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Should attorney be on Governor's Council?

July 31, 2012 |

I read with interest your July 24 story about a candidate running for Governor's Council who laid out his philosophy on the courts and role of the eight-member Executive Board of the Council. The Board's most prominent responsibility is to up-or-down vote judicial nominees recommended by the Governor. Readers must be relieved the candidate checked with State Ethics to verify whether there would be any conflicts of interests or violations of the law, which would prohibit him from holding a position at the municipal level concurrent with "serving" on the Governor's Council. This question was raised as a distraction from more important issues at hand. For instance, the candidate did not even flinch as he touted his credentials that are inherently tied to a true conflict of interest; his professional affiliation as an attorney with the Springfield law firm — Fallon, Sullivan & Mulvaney. This nonchalant "keep moving, nothing to see here" politically motivated demeanor concerns me deeply, and should worry you as well. Can you say "billable hours," "cottage industry," "judges," "lawyers" and "public serve" comfortably in one statement? I cannot. The last term is slightly askew. Come on. "Let's get real" as Herman Cain used to say on the presidential campaign trail. People's lives, their families and freedoms are at stake. This is especially so when one should have the misfortune of getting pulled in and cycled through the Massachusetts court system. Lawyers and judges who mix politics with profession do not have a history of being empathetic to misfit — not adept with their culture, and sometimes resistant subjects. Mike Franco Holyoke Editor's note: Mr. Franco is a Republican candidate for Governor's Council.

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