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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mullan the consequences of his actions

Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan is doing his own big dig this morning after keeping a secret about the lights in the O'Neill Tunnel from Deval Patrick and the public. Whether the hole he has put himself in is too deep to emerge from is an open question.

Reasonable people may disagree on the wisdom of Mullan's decision to keep quiet until conducting a safety review of the fixtures. He claims he erred on the side of caution, wanting to avoid a public panic. Hindsight, he now says, proves that was the wrong decision.

What's mind-boggling, however, is his failure to tell is boss who, one hopes, probably would have told him to go public.

The utter lack of judgment in failing to inform Patrick is mind-boggling. Maybe that's because the Big Dig is the third rail of state transportation policy, harming anyone who comes into contact.

But Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee Chair Mark Montigny has a good point about another governor who has some questions to answer about the Big Dig. The New Bedford Democrat wonders why the light problem did not come up in the 2006 "stem-to-stern review" ordered after the ceiling came down on Milena Del Valle:
“Those buzzwords are designed to give the public confidence. In my opinion, based upon what we owe the commuter and the taxpayers . . . we should in fact do a stem-to-stern review."
Only this time, maybe we should do it better than the one ordered by a hard-hatted, safety vested Mitt Romney in one of his rare Massachusetts appearances after tiring of his job and deciding to run for president.

Let's hope this latest fiasco will allow us to put the Big Pig in our collective rear view mirror once and for all.

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