"I'm running for office because our state is in a fiscal crisis and my opponent has done nothing to remedy the problem. She has voted for every single tax increase that's come before the Senate and has voted against job creation bills. She is also trying to pass a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition at the cost of the taxpayers.
The constituents of this district are not being listened to and have been neglected for too long. We need a state senator who is going to listen to everybody and not just pay attention to small special interest groups.
I would like to raise my family in this district, and I feel obligated to try and make this the best place possible."
— Submitted by the candidate
The Mass. Taxpayers Foundation recently recommended that local officials be given the power to design their own health plans without having to negotiate with the unions, and that state retirees use Medicare for their primary health care coverage. Do you support these proposals?
"There are several different proposals of this nature being put forward right now.
The local police and fire unions should have the opportunity to meet with their state senator and discuss their health care and retirement options. I've met with several police union leaders and they are more than willing to negotiate. However, my opponent hasn't given them the opportunity to do so.
Finally, I wouldn't consider supporting a bill like this unless the local cities and towns are able to collect the savings directly and not the state."
The foundation also proposed changes in state and municipal pensions, such as increasing the retirement age and capping annual pensions at $100,000. Do you agree?
"There needs to be some type of pension reform because the current system is bankrupting the state.
I would support raising the retirement age for most state and municipal workers. However, there are jobs like police officers and firefighters where their performance relies on their physical abilities. This needs to be taken into consideration when determining a new retirement age.
I would also support legislation that would cap annual pensions; however, I don't necessarily agree with capping them at $100,000."
Do you believe in keeping the requirement that a student must pass the MCAS or an MCAS-like test in order to graduate from high school?
"Massachusetts has long had some of the best public schools in the nation. Eliminating the MCAS requirements would weaken our public schools. We've invested too much time and money into the project to abandon it now, especially where it has proven to be successful."
Should the state Legislature be exempt from the state's public records law?
"No, I don't believe that the state senate should be exempt from the state's public records law. There needs to be more transparency in government in order to make sure state senators are acting in the best interest of their constituents and this is one way we can achieve that."
Cite any votes (if an incumbent) or positions (if a challenger or newcomer) you have taken that disagree with the stance taken by your party's legislative leadership.
"The casino bill is just one of many bills where I disagreed with my party's leadership. This bill would have created thousands of jobs and brought the state hundreds of millions of dollars which we desperately need during this fiscal crisis."
Will you make public any questionnaires you fill out in pursuit of the endorsement of unions or other groups?
"Yes, I will. In fact, I will be posting the answers to all of my questionnaires on my website very shortly. The voters deserve to know what types of promises their elected officials or candidates are making and to what groups."
Should the Legislature be subject to a full audit?
"Every body of the state government should be subject to a full audit. This is the only way we are going to curb wasteful spending and get our fiscal house in order."
Is the Legislature holding enough full formal sessions?
"I don't believe that the Legislature is holding enough formal sessions.
Massachusetts is facing several crises right now and the Legislature should be working overtime to correct these issues. They spent the majority of this past session debating a casino bill, which didn't pass, while there are more than 325,000 people out of work and countless others are fighting to make ends meet on a daily basis."
Should there be term limits for the jobs of House Speaker and Senate President?
"Term limits should be in place for these positions. We need to have regular change so that the people holding these positions are doing what's in the best interest of the people and to keep corruption at a minimum."