She’s been in office for only nine months, but Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is already tackling the big issues and solidifying her role as an effective advocate for the people of the Bay State. As she is fond of saying, her office is “The people of Massachusetts’ law firm.” Healey is a rising star in Democratic politics.
The Shad met then-Deputy Attorney General Healey early in the summer of 2014. She impressed me immediately and I became an early and strong supporter in her race against fellow Democrat Warren Tolman who was the favorite.
Small in stature but big on accomplishment, Healey used the imagery of her time as a point guard on the Harvard basketball team for her campaign (she also played professionally in Europe). She is also the only openly gay attorney general in the nation.
Massachusetts, like other states, is facing some major problems. The opioid scourge has hit the state hard and Healey is on the front line. She has proposed a law that targets fentanyl—a power narcotic that can be turned into morphine. Laws against cocaine and heroin are on the books but none for fentanyl.
Healey also threw up a stop sign on the Steve Wynn-developing casino proposal in Everett, Mass. just north of Boston. She isn’t satisfied with the traffic study paid for by Wynn. She says the project should not go forward with the project until an independent traffic study is done. (A traffic nightmare looms as interstate 93 and other roads in the Great Boston area could get choked out entirely.)
It is premature to talk about Healey seeking higher office but people are already floating the idea of Healey challenging Charlie Baker for the governor’s office. Baker is very popular, something a bit uncommon for a Republican in this state. So it may be smart for her to wait. There’s also talk that US Sen. Elizabeth Warren won’t run for reelection or could even get into the presidential sweepstakes as an alternative to Hillary Clinton or as the Democratic nominee’s running mate.
I caught up with Healey this weekend. “The last time I saw you [at the Democratic Party state convention last summer], you were in a wheelchair,” she said to me. Ever the athlete, she remembered that I am a former hockey player. “Just keeping pushing on the right direction.”
Pushing in the right direction indeed.