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The Hiller Instinct

2 election consequences: Burgess and tuition breaks

Elections have consequences and today, we're seeing the best and worst of them.

One – tuition breaks for illegal immigrants – is the result of an election two weeks ago. The other – the appointment of a dangerous driver to be the state's highway safety direction – is a result of an election in 2006.

Together, they show the power and promise of politics. They also show the cronyism and corruption.

For illegal immigrants who will now pay the reduced in-state rate at state colleges and universities, it's a day of celebration.

For those who oppose the benefit, it's a day of concern.

But everyone ought to agree the new entitlement came from exactly where it should: the ballot box.

And that's how majority rule works!

But no rule explains why Sheila Burgess was named the State Highway Safety Director, unless it's the old political rule: "You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours."

Burgess, a former political fundraiser and consultant, was hired in 2007 after Congressman James McGovern asked newly-elected Governor Patrick to help find her a job.

The Patrick Administration could not have found a job she was less suited for.

How does someone with six accidents and four speeding tickets become the state's Highway Safety Director?

If it weren't so political and pathetic, you might laugh.

But wait, there's more:

What will Burgess' punishment be?

A "different role." Because that's how Beacon Hill rolls.