Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jubinville for Governor’s Council

Next Tuesday, September 16th, is primary election day in Massachusetts. On the Democratic ballot is a race for the Governor’s Council.

This somewhat obscure body (officially the Executive Council) performs an important function. Written into the original Massachusetts constitution by John Adams, its primary duty involves giving advice and consent to the Executive branches’ nominations for Judicial appointments.

Adams gave great weight to the concept of Judicial independence and therefore favored their appointment rather than election. At the same time he realized there had to be some check on a Governor’s choices- a considered review of legal ability, character, and judgment. Thus a group of citizens was created to perform that function.

Over the years the council has performed well, and poorly. In the 1960’s a series of scandals resulted in a reduction of responsibility. Many current observers advocate its elimination. But it exists today, and the work it does is important and deserves at the very least a small amount of our attention.

The Council is composed of 8 members who face election every two years. They are paid $26,000 and meet more or less weekly. The districts are geographically huge, making it difficult to wage a campaign against an entrenched incumbent – especially when so little attention is paid to the office by the press or individuals.

This hasn’t stopped Milton attorney Robert Jubinville from mounting a challenge for the Democratic nomination for District 2. He is taking on 14 year incumbent Kelly Timilty of Roslindale. He’s running on two major issues – he’s better qualified and Ms Timilty has not been doing the job.

Jubinville has a 30 year record as a trial attorney, with over 7000 court appearances. He’s been in a lot of courtrooms and seen a lot of judges in action. He points to this experience, properly I think, as an important and unique attribute in the process of selecting good judges. Ms Timilty lists her occupation as Governor’s Councillor. I couldn’t get any more detail than this since she did not return my phone call.

Jubinville states that Timilty missed 50% of the council’s meetings in the 12 month period from the summer of 2006 to the summer of 2007. This led the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, in a story written by Julia Reischel, to describe the District 2 race as -“The No Show and the Defense Attorney”. Reischel also described Timilty as one of the quietest of the members during a series of meetings she attended.

I don’t think this is a difficult choice. On such a basic level as showing up for work the incumbent fails the fundamental test of public service-- paid public service, I might add. Jubinville not only has a very strong professional background for this job, his expressed concerns about standards for Judges refreshingly emphasizes old fashioned good government qualities of qualifications and character. On the other hand his opponent stated in a forum in Holliston that she would approve judges who didn’t “legislate from the bench”, code words for a political litmus test. I urge you to support Robert Jubinville on Tuesday, September 16th.


Please Support Grace Varela

Grace Varela is eight. She is the daughter of Julio and Sheila Egan Varela of Milton.

Just about a year ago she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Grace describes the change in her life on this website:

Grace has decided to walk in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s “Walk To Cure Diabetes” on October 4.

I know that many readers of this blog know the Varela’s, either through political campaigns, or the public schools. If you want to support this little girl’s worthy cause you can do so at the website listed above.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok so he won. I didn't vote for him because i sat on a jury for which he defended the ultimately convicted murderer. He didn't stand with his client to hear the verdict and he and his client ignored the victim impact statements of the family. it was rude and disrespectful. all the jury members were horified by this lawyer's behavior.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Philip Mathews said...

He won in Milton, and he deserved to win.

I will also note that were I to make a personal accusation against someone on the internet, I would put my name to it.

I have no idea whether what you are claiming is true or not. But I do know that most people reading what you said would find it more credible if you had signed it.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a juror for a murderer I prefer to remain anonymous. Why would I make this up. I don't care one way or the other except that my personal observation of this lawyer was distasteful.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Philip Mathews said...

Whatever your reason, I'm sure you can agree that it has some impact on credibility. That's my only point.

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be so sure that I agree, cuz I don't. If you want credibility, ask Jubinville if he stood to hear the verdict when his client was found guilty of murdering an elderly woman in Bird Park in Walpole - or search the local news channels who filmed it - or ask yourself why I would bother to make this up.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Philip Mathews said...

Well, if you don't agree that it is generally considered to be less credible for charges to be made anonymously, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

What reason does anyone have to make things up? Or exaggerate? Or remember them imperfectly?

You seem to have trouble removing yourself from this equation and commenting on the situation objectively.

11:39 PM  

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