Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kerry Healey -- Limits of Duct Tape

Surely our Beverly bobble head and her shiny pated companion have realized they lost, and extremely, nearly three months ago in the race for our top offices. However, their minions may still be under the covers, hiding their shame.

We have wondered when they might climb the tatty pole in West Roxbury to remove the duct tape affixing the campaign sign. It is on Belgrade Avenue around the curve from Lords and Ladies and Roche Brothers.

It is in a doubly apt location -- abutting the rubble of a failed gas station and duct taped to credit card logos. The first is a metaphor for their dirty campaign and the latter one for right-wing politics in general.

That silver duct tape has done a marvelous job keeping this sign attached long after the campaign fell apart. There was little this miracle adhesive system could have done for the candidates themselves.

Blunder Update: The first version of this assumed Healey would get a standard stipend for quasi-governmental boards. When I got an email response from the MTC, I learned that their directors receive no pay.

So now Kerry Healey will enjoy her lovely parting gift from outgoing Governor Willard Mitt Romney. Her appointment to the board of the quasi-governmental Massachusetts Technology Collaborative may have been the nicest thing Cap'n Brylcreem did for her when they were in office together.

Also, unlike Romney as arriviste governor, Deval Patrick did not strip Healey of this sinecure. That would have been such a Republican thing to do. In fact, the Cap'n rescinded 27 appointments made by Acting Governor Jane Swift.

We must note that there was some defense here in that in making the Healey gift. It was predictable sleazy politics at its most typical. Romney removed the much brighter, highly experienced and more competent Gloria C. Larson, a Republican who had endorsed Patrick in the recent election. For those keeping tabs, here's 1 mud for Republicans and 1 sky for Democrats.

No one gets rich serving on a board such as this. Even so, for an erstwhile lieutenant governor with a very scant list of accomplishments, being able to claim at least a finger on the rudder of new technology will be a big boost. It's quite a step up from the local hospital and community college boards.

In case, you aren't sure what the Westborough-based collaborative does. They are happy to do the soft shoe for you:
What We Do

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is the state’s development agency for renewable energy and the innovation economy, which is responsible for one-quarter of all jobs in the state. MTC administers the John Adams Innovation Institute and the Renewable Energy Trust. We work to stimulate economic activity in communities throughout the Commonwealth.

2005 Annual ReportAs our name suggests, we use a collaborative approach to achieving the organization’s mission. We bring together leaders from industry, academia, and government to advance technology-based solutions that lead to economic growth and a cleaner environment in Massachusetts.
In other words, they gamble, à la venture capitalists, with funds to help jump start companies with seed funds. It's good stuff and when it pays off, we all benefit from new jobs and a stronger economy.

So, the board is huge and diverse, but she'll be able to claim a disproportionate influence if her campaign is any indication. Whatever comes next, she should remember to thank Deval.

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