Grading the appointments: Leslie Kirwan

Leslie Kirwan, Secretary of Administration and Finance

Grade: B+

First things first: Kirwan was, reportedly, one of the Massport people who Peter Blute called from the boat immediately after being photographed by the Herald boozing it up with lobbyists and bikini-clad babes on Massport's dollar. This has nothing to do with anything, but any time I can slip Gidget into a discussion of state finances, I'm taking it.

Kirwan worked under Charlie Baker in Bill Weld's A&F office, and since then has been Massport's CFO -- staying there even when first Blute and later Virginia Buckingham got tossed. She helped pull Massport through the post-9/11 fiscal disaster. More importantly, I am told that she has special experience and talent working with local governments (she was the local liaison under Weld), and her selection is a signal that Patrick will make the state/municipality financial relationship a major focus of his administration. To which I say, Hallelujah, and good luck. Here the big caveat: I have to believe that Kirwan was recommended by transition-team co-chair Gloria Larson, who was Weld's economic affairs secretary and presumably worked very closely with Kirwan. So, if you're not too keen on Democrat-come-lately Larson's influence over the Patrick administration, this could be a bad sign.

[by David S. Bernstein]

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