Party: Democratic

Incumbent: Yes

Headquarters: 444 Washington St., Brighton, MA 02135
Phone: (617) 787-2010

Age: 60

Occupation: Secretary of state

Family: Married, wife Eileen, daughter Bridget

Town: Boston

Education: Bachelor of arts degree, cum laude, Boston College, 1972.
Juris doctorate, Suffolk University School of Law, 1975.

Experience: Massachusetts secretary of state, 1995-present

— Submitted by the candidate

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TIMELINE

Why are you running?

"During the next four years, Massachusetts families will invest millions of their hard-earned dollars in the risk marketplace trying to plan for their financial futures, including retirement and savings for college tuition.

It is the responsibility of the state secretary, as the state's chief securities regulator, to protect these investors and their funds. This is particularly challenging in difficult economic times.

I believe that I have a demonstrated record of protecting the assets of Massachusetts families, actually returning hundreds of millions of dollars back to Massachusetts victims of financial fraud.

With the new regulatory changes coming in financial services, I am eager to use these new tools to protect and advance the financial security of Massachusetts families.

During the next four years, millions of Massachusetts citizens will seek to have their voices heard by participating in national, state, and local elections.

I am determined to continue to provide to these citizens every opportunity to participate in elections that are easily accessible, accurate, and free of technical error, building upon the record voter registration and participation that has occurred during my tenure.

I am particularly looking forward to the fair administration of the re-precincting and redistricting process that must occur prior to the 2012 election cycle."

— Submitted by the candidate

Issues

Public records

How can we improve the state's public records law?

"I have vigorously enforced the right of citizens to gain access to all types of public records, including e-mail and other electronic communications. My office has regularly adjudicated more than 500 public records requests annually.

However, the Legislature has continually refused to support my legislative initiatives to require enforcement of this law.

In particular, I support and have filed legislative proposals to streamline the enforcement process, which presently requires the supervisor of public records to refer to the attorney general requests to follow disclosure orders.

I have also proposed that my office should have the authority to 'order' that reproduction fees be waived in appropriate cases because access to records can be costly, particularly for average citizens."

Ballot questions

Should the threshold for getting a question on the ballot be increased, as some legislators have suggested?

"In a word, 'No.'

The present process, which requires a significant number of signatures, is still achievable for even a grassroots volunteer effort. The signature level directly relates to voter turnout in recent elections.

To increase the number of signatures would compromise the rights of citizens to seek access to the ballot.

I do believe that to the extent constitutionally permissible, the role of paid signature gatherers should be scrutinized."

Priorities

If elected, what are your priorities for the next term?

"Among my priorities during the next four years, I intend to utilize the authority provided by the recently enacted national financial regulation law to expand my protection of Massachusetts families that invest their assets in risk financial investments such as the stock market and mutual funds.

I worked hard to make sure that the new law guarantees the right of states such as Massachusetts to provide greater consumer protection to its citizens. I intend to use that authority.

Within the next two years, Massachusetts must complete a redistricting of its congressional and legislative districts. I am committed to a transparent process that protects the integrity of communities without regard to partisan advantage or disadvantage.

This process begins with every city and town redrawing their ward and precinct lines under my supervision. I am determined that this should be a fair and transparent process that protects villages, neighborhoods, and communities of interest so that they may receive fair political representation.

I am also prioritizing continuing enforcement of the new reformed lobbying laws which I worked to pass. Every year, special interests in Massachusetts spend tens of millions of dollars to influence policy. I am committed to a continuing and expanded effort to provide prompt disclosure of who is paying and whom they are paying to influence public policy."

Responses gathered through e.thePeople

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