree more with her legislative record. So many in General Court just coast and occasionally sign on to a chum's bills. She's been out there.

It is a pity that she seems so out of control on other aspects of her life.