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Murphy’s law

Michael Murphy
Michael Murphy

There’s some special deference given in the law to “deathbed statements,” the idea being that motivation for lying, or for shading the truth, is taken to be diminished as we reach the end. Maybe the same is true for officeholders too: With announcements of retirement, we sometimes hear blunt words not always audible previously.

Washington Treasurer Michael Murphy said last week he will not run again when his office is up for election next year (setting up a watchable contest among the ambitious). He has made some points on earlier occasions similar to those he made last week, but they somehow didn’t stick in the mind quite so well.

He has delivered useful commentary, for instance, on the financing of capital projects: ““Lack of transparency and public oversight of capital projects creates an environment where public tax dollars can too easily be squandered and insider deal-making can proliferate. Good public policy mandates that state agencies use both the lowest cost financing method and the lowest cost capital project delivery method, while following the policy directives that are embodied in the public works laws, such as competition and transparency.”

Compare that to this, from last week: “My experience with public-private partnerships is that the private party gets rich and the public gets screwed.”

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