Norman Rockwell for Mass Attorney General

Send a Message to Maura Healey

By: - Aug 30, 2018

Last fall and early winter, as controversy swirled around the plan of The Berkshire Museum to deaccession two Norman Rockwell paintings and 38 other prized works in its collection, the Attorney General’s Office was highly critical of the plan and how the Museum conducted its operations.

Those of us opposed to the sale were stunned when Attorney General Maura Healey reversed the previous position of her Office and not only gave the Museum the go-ahead to proceed, but allowed it to sell off up to $55 million in artwork, a number far in excess of what many experts believed the Museum needed to assure its continued viability.

Why, we wondered? The answer is that this was a political move by Healey, who is likely to run for Governor in four years. By her likely calculation, she could face one of two scenarios in 2022. If she disallowed the sale and the Museum failed or was in deeper financial trouble by then, fingers around the state would point at her for failing her duty to protect the Museum. On the other hand, allowing the sale, while controversial now, would by then be long forgotten and have no impact on her candidacy. Her decision was a cover-your-ass move.

If you wish to express your regret about that decision, you can do so at the primary election on Tuesday, September 4. Healey is running unopposed, but there is a space on the Democratic ballot to write in a name rather than voting for Healey or skipping the AG race. I plan as a protest to write in “Norman Rockwell” for Attorney General. I hope you will too.