Gov’s interim announcement at 11am

Bumped - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

Word is that he’s choosing his former Chief of Staff Mo Cowan. That’s a helI of an introduction to public life, if so. And I’m not sure I like the symbolism of it. Gov knows Mo – but what about  the public?

Well, we’ll see.



Discuss

70 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. who?

    This seems an odd choice on the part of the governor, if the reports are true.

    Here’s a little background on Cowen:
    http://stoughton.patch.com/articles/stoughton-resident-mo-cowan-to-step-down-as-governor-patricks-chief-of-staff

  2. Boston.com is reporting that the Governor is picking Cowan.

    Personally, I’m pretty disappointed in the appointment and the whole process. Cowan may be a very bright guy, but he’s never served in elected office, he’s never worked for a legislative body, and has zero experience in Congress. I’m sure he’ll vote the right way, but given the importance of the issues that will be debated over the next several months, it would have been nice for him to pick someone that actually knows how to legislate.

  3. Loudly sends the wrong messages

    My immediate reaction is that this choice sends a too-long list of wrong messages — I see very few positive aspects to counterbalance this. Maybe the community can help flesh these out. Bear in mind that I started writing this comment literally about 30 seconds after reading the news.

    Positives:
    - Strong statement about diversity in government. This has a negative doppelganger, though — see below
    - Strong statement about Deval Patrick’s independence. He’s certainly distancing himself from the powers that be in the Democratic Party.
    - No distraction from the race for the interim seat. Mr. Cowan will not provide ammunition for Scott Brown (or whoever runs from the GOP) against the Democratic nominee, and will not raise the bar for the Democratic candidate (nobody will ask whether the elected candidate is a step backward from Senator Cowan).
    - Perhaps a diversionary tactic — Governor Patrick may intend to attract fire from the racist right, and thereby make the path easier for the Democratic nominee. This appointment is red meat for the racist right — we can only hope it’s an intentional strategy to flush them out.

    Negatives:
    - “Affirmative Action” appointment: Invites a racist attack against Deval Patrick, the Democratic Party, and even Barack Obama by seeming to be an “affirmative action” appointment made on his demographics rather than his qualifications.
    - More insider politics: Strikingly vulnerable to the charge that Governor Patrick chose Mr. Cowan either because of his race or because of his ties to Governor Patrick.
    - Incompetent: There is NO WAY to convincingly argue that Mr. Cowan will be more effective than Barney Frank during the period he will serve.
    - Dangerous: Puts a literal neophyte in the middle of the most important domestic policy confrontation that America has faced in generations. This appointment metaphorically hands a Bushmaster with a 200-round cartridge to a three year old.
    - Poisons the water: Makes the political climate far worse for the next Democratic nominee for Governor. While I enthusiastically support the Governor’s tax proposals, they have already made waters rough. This appointment creates political hurricane for the next Democratic nominee to navigate.

    My bottom line is that this appointment is so “out there” that I can only hope the political professionals who advise Mr. Patrick are on-board and see aspects of the political calculus that are well beyond my feeble amateur insights.

    • We are

      … not so feeble, btw.

      Did you know that on Nov 6th, 157,000 Democrats voted for the first time in their lives? Find one (we can help) and put June 25th on their calendar – TODAY!

      John Walsh, Chair
      Massachusetts Semocratic Party

      PS – Some context: Scott Brown won in ’10 by 109,000 votes (51/precinct).

    • Affirmative Action

      The Senate is in dire need of more minority voices, and Mr. Cowan is by all reports a capable individual. He’s hardly a neophyte either; his experience may not come from Washington but working for the Governor in the Legislature isn’t exactly an easy job. Isn’t this a a fantastic place to defend affirmative action? Shouldn’t we recognize that this is exactly the sort of situation where demographics are in fact experience? It’s good to recognize the risks, but this is a fight worth fighting, and it might be a good time to fight it.

    • Not sure of this criticism

      I’m not sure your criticisms are being fair.

      1) Affirmative action. I know you’re not alleging that it was, you’re alleging that others would view it that way. That’s as noble as a restaraunt owner saying that he didn’t hire a black person not because he was racist, but because of what his customers would think.

      2) Insider politics? How do you get around that? By appointing a Republican?

      3) Incompetent? Wow. What do you base that on? Or is this race-related, whereby conservatives will assume that he’s incompetent because of his skin color?

      4) Kid among dangerous people? C’mon, do you really think that anyone would be effective in the senate with a six-month shelf life? Maybe Barney Frank. Maybe. But the Senate is steeped in tradition based on seniority. No way is a 6-monther going to change the game.

      5) Poisons the water? Not sure why? Because he’s black? Because he’s not Barney Frank? I’d like more information on that.

      I posit that if Deval Patrick picked, say, Paul Kirk, people would say “ho-hum, nothing to see here” – the way they did in 2009.

      • Maybe not, but ...

        Let respond to your comments point by point:

        1. I am not hiring anyone. I am not directly expressing an opinion about whether or not the Mr. Cowan was a good choice or not — I literally know NOTHING about him. I am, instead, observing that this point is both a positive and a negative. I have always been a strong supporter of affirmative action, because I think it has been an absolutely vital tool in breaking the back of institutional racism in this country. I also recognize that it provides a target for those who perpetuate that racism. I meant no more and no less.

        2. You get around insider politics by appointing someone known outside insider circles.

        3. I grew up in Washington DC, I have been observing congress all my life. Mr. Cowan could walk on water and heal the sick in Massachusetts and he would still be less effective than Barney Frank in Washington, for a short appointment. Maybe that’s what the governor wants — if so, perhaps he should say so.

        4. The balance of power in the Senate is precariously close. We’ve just had another Senate Democrat retire (Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa). We face hugely important battles on sequestration, the debt ceiling, taxes, and gun control — all in the immediate future. As enthusiastic as I am about Elizabeth Warren, she is herself a neophyte. I think there’s a very good chance that Senator Cowan’s vote will count on several important issues, and I think that means that Senator Cowan will have more power to influence those issues than you admit.

        5. Poisons the water because he hands yet more dog-whistles to those who, like Scott Brown, pander to our right-wingers. You saw the mileage Mr. Brown got out of the “heritage” non-issue — if Mr. Brown chooses to run, you know he will go to that well again. Poisons the water because those right-wing racists will be able to point to Mr. Cowan’s inside status and self-righteously claim that “racism has nothing to do with my attack”. Right.

        As other commentators here have observed, Paul Kirk was far more experienced in Washington, was far better known, and — if I recall correctly (which I might not) — had been floated for some time before the appointment. Paul Kirk had not been Chief of Staff to Deval Patrick immediately prior to the appointment.

        I get that connections matter, and I get that rank has it’s privilege. Nevertheless, I think this appointment plays primarily as an attaboy from a lame duck Governor to a well-loved long-time aide.

        I expected more from Governor Patrick.

        • I've generally stayed out of this conversation

          But I do want to pipe up that point 3 and 4 don’t seem to go together. They don’t logically contradict, but they are a bit incongruous.

          Either (3), Cowan is a neophyte who won’t be that effective because of how low he will be on the totem pole / everybody knows he’s only there for 6 months … OR (4) his vote could turn out to be critical on several important issues and so he might be able to have more power than some admit.

          Can you tease out how you think those two things go together?

          • His vote will be important given the current partisan breakdown in the Senate. That’s so whether he’s a neophyte or no.

            BUT, he won’t have a longtime insider’s knowledge of how to play the game, win over others, horse-trade, etc. Longtime Hill people know how to deal with other Hill people in a way Cowan couldn’t possibly do right away.

            My concern is that he’s young. Unlike Kirk (who had been DNC chair, was older, and was not tied to Patrick personally), he may well want a future in politics. That makes him susceptible to pressure from Reid & Co. to sign off on bad deals. Frank would be in a position to say no because, after this, he’d be done. He actually wanted a fight over the budget.

            • Precisely

              This is why I chose the kid-with-a-gun hyperbole.

              A bullet fired by a kid is just as deadly as one fired by an adult. Similarly, a vote cast by a neophyte (or even the HINT or PROMISE of a vote…) is just as powerful as one by a wizened veteran.

              I very much need to be convinced that Mr. Cowan has the ability to use this power that he is likely to have.

        • Right on Somerville Tom

          This appointment smacks of politics as usual. The State House has gotten to Patrick.

        • Mo Cowan is Paul Kirk, without the charisma.

          And will be as well remembered.
          Barney Frank would have been a bold move.
          I’m not surprised Patrick wasn’t up to the task.

  4. I know Mo a bit

    Not sure of how folks value personal testimonials. Here’s one. Mo lived in my dorm 20+ years ago in college. Ran into him a bit later as he became a wheel in the Boston law world, and followed his work as chief of staff.

    Classy, honorable, thoughtful guy. Decidedly not a grandstander, unusually humble. FWIW.

    • It's worth at least as much as the

      the hand-wringing around here. Cowan is intelligent, able, and according to you, humble. He also has Dan Winslow’s okey dokey. And all the kerfuffle for this:

      WANTED Reasonably intelligent individual to do what he’s told for the next 5 months. Must be able to stand media scrutiny for 72 to 96 hours after he’s appointed. Will subsequently be forgotten, except perhaps by history.

  5. Great choice!

    Smart, skilled, articulate and fresh to the third ranked, “Institution Most In Need of Change” and contemporary perspective (behind the House of Representatives and the Boys Scouts) in the United States of America.

    Congratulations Senator Cowan. Go Rock DC with Senator Warren.

    The only downside to this appointment is that it takes Senator Cowan out of the mix for the special election for which we have not yet fielded a winning Democrat candidate.

  6. I agree with somervilletom and others who are skeptical

    No one disputes that Mr. Cowan is a fine, upstanding citizen and public servant with many relevant qualities. The one crucial quality he lacks is experience in the major leagues dealing with the likes of Mitch McConnell and co. I am fine with MA sending “new blood” to represent us in Washington, provided the people freely elect that person after much vettting – like Elizabeth Warren, who I voted for. It is completely wrong to appoint someone like this for such a short term, given the issues the Senate is dealing with now. I can’t say this surprises me, but I find this appointment not only disappointing, but disturbing. It should have been Frank.

  7. I'm less than thrilled about this appointment.

    Here’s what I said about an interim appointment in a post from early this month making the case that Barney Frank was the best choice because he was one of the few people who met the criterion of being able to “advocate effectively within the Senate on matters important to Massachusetts and the nation” from the day he gets there:

    Of course, there are other reasons to appoint someone interim Senator. ”Senator” is a lovely honorific that would serve as a fine capstone to a distinguished career in another field; the job is a nice reward for exemplary and loyal service; and it’s a relatively high-profile gig that could be used to enhance someone’s prominence, thereby perhaps helping them win a different office down the road. But none of those reasons strikes me as particularly attuned to what’s best for the people of Massachusetts, so I don’t think they should be given much if any weight in deciding who should be our next Senator for five months.

    With the greatest respect to Mo Cowan, whom I don’t know at all but who I am sure is a very capable and accomplished person, it’s very hard to see his appointment as other than “a nice reward for exemplary and loyal service,” or perhaps “a relatively high-profile gig that could be used to enhance someone’s prominence, thereby perhaps helping them win a different office down the road.” As Adrian Walker tweeted earlier today, “Well, Mo Cowan got a nice parting gift.”

  8. I agree with david and somervilletom -- but

    So, on the choice of Cowan, esp the optics of it … I’m in agreement with earlier commenters. It sends more bad signals than good. Basically, I think the folks of the Commonwealth would have preferred someone who was at least something of a known quantity.

    OK, but that’s today.

    The governor has made it known again and again that he’s his own man. He has a stubborn streak — but usually with a reason behind it. There is something the Governor wants to *do* with this pick. Is it to raise Cowan’s profile? That can easily cut both ways — after all, he’s just being handed the seat.

    On the other hand: Is it a particular *kind* of work that Cowan can do in the US Senate that someone else cannot? Is there something truly special and unique that Cowan can demonstrate? Is he a one-of-a-kind somehow? The gov would know that and we wouldn’t.

    Proof of the pudding, etc. There’s reason to not like the choice today; there’s also reason to reserve judgment.

  9. With a little luck . . .

    . . .Cowan will prove to be a non-entity in the Senate, like Paul Kirk, the Governor’s last appointment, and not a total incompetent, like the people Patrick appointed to supervise the state drug testing lab, or to regulate pharmacies.
    Does anyone think that the Senate will be a more effective body with this guy, rather than with Barney Frank?
    Lucky for me I’m not an activist. The people who worked so hard last fall because they were told how important the Senate was should feel betrayed. A little sacrifice on John Kerry’s part would have kept this seat safely in Democratic hands. A little sacrifice on Patrick’s part would at least have given Massachusetts and effective interim Senator. But Kerry’s ego and Patrick’s cronyism are not to be sacrificed. Sacrifice is for the people standing with signs at intersections.

    • I do

      Does anyone think that the Senate will be a more effective body with this guy, rather than with Barney Frank?

      The US Senate is not Newton, Brookline, Cambridge or Amherst.

      Governor Patrick irked many and thrilled others with his pre-convention endorsement of Elizabeth Warren, was he not spot-on?

      For crying out loud, Rubin practically told everyone the appointment was going to be “out of the box.” Did anyone here really not get it why Dougie was posting on the Governors wide choices? Do you not understand that they are methodical, clever strategist who are a few moves ahead?

      Personally, I feel it was in poor judgement and poor taste for Mr. Frank to make a public play for the seat in the manner that he did. His temperament were much better suited for the House of Representatives than the US Senate. Not everyone is enamored by someone prone to intellectual bully-ism and sarcasm. I won’t touch the financial industry issues.

  10. I'm shocked...

    Mr. Self Promoter didn’t get it. Shocked.

  11. it's an attaboy...

    it’s a pat on the back, business as usual appointment. disappointing.

    • Respectfully,

      I really do not think so and I hope that those who had their hearts set on someone else will see and believe that the appointment of Mo Cowan was a great decision in storied Patrick legacy. There is much more to come from both of these men.

      • very poor sense or reality ...

        I would recommend that you read why those are disappointed, the last thing is who someone had their “heart set” on. Sorry, that’s just a dumb statement. No one had their heart set on anything, but people understand that Massachusetts has a rich backslapping club mentality that many want to get rid of. It’s the reason Deval Patrick was so popular with many.

        • In fact,

          my sense or [sic] reality is so poor, I just gave you (+) vote for your nasty reply to my respectful post. The appointment is not an, “atta-boy thanks for the memories Mo…..enjoy your retirement (in 6 months at age 43, in your rocking chair telling your grandchildren how you was a US Senator.)” Horse-shit.
          It is an opening for a exciting future and a quality candidate. The “rich backlapping club mentality,” would have been the appointment of the favored establishment pol.

          • Mo Cowan has said ....

            that he has no interest in public life and something the the effect that this was going to be a very short political career.

            Sorry for being harsh earlier. While I agree with your premise of an establishment pol is normally what would have happened. Let me ask you, who is the lege is buddies with Patrick? Can you think of any? I can’t. His inner circle are his atta-boy candidates.

            • Ah, we may be saying similar things from different reference points

              My perspective, and I appreciate being able to continue the dialog (even if it is all speculation), is that cronyism would be evidenced by bending over to the establishment (seniority, pecking order, whatever – aka #Bqhatevwr). Choosing independently from within his professional and perhaps personal circles is the action of a Governor who remains committed to changing some of the “politics as usual.” I am as quick as anyone to state that plenty of inside gamesmanship has transpired in the Patrick Administration. This appointment – despite Mr. Cowan’s (is he SENATOR Cowan with the appointment or when he is sworn in?) statements that his public political stint will be brief, does not strike me on that level…to coin Governor Patrick, “I get it……I am just not there.”

              To be candid, I thought about your question regarding whom Deval Patrick is pals with in the lege (assuming you meant congressional delegation) and I agree, I do not see deep ties. I don’t see it with the Senate Prez, Speaker and maybe only a few rank and file in the state legislature. I also don’t see anyone with his intellectual, professional and personal attributes. SOS Kerry and Senator Warren are the closest match to Governor Patrick on those levels…..and so is Mo Cowan.

              We all know Bobby and Therese aren’t flying in that orbit….and to be fair, I should not lump Therese with……..

  12. Would another pick

    really be that different? That Paul guy replaced Kennedy. I’d never heard of that guy either. I’m sure the staffers will run the office. The delegation will decide on votes.

    Both Olver and Frank have skills, but how much would those skills be needed? Would we want someone who wasn’t elected doing major things?

    No big deal. Good luck to the guy.

    • Paul Kirk

      ran the DNC at one time. He was a Kennedy insider, for sure, but he also had decades in the game on a national level.

      Right now, given the issues we face, it would have been nice to get someone with some Congressional experience. But I hope he does well.

  13. For what it's worth

    This is the highest number of African Americans in the Senate since the end of Reconstruction and Massachusetts can now say it has sent the highest number of African Americans to the Senate. Ill say I’m proud if that.

    • Illinois has us beat

      Carol Moseley Braun
      Barrack Obama
      Roland Burris

      • Do'h

        Around IL we have collective cognitive dissonance about that whole affair that I totally forgot about Burris. Of course he didn’t, had ‘US Senator’ minted on his tombstone the second he bought the job.

    • Hasn't Illinois had three?

      Moseley Brown, Obama, and Burris were all US Senators from Illinois, no?

      • P.S.

        Every 6 years, the people elect no fewer than 100 US Senators.

        Since the people have been allowed to directly elect US Senators, the entire nation has elected a grand total of three African Americans to the senate: Senator Brooke (R-MA) in 1966 and 1972, Senator Moseley Braun (D-IL) in 1992, and Senator Obama (D-IL) in 2004. That’s it.

  14. Bad choice

    I agree with David and Charley. This is a clubhouse appointment that displays the same basic “insiders rule” principle as this famous photograph:

    http://wheresthefridge.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/thumbs_we_told_them_the_wealth_would_trickle_down.jpg

    Theme song for the swearing in:

    http://youtu.be/-x8zBzxCwsM?t=48s

  15. Reaction to the Governor's appointment...

    “He has been a valued ally to me and our work on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth. In every step, he has brought preparation, perspective, wisdom, sound judgment, and clarity of purpose.”
    - Governor Patrick

    “Cowan has the wisdom and practicality to be a great steward for the state. He enjoys a great working relationship with federal and state office holders. The historic appointment of an African-American US senator could not have been handled better by the governor.’
    - Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Bar Association.

    “As former chief of staff to Governor Patrick, Mo brings a deep knowledge of the issues facing the people of our Commonwealth to the Senate. He will be a committed, hardworking interim Senator, and I look forward to working closely with him to protect the interests of Massachusetts families.”
    - Senator Elizabeth Warren

    “Mo Cowan is the perfect choice. He is the consummate professional with a great background and a spotless reputation. Mo is cool under pressure, and he is liked and respected by everyone who knows him. In fact, he would have been a great candidate to run in the upcoming special election. As the interim senator, I am confident in his ability to carry our needs and concerns on Capitol Hill. I wish Mo the best of luck and hope that in the future he will consider running for an elected office.”
    - Senate President Therese Murray

    “Mo personifies the dignity, intelligence and calm judgment that we hope are qualities of all members of the US Senate. He has the ability to work across the aisle, which is sorely needed in Washington, DC. Congratulations to Senator-designate Cowan and congratulations to all citizens of Massachusetts who will be served by him in the coming months.”
    - State Representative Dan Winslow

    “Cowan is an issues guy, who knows the hurdles facing Massachusetts as well, or better, than anybody else whose names were thrown out in the speculation of recent weeks. He has been at Patrick’s side every day as he grappled with the economic crisis, health care costs, and scores of other dilemmas. A Senator Cowan will understand immediately how Washington affects his constituents.”
    - Yvonne Abraham, Boston Globe columnist

  16. I'm not quite as down on him as SomervilleTom...

    …but for such a high-profile office my first reaction should not be, as it was here, “Who’s that?”

    • I want to clarify

      I’m not down on Mr. Cowan, per se — I remain open to being impressed. I am instead disappointed by the process — the optics, politics, and timing — of the choice.

      I’m sure that Christopher J. Bulger was absolutely the most qualified person to be legal counsel for the Massachusetts Probation Department. I’m sure that he was appointed to that role because of his qualifications — I’m sure his family connections played no significant role.

      Mr. Cowan will be compared to Christopher Bulger — I just did, and I’m good and loyal left-winger. Our Massachusetts right wingers will jump all over this. Did Governor Patrick have to pick his outgoing Chief of Staff, for crying out loud?

      Like you, I wanted my initial reaction to be “WOW! I never thought of it THAT WAY!” Instead, it’s “Say WHAT?”

  17. Canard

    Our Massachusetts right-wingers would have jumped all over anyone the Gov picked. And whatever the Gov does tomorrow, they’ll criticize that too.

    I’m going to go way out on a limb here and predict that the Herald will write bad things about this tomorrow. Maybe it will be on the front page!

    Let’s not use the possibility that Republicans will criticize us as a reason for not doing something. We know how to beat them.

  18. This has been one of the more tedious

    weeks in Democratic news. First, Markey was screwing the pooch for not starting his campaign on time (Is anyone telling Lynch that it’s too late to declare his candidacy)?

    Now we are quibbling about a guy who will be a placeholder and the fact that the Governor used his prerogative to choose a guy no one has heard of instead of Barney Frank–whom I love–who was obnoxious about it, Vicki Kennedy who had no interest in it, and who else was it, Carmen Ortiz?

    I feel like I’m listening to my students gossip about who’s taking whom to the prom.

  19. Terrific choice!

    Anyone who has ever dealt with Mo, particularly during his years in the Governor’s office, knows that he is highly talented and ready to be interim Senator. A savvy negotiator, used to dealing with big egos like those in the Senate while getting results, knowledgeable about all the federal issues affecting the Commonwealth, and completely aligned with Governor Patrick’s policies. Remember, back in 2005 it was “Deval who?” And do folks on this list think Elizabeth Warren, who has never held elective office, will get rolled over for lack of experience? No new Senator is going to be leading on the votes coming up. Give Mo a chance, recognize his qualifications, and let’s check back in a few months down the line.

    • Elizabeth Warren and Deval Patrick

      Were thoroughly vetted and elected by the people – and I voted for both of them. Mo “Who” was not.
      Fine, let’s give him a chance, but these are not equivalent comparisons.

  20. Frankly, I’m furious.

    Frank was unquestionably the most experienced contender, and the base wanted him. I would have liked to have been thrown a bone here.

  21. A timid choice when a bold one was called for.

    Shame on Patrick for lacking the backbone to nominate Frank.

    • Frank screwed himself

      The optics of his campaigning for the position and then demanding it all but assured us it wasn’t going to happen. For the record I was in favor of it and argued strongly for it, but I do not like to see the bashing of someone clearly qualified for a major public policy role and uninterested in the politics of it. I’d have preferred Frank for the higher profile and the chance to do some good work in the next 90 days, but considering its just 90 days Cowan is about as qualified as Kirk or Kaufman before him. Lets be honest, Frank would have overshadowed Markey and that could’ve created real problems.

  22. Why would Patrick have done this?

    I have a difficult time thinking Cowen will add much, if anything, to the progressive voices in the Senate. Is he simply a “yes man” for Obama? Is this what Patrick wanted? Is this what Obama wanted?

    I have a harder time understanding a legislative reason for the Cowen appointment than I do a purely political one.

    PS — while progressives may think Frank was the better choice, Patrick correctly assessed the potential for political damage to Markey from Frank’s outspokedness and abrasive personality, however much those attributes might have served progressive interests.

  23. Public policy

    Yahoo news reported that “Cowan, who will not be a candidate in the special election to succeed Kerry, reassured his new constituents that he will head to Washington “ever mindful of what matters to the people of Massachusetts.” He noted jobs, education and affordable health care as top priorities for state voters.”

    Education? Is he going to do what matters to the people of Massachusetts, or is he beholden to a powerful special interest group. When the charter school lobby does an Ochocinco dance in the end zone, I worry. Here’s the press release.

    STATEMENT ON SELECTION OF MO COWAN AS INTERIM U.S. SENATOR COWAN IS A FORMER BOARD CHAIRMAN AT ROXBURY PREP CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL

    BOSTON, MA, January 30, 2013 – The Massachusetts charter public school community offers its congratulations to Mo Cowan, former Board Chairman of Roxbury Prep Charter Public School in Boston, on his appointment as the state’s interim U.S. Senator.

    Mo Cowan will become a strong voice in the Senate for urban education reform, helping President Obama pursue his agenda to foster charter school expansion in order to provide more high quality educational options for families across Massachusetts and the country.

    He is a strong advocate for charter public school expansion and has been a member of the Massachusetts Business Leaders for Charter Public Schools, a group of influential business and community leaders that advocate for lifting arbitrary caps on charter schools.

    As Chairman of the Board of one of the state’s most successful urban middle schools (Roxbury Prep), he understands the role that charters are playing across the state in closing race and income-based achievement gaps.

    “With Mo Cowan as Board chair, Roxbury Prep became one of the highest performing public schools in Massachusetts, proving the racial achievement gap can be closed,” said Will Austin, the school’s Executive Director. “We are thrilled for Mo, and thrilled that the United States Senate now has his voice on the issue of education.”

  24. The only bad choice

    would have been one that would hurt Markey in June. On that front, Frank probably would have been the worst pick. It would have built resentment about establishment figures in MA, and Frank would find his way onto the front page of the papers often, not always for the best.

    Also, as much as we would all like to see the interim sen fix immigration, get the votes for single payer health care, and be the one to broker a deal on gun control, let’s not delude ourselves about what a placeholder like a 145-160 day sen can actually accomplish.

    I couldn’t disagree with Jemerny more; throwing a bone to the base wasn;t necessary about could have been destructive. IMO, doing no harm is the most important thing in this pick… and as much as I often agree with SomTom, I think this pick won’t do any harm to Markey at all, and a Frank pick would have.

  25. Isn't that guy from the probation office. . .

    . . . in a lot of trouble for making appointments like this one?

    • Hardly the same

      Although I am one of the people disappointed over this appointment, Cowan is hardly comparable to the totally unqualified hacks that the probation office head appointed.

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