Voters are reading and listening to candidates for office this year. They are checking candidates’ records and verifying their claims. It is not enough to claim one is fiscally conservative, responsible, or accountable to the voters. The electorate expects candidates to be able to verify those claims with evidence in their actions, not just their speeches.
Danielle Gregoire, the current Fourth Middlesex District Massachusetts State Representative, on both on her website and in her various position letters to the local papers, has made claims about her efforts for the district. However, her claims are often vague and unclear. She takes responsibility for transportation reform in the Main Street Journal and yet never indicates what she personally did other than vote to make that happen. She leads voters to believe it was her strong leadership without ever indicating what that leadership involved. In the same letter, she cites voting against her first state budget without stating what she did to get others to vote with her on this issue. Voters are left wondering what she is personally responsible for accomplishing and what she takes credit for by merely showing up and being a Democrat. In a year that has seen increased sales taxes and budget shortfalls, it is still not clear to voters what Ms. Gregoire feels are her major accomplishments in office. Ms. Gregoire has complained her opponent has been unfair in categorizing her record. It would benefit her to define her record. Her opponent, Steven Levy, has continued to run on his record of accomplishments as a City Councilor. He is not claiming credit for what other councilors have accomplished while in office, but can demonstrate his contributions to these efforts in Marlborough.
Mr. Eldridge is more clear about his aspirations for a future term in office as the State Senator representing the Middlesex-Worcester district. His website clearly states his disappointment in not raising the Progressive Income Tax. He was behind this failed legislation in his first term. His website also makes it clear he is not in support of making spending cuts. The State Senator has made a promise that if voters return him to office, he will continue to pursue these ideas. With federal income tax increases pending, voters should consider whether they want someone committed to increasing the state income tax rates representing them. Voters should examine Mr. Eldridge’s record and his stated plans for our state’s future and vote accordingly.
At times, it feels as if the Third Congressional District has a Congressman at Large rather than a District Representative. When a politician is in office and runs unopposed for a long time as McGovern has, it can be hard to remember that one owes their position to the people, not to his own power and will. It can be healthy to change politicians and remind them they owe their loyalty to the people not to their parties and their own self-interests. Marty Lamb provides voters with a viable alternative in this election. Voters should continue to read what McGovern says to the public and decide it they are ready for a change. McGovern rarely faces any challengers. This is one of the rare chances to get a voice speaking for the Third District in Congress.
Governor Patrick continues to run political advertisements and speak about his commitment to education. He attempts to scare his base by telling them that a vote against him would be a return to failed education policies. The sad irony is that Patrick is the Governor who brought us the Common Core Standards. Adopting the Common Core Standards and competing in Race to the Top reduces the quality of our state education programs, eroding state control. All this occurred to education on Governor Patrick’s watch. Therefore, I would think that returning to the policies that existed prior to his administration would actually not be a frightening concept, but a positive alternative to what he has done.
Read, research, and study the records of all candidates running for office in this election. Many politicians can speak well and promise much. However, knowing what they have done is a much better indication of what they will do in the future.
“Investing in A World Class Education” Deval Patrick
“A Penny Well Spent Working to Achieve a Fiscal Balance” Danielle Gregoire
“The Tax No One Wants to Talk About ” Jamie Eldridge