• Polito's Take: A non-essential employee

    "The noble Brutus. Hath told you Caesar was ambitious. If it were so, it was a grievous fault. And grievously hath Caesar answered it.
    Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar, Act 3, Scene 2, Page 4
    Back in 1779, the framers of the Massachusetts Constitution didn't anticipate a situation where a lieutenant governor is the subject of a grand jury investigation into corruption. John Adams, Samuel Adams, and James Bowdoin did not prepare for one who crashed a taxpayer owned car while traveling 108 miles per hour before dawn while surveying storm damage. They decided it was not necessary to replace a lieutenant governor who resigns, even if he desperately turned to his hometown cronies to set him up with a cushy job and a fat salary because he had no other options and his state wide political career was over.
    That being said, the Office of Lieutenant Governor in Massachusetts is a useless Constitutional position. Basically, it's a non-essential employee. The only responsibility is to become acting governor if the governor dies, resigns, or becomes incapacitated. The lieutenant governor also presides over the Governor's Council meetings. That's it. What politicians like Tim Murray do is treat the job like a position on a farm team.  They practice, put in their time, and set themselves up for a shot at the big leagues. Well, Timmy crashed and burned, almost literally, but not before he toured the state raising money, cutting ribbons, and cutting deals to set himself up for a run at governor. Actually, that's what got him in trouble. The position invites people with political ambitions to make the office more than it is. The problem I have with it? He's got a staff, a car and expenses. Who pays for that? We do. So we subsidize someone's political ambitions and get very little in return, other than an ambitious errand boy for the Governor.
    By the way, now that Tim Murray is leaving office, why doesn't he release the cell phone records from the morning he crashed his state car?  Hey Timmy, I'll volunteer to come and pick them up. I'll even bring you a coffee and a copy of the Herald.

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