Candidates for lt. gov.
The Globe asked the
candidates for lieutenant
about the issues.
Former Chairman of
Board of Selectmen in
Three terms as Mayor
Co-founder and former
CEO of the Center for
Women & Enterprise
Q. Do you support an
immediate rollback of
the state income tax
rate? Why or why not?
I believe that we must give the residents of
Massachusetts what they voted for in 2000. However,
I do not believe that we can handcuff the states
fi nances with an immediate rollback. By increasing
the states revenues, through long-term sustainable
economic growth we will be able to afford the income
No. Getting to 5 percent is a worthy long-term goal,
but rather than an immediate income tax rollback
we need to direct more local aid to cities and towns
to stabilize property taxes and restore services. We
should use some of the states surplus revenue to
establish a rainy day fund earmarked solely for local aid
to cities and towns. The fund would serve as a fi nancial
insurance policy for municipalities to help smooth out
the impact of the dips in the states economy. This
local aid fund would be tapped during years of slow
growth or recession.
||I believe that if we roll back the income tax rate now
while not restoring local aid, we will see increased
property taxes to pay for schools and basic services.
For that reason, I am against an immediate rollback of
the income tax and would prefer property tax relief.
Also, as a former financial analyst, I understand that
our state revenues are not stable because we are still
down 150,000 jobs since 2001. Income taxes from
wages are the primary and most dependable revenue
source in the state budget.
Q. With housing prices
out of reach for many
families, how would
you pressure cities and
towns to allow more
multi-family housing to
|The cost of living in Massachusetts is just one of the
reasons that we are losing population and jobs year
after year. Homes that are affordable are crucial to
allowing our children and grandchildren to stay and
work in Massachusetts. In my own community I was
able to help save over 500 units of affordable senior
housing from being sold at market rate. Communities
need a partner in the State House that can advocate
for funding to address the long-term costs of
multifamily housing, such as strains on their schools
Two ways the state can help promote more affordable
housing are to get serious about commuter rail
improvements and brownfi elds reclamation.
Expanding and improving commuter rail service
can link the states major employment centers to
communities where housing and the cost of living are
more reasonable. Similarly, reclaiming old industrial
mill buildings and converting them into housing
opportunities is a proven way to expand the stock of
affordable and moderately priced housing in our cities.
The state also needs to direct more local aid to cities
and towns to ease the burden of the property tax.
I strongly support smart growth, encouraging transitoriented
and high-density housing, locating new
homes near public transit and in our city and town
centers, rather than clearing more green space for
development. Because many families like my own can
better afford homes further out from their places of
work, I support improving and expanding mass transit
and commuter rail service to places like New Bedford,
Fall River, Springfield, and Bourne, so that families can
live in communities with more affordable housing and
commute to their jobs.
Q. Is it time the state
raise the minimum
passing score on the
MCAS? Why or why not?
I believe in high standards, standards for our teachers,
our students, and our leadership. However, I disagree
with the MCAS serving as the sole benchmark for
graduation. The current administration has slashed
local aid and Chapter 70 funding to public schools, and
yet they raised the stakes of the exam. I disagree with
that equation, but support using the test as one form
The proposal to increase MCAS scores recently
adopted by the state is reasonable, so long as we put
up the commensurate resources. We should never shy
away from high standards in our schools. At the same
time, we cant expect to achieve those standards by
slashing programs that we know help children at the
margins learn and succeed.
I do not feel that we should be raising the minimum
passing score for the MCAS until we do more to help
the students who are not passing the test to receive
the additional tutoring and remedial education they
need to catch up. One of my priorities is diminishing
the achievement gap where many of the children
from low-income and disadvantaged communities are
Q. A coalition opposed
to gay marriage is
trying to put a ban on
the 2008 ballot. How
involved would you
be in lobbying for or
against the measure?
This issue was resolved by the Massachusetts
Supreme Court, and we cannot leave civil rights issues
up to ballot measures. If elected, I would work hard to
see that the Legislature defeats the measure and then
focuses on the real concerns of the state: our economy
growing at half the rate of the rest of the country, a
steady loss of population and jobs, our underfunded
cities and towns, and the rising cost of living here in
I support marriage equality for all people. I would
vigorously oppose any measure to take away a
persons right to marry.
I oppose the proposed gay marriage ban in the
strongest terms possible and would be very active
in lobbying legislators to defeat it. I am fortunate to
be married to a wonderful man, Craig Caldwell, and I
believe everyone should have the same right to marry
the person he or she loves. I am the only candidate in
my race who has consistently opposed the Legislature
having an up-or-down vote on the amendment. I just
dont believe civil rights should be put up for a vote.
Q. Some school systems
are hitting a state cap
that limits the number of
students that can enroll
in charter schools. Do
you support or oppose
raising the cap on charter
I do not support raising the cap on charter schools,
because we have so much invested in our public
schools that we must look to improve them from
within. The Pilot Schools initiative - which is an
effective, proven, and successful model - does just
that. In fact, Los Angeles has studied school choice
throughout the country and plans to mirror Bostons
efforts in their own public school system.
Before I would support any expansion of charter
schools, I would like to see the programs that have
been devastated in our traditional public schools under
Romney-Healey restored. Also, we need to take the
examples of stunning success that exist today in many
traditional public schools across Massachusetts and
give all school districts the resources they need to
replicate those successes.
I support raising the cap on charter public schools.
Parents and children are speaking with their feet on
this issue. The Neighborhood House Charter School in
Dorchester has a waiting list of 2,000 children. There
is a huge demand for schools that are using innovative
techniques. We need to take the lessons from the
successful charter public schools and bring them to
the district public schools.