COLUMN: IN OUR OPINION
The work of the state Legislature lies at the heart of governance in Massachusetts, and voters on Nov. 2 face important decisions in selecting candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives who have the experience, temperament and vision necessary to improve the political climate on Beacon Hill.
Many, including this newspaper, have been critical of the Legislature's work over the years, and it is not difficult to find examples of ethical shortcomings among our political class. Correcting those faults would be aided by greater political balance in a body that is overwhelmingly Democratic in its makeup, because one-party rule is rarely if ever conducive to good government.
However, party affiliation alone does not explain Beacon Hill's problems, and simply electing more Republicans is no guarantee of more effective government in Massachusetts. What's needed is an assembly of serious-minded candidates who can work together in a Legislature that will feature many new faces, but will surely remain firmly in Democratic hands. A coalition of Republicans and fiscally conservative Democrats, committed to greater transparency, is the best prescription for improvement beginning in January 2011.
Central Massachusetts residents are fortunate to have an effective group of moderate state senators representing them. The Telegram & Gazette endorses Sen. Harriette L. Chandler in the 1st Worcester District, Sen. Stephen M. Brewer in the Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire & Franklin District, Sen. Jennifer L. Flanagan in the Worcester & Middlesex District, and Sen. Richard T. Moore in the Worcester & Norfolk District. They, along with Sen. Michael O. Moore in the 2nd Worcester District, who is not facing opposition this year, deserve re-election. While we have some differences of opinion regarding policy with these lawmakers, each has an unimpeachable record of constituent service. They understand the needs of the districts they serve, have exhibited common sense, and possess the all-important ability to strike effective compromises on legislation.
We are, nonetheless, gratified to see that in most cases these Democratic legislators have drawn challengers this year, which speaks to the strength of a reinvigorated Republican Party, as well as a healthy tea party movement in Massachusetts. We take particular note of Republican State Committeewoman