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Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial candidate Kerry Healey is making it a major part of her campaign strategy to accuse her Democratic opponent, Deval Patrick, of being "soft on crime."

As a defense attorney, Patrick sought to lessen the death sentence for a convicted cop-killer, she points out in an ad with which her campaign is blanketing the airwaves.  He also contributed to a fund to get a DNA test for a convicted rapist.

Yet, as The Boston Globe has reported,  Healey voted when she was a private citizen against the release of criminal background information on persons seeking sensitive jobs with agencies that serve people with disabilities.

Healey served on the Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board from 2000 to 2002, which considers requests from agencies seeking access to Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) data.  Under state procedures, the Board weighs privacy concerns of persons listed in the data base against organizations' right to information about those it is hiring.

In 2001, Healey voted against a request for CORI information by a local chapter of Best Buddies, a national organization that links persons with mental retardation with nondisabled peers.  The Board nevertheless voted 8 to 2 to provide that information to the nonprofit organization.

In another 8-to-2 vote, Healey opposed providing CORI information to the Adult Day Care Center, Inc., which was seeking background information on potential clients in order to avoid putting other clients at risk, according to The Globe.

Healey also voted with the majority against a request by the city of Holyoke's Licensing Board for access to the CORI records of applicants for public lodging licenses. According to The Globe, the Holyoke agency said it was more likely that landlords with criminal histories would rent to tenants with criminal backgrounds.

We at the Massachusetts Coalition of Families and Advocates for the Mentally Retarded, Inc. (COFAR) have written before about the need for legislation authorizing a national background check on persons seeking direct-care positions with agencies serving those with mental retardation.  When it comes to hiring people to work in certain senstive occupations--particularly those that involve working with children, the elderly, and people with disabilities--it would seem a no-brainer that CORI and other background information should be made readily available.

We are sensitive to the need for reform of the CORI system, which can work against many people who have been convicted of minor offenses.  Many of those people, who have paid their debt to society, subsequently find it difficult to get jobs because of their records.  But organizations such as Best Buddies are obviously looking for information about serious offenses, such as convictions for sexual or physical abuse.

Thus, it boggles the mind as to why Healey would have voted against the dissemination of this kind of information to those agencies.  

Originally posted to Dave in MA on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 07:51 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Turn the most recent attack ad on its head... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayan, masslib pointing out that, not only does the ad show Deval to be a lawyer, it shows that he's a damned good lawyer.  If I was in trouble with the law, I'd certainly want him on my side - to my mind, that only enhances him as a candidate for governor.

  •  I cannot believe what Healey is getting away with (0+ / 0-)

    I know Deval wanted to keep above the fray and avoid attack ads, but Healey rightly deserves a taste of her own medicine.  She equates Patrick to a cop killer while distorting her own record on CORI.  She is a soft target.  She does not have the experience or the instinct to be Governor of Massachusetts.  I hope Deval exposes Healey for what she is, a negative, inexperienced, dishonest theorist.

  •  This Race (0+ / 0-)

    Is not getting enough attention.. I am new to the daily Kos and I know it has been said before that they can not focus on ever race, but this one is a governorship, always important and you just have a feeling it is slipping way from Patrick. Healey has done a decent job of defining him these last few weeks as soft on crime tax and spend insider, which even in "liberal" MA is a negative and Patrick has done almost nothing to defend himself. His lead is shrinking and none of the out of state big party leaders have come to rally support. (rumor of a possible  Pres. Clinton appearance not yet confirmed). It would be a great loss and disappointment if Healey somehow ends up winning this thing, not because people of the state like her (her negatives are pretty high) but because Patrick lost it.  To bad Mitt isn't running for reelection, but he will at some point have to answer the question how can he run for president when he couldn't even win reelection in his own state..

    •  For MA-GOV info (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mayan, Thestral, masslib

      You should try the local sites.

      Start with Blue Mass Group; scroll down on the left to "Blog Roll" and click away.

      Note:  Kerry Healey Out of Touch is out of date, but still amusing.

      What's weird (to me) is some of the local reporting in Boston; Fox 25 AM show (I was shooting through with the clicker) was casting aspersions on Tim Murray for being a defense attorney.  If Kerry Healey had ever had a day job outside of a Cambridge cubicle, I'd like to know what it is she did for society.  Besides make a buck.

      The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.

      by FlyingToaster on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 08:22:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She didn't even do that (0+ / 0-)

        make a buck, I mean...not many, anyhow. Her wealth, and it is substantial, is all from Hubby. So, she's an entitled shit without having done anything to earn said entitlement. She didn't even 'earn' her current office; it's common knowledge in MA that Mitt Romney chose her to run with him as Lieutenant Governor 1) because he was a woman (he wanted a woman or minority so he could play the 'diversity' card); and 2) because she was a nonentity; Mitt didn't want anyone that could possibly take the spotlight off his own wondeful self.

        So, Kerry Healey is useless but thinks she's special (and, believe me, having dealt with her as a retail employee, she does think she's special.) And people are actually going to vote for this clown.

        "This site is the suckiest suck that ever sucked a suck"--Thomas Kalinowski

        by ChurchofBruce on Sat Oct 14, 2006 at 06:39:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. We need more attention (0+ / 0-)

      I have diaried on this race many times about Deval taking it too easy and losing his lead. Everytime someones posts to me to get over it, that Patrick is going to win easily.

      WAKE UP!!

      His lead has shrunk from 39 to 13 points. This is SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I am calling on all kossacks to flood Deval's web site with calls for him to turn up the volume and start slamming Healey!!!!

      "The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war...we shall also do our part to build a world of peace..." -John. F. Kennedy

      by bluestatedude on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 12:20:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  blue mass group is good stuff... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have checked it out a few times. But this race is another perfect example of a republican that has nothing positive about themselves to run on..just fear and scare..nothing but the negative.. Hopefully the MA votes are smart enough to see through it this time.

  •  WRKO (0+ / 0-)

    WRKO, GOP propoganda organ, is attacking Deval 24 x 7 these days with the "Willie Horton" attack.  

  •  BTW - Mass Kossacks Meet 'n' Greet Sunday (0+ / 0-)

    From the Deval patrick/Tim Murray Campaign:

    Deval Patrick and Tim Murray

    Rally for Change

    Sunday October 15, 2006
    2:30 PM
    Boston Common, Boston MA
    (bandstand near Tremont Street )

    We urge you to email this far and wide. We urge you to print and post this far and wide. We urge you to come and demand a new way for our Commonwealth.

    I'll be there, sporting a sign saying "Mass Kossacks Meet 'n' Greet" - afterwards, we can go pubbing over at Faneuil Hall or something.  Let's meet up!!

  •  I'm afraid Patrick is acting like (0+ / 0-)

    John Kerry.  He needs to put a stop to the swift boating, now.  Some group needs to protest outside WEEI and stop D&C from the hate and fearmonging they are doing to Deval Patrick.  It is not their job to constantly mock and degrade anything liberal.

    •  He's finally responding (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It took the latest garbage that Healey leaked to the Herald today for Patrick to finally respond --- finally.

      Patrick's statement

      Money quote:

      We need a change.  Gimmicks, slogans and dirty politics is no substitute for progress.  The politics of fear is no acceptable alternative to the politics of hope.  That’s the change we need.  And if anybody in the Healey campaign or in the public thinks I am unwilling to fight for that, you have badly underestimated me.

      •  Sorry but this is not strong enough (0+ / 0-)

        He needs to go directly to Healey by name about hiring of a cop killer, having her taxes reduced on her mansion, fudging her resume, etc. There's a lot of fodder.

        Deval - WAKE UP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        "The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war...we shall also do our part to build a world of peace..." -John. F. Kennedy

        by bluestatedude on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 12:22:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  By the way (0+ / 0-)

    The Phoenix has an op-ed type thing about the case that Healy is using to bash Patrick. It turns out that it is in fact still unclear whether the man was guilty, and therefore entirely reasonable for Patrick to have sought to assist him. Patrick hasn't handled this very well, I must say.

    I hope Patrick's campaign uses the CORI vote against her.

    BUSH: What did Iraq have to do with what? QUESTION: The attacks upon the World Trade Center. BUSH: Nothing! Except for...

    by DrReason on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 08:48:30 AM PDT

  •  WEEI (0+ / 0-)

    much like WRKO most of the people who would form an opinion from D&C wouldn't vote for Patrick anyway... I heard one of Patrick's people call into the show the other.. sadly was not very effective... Callahan is a O'Reily want to be..screaming over people and shooting out GOP talking points.

    •  I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

      The talk radio and Boston Herald spin is hurting Patrick among independents. It is not just rethugs who listen to those stations. The undecided voters and unaffiated voters are listening to this crap.

      It hurts Deval and he has to ENGAGE NOW.

      "The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war...we shall also do our part to build a world of peace..." -John. F. Kennedy

      by bluestatedude on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 12:24:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just emailed the campaign (0+ / 0-)

    Dear Mr. Patrick,

    We are big supporters but getting VERY worried that
    this campaign is getting away from you (38 point lead
    shrunk to 13 point lead). I sense that Healey has all
    of the momentum because of the onslaught of attacks.
    There also is a VERY LOUD conservative noise machine
    in the media that is running with the attack ball

    against you.

    Mr. Patrick, please WAKE UP and get TOUGH. You need to
    go negative on Healey and show you are a fighter with

    Mr. Patrick, it is not too late. If you don't change
    strategy, you are going to lose.

    Please - we need you in the corner office.

    Take care,

    "The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war...we shall also do our part to build a world of peace..." -John. F. Kennedy

    by bluestatedude on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 01:22:20 PM PDT

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