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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Jim McKenna Interview



What was your background before politics?


I worked briefly in New Hampshire for the Office of Legislative services, drafting legislation for ten months. Then I went to Ohio and was a prosecutor there for fifteen months. From there I went to the Suffolk County DA’s Office for three years, public corruption, organized crime. There was a massive public corruption case… I was appellate attorney on that. After that I went to the DAs office in Worcester where I did a lot of appellate work. I also ran the grand jury there for two years. It was a wonderful experience for insight into criminal law and cases. For 17 years I have taught mainly business law and ethics at WPI, as well as environmental law and ethics, and international business law. It was interesting in terms of breadth of coverage.


Why did you decide to enter the political arena?


I’ve held signs for people over the years. By 2002, I was campaign coordinator for Greg White for District Attorney in Worcester. In 2004 I was chairman of a state senate campaign in Worcester. This year I was working for Mary Connaughton; after the [state Republican] convention, we discussed where we’d go from here in terms of her campaign. She said, “I’m surprised you didn’t run for Attorney General.”


Until she said that I hadn’t given it any consideration at all. I was kind of, “Well, y’know, that might be a good thing.”


Why are you running for Attorney General?


I can bring much to the office and I’d like to help get us some better government. In terms of what I can bring, my experience in three different DAs offices gives me an idea of what to do in running a public office that way. I’ve also served on the Board of Trustees at Quinsigamond Community College and that also has given me some managerial experience.


What would your agenda be in office?


It would be three parts. One is to start to restore trust in government. We don’t trust our government now; we don’t trust things politicians say. When was the last time you heard a politician say something and think, “He said it, it must be true?” The office is held in trust.

Two, to fight public corruption. We absolutely need to do that.

Three, right and wrong matter tremendously in what we do but they should not be defined by what’s legal or illegal. Otherwise we’re letting the government determine what’s ethical and we can’t do that. We must have our own voice, our own opinions. Otherwise we’ve given up far too much to the government. I have issues with the position of the incumbent on illegal immigration. For example, she says technically it’s not illegal to be illegal in Massachusetts. It is illegal to be illegal in Massachusetts.