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For transparency, resident backs Palfrey for AG

This letter was written by Guillermo S. Hamlin, a Precinct 14 Town Meeting member who works at Tufts Technology Services and previously ran for the town Board of Assessors in '21.


Did you know that Massachusetts ranks 46th in the country on government transparency? Read that back again and sit with that realization. Is that really what we’re willing to pay for?

Seriously, the State House regularly fails to report back to its taxpayers, and that’s most of the time. This is unacceptable, we need to improve access to public records and promote a more transparent Massachusetts. We’re the only state where the governor, the Legislature and the Judiciary may claim -- and have -- full exemptions from our public records laws. Instead of fawning over these elected officials as they ritualistically preserve this travesty, we ought to shift the floor beneath them with a strong, talented attorney general whose proven record compels them forward in regular transparency. That’s why I’m voting for Quentin Palfrey, and here’s why.

As a Town Meeting member, I’d prefer that we maximize the AG’s office with a voters’ lawyer. Mr. Palfrey has spent much of his career protecting voting rights, leading voter-protection efforts in battleground states for almost 20 years. Quentin isn’t starting from first base here. He has extensive experience: He already served as the health-care division chief in the AG’s office. He’s already served in the Obama and Biden administrations. He has earned the endorsement of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. He did so while also calling them out in cozying up to Super PACs in their primaries. He is ready to serve us, not PACs. He is ready to lead, not acquiesce.

Second, the Legislature must also start to repeal exemptions that allow it and the governor to shield documents from the public. Quentin’s AG office will be forthcoming with public records, and press the executive departments he counsels do so as well. Frankly, Massachusetts at-large needs to know how their elected representatives vote on legislation. Why is this the case? Simply put, because their measures affect our lives and future.

Instead, Quentin will provide guidance on technology and use the office’s bully pulpit to encourage the Legislature to be more responsive to the public by requiring more roll-call votes and archiving the results of those votes. Quit playing and please join me in voting Quentin Palfrey for attorney general on Sept. 6.

This letter was published Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022.


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