We want an attorney general who will concentrate as a priority on the professional, rather than the political, aspects of the position, which is why we endorse Maura Healey over Warren Tolman in the Democratic primary next Tuesday.
Founding motivations are telling. Healey told us she knows the business as a result of her years running important divisions of the Attorney General’s office. She decided to run, she said, to ensure professional administration, advocate for those victimized by crime, and ensure effective engagement between our community and its lawyers. “As a division and bureau chief in the Attorney General’s Office, I have been on the front lines fighting for fairness, equality and justice. I will lead using the strengths and skills I have acquired throughout my career as a lawyer, advocate and prosecutor,” she writes on her website. If anyone is well positioned to deliver results, it is Healey.
Tolman told us the appearance of SWAT officers on his Watertown doorstep during the hunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reminded him of the importance of public safety and pushed him to enter the race. That is a laudable impulse, but it is an essentially personal and political, in the best sense of the word, motivation. The Attorney General’s office is charged with enforcing the law, not formulating it.
A similar dichotomy emerged in the WGBH debate between the candidates on the subject of the captivating Market Basket saga. Healey rightly identified that imbroglio as an essentially political and economic struggle, not a law enforcement matter. Tolman was ready to wade right into the debate wrapped in the mantle of his office — and worry later about statutory authority. That sounds like a role for the Governor, not the A.G.
The Globe made a similar point when it endorsed Healey. So did the Herald, which also endorsed her: “I view the job of attorney general as the people’s lawyer, not a super legislator,” the newspaper’s editors said she told them.
Healey has mounted a crisp, professional and pointed campaign from website to advertisements to the grass-roots — 93 days since “Maura Healey released her tax returns and Warren Tolman promised to release his taxes ‘in a couple weeks'” notes her Clean Elections Clock.
When she wins, it will be one more remarkable achievement for the 5’4″ Harvard graduate, Northeastern lawyer, and former starting point guard on a professional basketball team.