It’s true what they say, “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch”. My mother used to say that allot. She’d add, “you have to get the good ones away from the bad one”.
I had always felt that Weymouth’s own Paul Haley was a good, honest politician, if there is such a thing. He started out in local politics and became quickly recognized as someone who was devoted to getting things done. As a former Captain in the Navy, jet pilot and lawyer he had the kind of resume that commanded respect and people loved him. Scott Brown, our U.S. Senator, reminded me of Paul Haley. Eventually he became our Representative, and being a quick study, got friendly with Thomas Finneran, who represented the Mattapan area in the House. Tom Finneran was Speaker of the House, the most powerful position in Massachusetts government with the possible exception of Governor. He commanded respect too, only differently. Mr. Haley became chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee largely due to Finneran’s help and there was talk that he would replace Finneran as Speaker when the time came. The time never came because Mr. Haley abruptly quit politics.
Naturally, the press release was all nice and neat and politically correct as to the reasons for Haley’s departure, but there is no doubt that Tom Finneran was behind the loss of a good man in state government. Since then we have learned, and continue to learn that Thomas Finneran, is not a good man. In fact, he has spawned a line of not-so-good men as Speakers of the House. I wonder how many good people have parted ways with their aspirations of becoming good honest pols because of him. I wonder how many dishonest people are still in government because of him. One bad apple.