Cheri Nolan, a former federal deputy assistant attorney-general is quoted as saying that Kerry Healey is "interested in substance abuse issues. mental health issues, people who need treatment." (Criminologist group takes on Healey. Boston Globe, October 19th., 2006: B6).

In terms of substance abuse treatment, her June support of Governor Romney's veto of over-the-counter needle sales legislation substitute ideology for facts.(Boston Globe, July 1, 2006, p. B4).

If ever there was a field in which evidence based decisions are needed it is in the fight against substance abuse. For Kerry Healey not to have considered the evidence from studies showing no increase in drug use after the passage of needle sale legislation in other jurisdictions is appalling.

She is an educated woman with a social science Ph.D. so she is trained in the ability to "review the 'methodology'" of the studies. For her to have neglected to do so is an abdication of her responsibility to serve the Commonwealth by making the best possible decisions based on factual evidence.

She must be held to account for this failure.

Martin Evans is Professor Emeritus at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto where he taught research methodology for many years. He also volunteers for the Deval Patrick Campaign.