NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

May 23, 2013

We deserve better from our elected officials

(Continued)

In January, as the heat over this scandal rose, Murray announced that he would not be running for governor. Little wonder. Campaign finance records indicated that he had already spent over $70,000 in campaign funds to hire lawyers to defend himself. He was damaged goods.

Murray has denied that these investigations had anything to do with his decision to leave office, and with some hubris he looked back on his record with pride.

“If people want to take the time to look at all the issues in my portfolio and the substantive work we’ve done, which doesn’t often happen with lieutenant governors, they’re going to see a record of accomplishment, getting things done, good leadership, good judgment and I’m comfortable with that,” Murray said.

Yet, everything about Murray’s departure has the feel of a man who is fleeing from trouble. He’s leaving office to become the head of the Worcester Chamber of Commerce in 11 days — even the lowliest of laborers is expected to give two weeks’ notice, let alone the state’s second-ranking elected official.

A few days after that, McLaughlin is expected to be sentenced for falsifying records. And who knows what that may lead to.

Republicans made some political hay of Murray’s quick exit.

“I wouldn’t put him up there in the Hall of Fame of lieutenant governors,” said House Minority Leader Brad Jones.

No, it’s not good for your political future when you are best known for a mysterious car crash and shady fundraising.

We expect and deserve better from our elected officials. We are glad to see that Murray had the good sense to leave office and head to a new job out west down the Mass. Pike, but we hope that doesn’t mean that the probe into his fundraising activities will also be pushed down the pike.

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