"This may be the most unique Senate race in the state.
I am a ticket-splitting Republican, and as a selectman from Westborough two years ago, I endorsed the candidacy of James Eldridge, the current incumbent, for state Senate under the impression that he would "fight" for local communities as well as for business development.
As I watched his voting record unfold in the state Senate during the next 18 months, it became clear that aside from not meeting my reasonable bipartisan expectations, the intensity of his progressive political commitment was actually hostile to them.
People of the Middlesex & Worcester Senate district deserve a robust debate about the issues, as well as the opportunity to vote to go in a different direction than where Beacon Hill and Senator Eldridge wish to take us.
The best way to eradicate the legislative dysfunction and tax-and-spend ways of Beacon Hill is to simply remove those who perpetuate the mess."
— 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?
"Yes. In light of the state's pulling back on local aid and Chapter 70 distributions, towns should be given all reasonable tools to manage their health care expenses, as well as other expenses, in a reasonable fashion.
I genuinely believe that the authority is needed to save municipal jobs and critical services that would otherwise be cannibalized by significant year-over-year premium increases.
While some towns, such as my hometown of Westborough, have had recent success bargaining the issue, it took us years to reach the point of success, and the issue is too significant to be left to the random possibility of success at the bargaining table.
Finally, although the state Senate passed a "compromise" version of design review authority, the compromise was more symbolic than substantive, and its enactment into law would have triggered more layoffs as opposed to protecting jobs when compared to giving municipalities the full power to execute this task."
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?
"I agree with increasing the retirement age, but I reserve the right to actually support bringing the cap for annual pensions below $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?
Should the state Legislature be exempt from the state's public records law?
"No. The state Legislature should have to function under the same rules that it requires municipalities to function under. I am convinced that it will improve the Legislature's performance and accountability."
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.
"I'm not a student of the votes of the Republican Party "leadership" on Beacon Hill ... since there are so few Republicans on Beacon Hill!
If I had to guess ... they probably would not have been wild about me endorsing Sen. Eldridge (D-Acton) two years ago (explained in the "Why Are You Running for Office" response).
I also supported the imposition of the "telephone pole" tax, since it was a matter of equity and long overdue.
Finally, I supported giving towns the choice to accept or reject the ability to increase their local meals and hotel taxes. I concluded it was better that towns have the authority to exercise the choice as opposed to leaving it up to a State House dominated by one political party."
Will you make public any questionnaires you fill out in pursuit of the endorsement of unions or other groups?
Should the Legislature be subject to a full audit?
"Yes. It is long overdue. The sooner the better."
Is the Legislature holding enough full formal sessions?
"No. It is shameful that they left Beacon Hill for several months while the state approaches a fiscal year that will be the most challenging in decades.
They "kicked the can" down the road in order to put their political campaigns before the best interests of the state.
People and businesses are suffering. They should be working at finding practical solutions."
Should there be term limits for the jobs of House Speaker and Senate President?
"Yes. I would extend them to the leadership of committees as well.
I believe that the best legislator is a citizen legislator. I have pledged not to serve more than 8 years in the state Senate if I am elected."