Democrats Rallied for Final Election Push
We didn't make Gov. Deval Patrick's meet and greet at Richmond Consolidated School on Wednesday night, but we were there for a rally at the Itam Lodge in Pittsfield on Friday night. More than 100 Democrats were at the event to cheer Patrick on to a second term.
Patrick's been keeping a slim lead in the polls against his closest opponent, Republican Charlie Baker; independent Tim Cahill and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein have been trailing in the single digits.
Pittsfield Mayor James Ruberto, one of Patrick's biggest cheerleaders, challenged party members to turn out 80 percent for the former Clinton administration official.
Patrick, meanwhile, pointed to pension and ethics reform he's pushed; consolidation of the state's transportation departments and investments in education, life sciences and green technology. But his administration has been overshadowed by sinking revenues as the state dealt with the global financial crisis. The recession has cost jobs and cut billions from the state budget affecting programs and departments.
Recent news on the jobs front was mixed — the state gained jobs or lost them, depending on the report — but the Democratic incumbent said the news was hopeful. "The point is we still have a lot of people who need a way forward in this economy," he said. "We're climbing out this hole faster than the rest of the country."
The way to do it isn't to create more unemployment, he said, taking a swipe at Baker's proposal to cut 5,000 state workers. Rather, he said, the best path was continued investment in innovation, education and infrastructure. "Because we've invested in growth, our revenue is returning in step."
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Patrick Plans Pittsfield Rally
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Gov. Deval Patrick will host a campaign rally on Friday at Itam Lodge, 93 Waubeek Road, on Friday, Oct. 22, beginning at 5:30.
Patrick, who has a home in Richmond, is running for a second term in office. The Pittsfield rally will allow residents from throughout the Berkshires to have a conversation with Patrick about the issues at stake in the election.
This event is free open to the public.
"Policy only matters at the point where it touches people, and politics is most meaningful at the grassroots," said Patrick in a statement. "That's why [Lt. Gov.] Tim Murray and I are out talking with people every day about the choices before us as a commonwealth, and building a grassroots network stronger than ever."
The campaign says it's gaining momentum continues to gain grassroots momentum as Election Day approaches. Patrick and Murray have criss-crossed the state in recent months, meeting with voters. At a rally with President Obama this past Saturday, more than 7,500 volunteers committed to helping the Patrick–Murray team "get-out-the-vote" on Election Day — and volunteers are working everyday in the campaign’s 25 coordinated field offices, making phone calls and knocking on doors to reach voters about the decision they have on Election Day.
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NFIB Endorses Baker
BOSTON — The fact that Gov. Deval Patrick has never heard of the National Federation of Independent Business, an organization that represents 8,000 small businesses in his state, explains why they’re supporting his opponent, the organization’s director said today.
“On behalf of our 8,000 members in Massachusetts, we’ve been trying for four years to work with the administration on policies that would help small businesses and stimulate real job growth,” said Bill Vernon, the federation's state director. “His policies, and the economic data, make it clear that he hasn’t been listening.”
Vernon referred to an article posted today by the State House News Service that reported on an event at which the federation announced its support for Baker. When asked why he didn’t get the endorsement, Patrick seemed to know little about the organization or its membership.
“Charlie Baker’s positions on the issues reflect a practical understanding based on real experience,” said Vernon. “We’ve been frustrated with the governor because his policies – and his comments today – reflect a real detachment from small business.”
Vernon said that his members voted overwhelmingly to endorse Baker for governor because of the rising cost of doing business in Massachusetts.
“This administration has done very little to reduce the enormous cost of doing business and creating jobs in Massachusetts,” said Vernon. “We’ve had a lost decade in terms of job growth, largely because of the state’s uncompetitive tax, regulatory and health care policies.”
Vernon noted that the state’s business climate became inhospitable long before the national recession took hold.
“The cost of public pensions has been spinning out of control and driving local taxes higher. Health insurance premiums for small businesses in Massachusetts have increased by double digit rates for the past several years. And the state has one of the most aggressive and meddlesome regulatory systems in the country,” said Vernon. “Add these factors to the recessionary conditions and you’ve got problems that are Massachusetts-only in their severity.”
Vernon said that his members are especially supportive of Baker’s remedy for health care, which emphasizes consumer choice and market competition.
“Charlie Baker has solutions that would fundamentally change the consumer incentives and bring market forces to health care,” said Vernon. “It’s the largest business expense next to employees and taxes, and it’s getting bigger by the day.”
Vernon said that his members also support Baker’s call for a top-to-bottom review of state regulations.
“Small business owners need to know what the rules are now and what they will be in five years,” said Vernon. “We need to enforce the regulations that make sense and get rid of the ones that have outlived their utility or which duplicate federal regulations.”
The National Federation of Independent Business is the country’s leading association of small businesses. For more information, go to www.nfib.org/massachusetts.
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Patrick Plans Community Event in Adams
Deval Patrick will be stumping in Adams on Monday evening, Aug. 8, for one of several campaign events planned across the state. Patrick, a Democrat, is running for re-election as governor.
The "On Our Side: Communities Connecting For Deval Patrick" campaign stop will be held at Forest Park Country Club beginning at 6 p.m.
The meet and greet is open to the public. The Adams Selectmen on Wednesday said they had been informed of the stop as a courtesy and made it clear that Patrick was visiting in his role as a candidate for re-election, not in his capacity as governor.
However, Chairman Michael Ouellette encouraged citizens to attend the event and ask questions of Patrick so to be informed for gubernatorial election.
In a statement on his campaign site, Patrick said: "Policy only matters at the point where it touches people. So, I look forward to the chance to talk with people about the progress we have made in education, health care and job creation, and the work we hope to finish in a second term. This is what grassroots campaigning is all about."
The Adams campaign is the second for the western end of the state and will complete a campaign swing that starts today in Hyannis, followed by Nantucket and Quincy. Patrick has also held a "community connection" in Springfield and in a number of eastern cities.
For more information, go to devalpatrick.com.
Charlie Baker, the Republican candidate for governor, was in Hancock and Pittsfield on Thursday. He first visited Jiminy Peak Ski Resort and then had lunch at the Highland Restaurant.
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Cahill Seeking Grassroots Support
Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill, right, and WJJW host Charles Schneitzlen the MCLA radio station on Friday morning. Cahill was making a swing through the Berkshires that included a stop at a mayors' forum in Lenox.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Tim Cahill wants people to know what he stands for — even if he has to tell one person at a time.
The gubernatorial hopeful was hammered earlier this week with an all-out attack on his record as state treasurer and Quincy city councilor by the Republican Governors Association on behalf of GOP opponent Charles D. Baker Jr., former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health.
"It's a gross distortion of my record," said Cahill on Friday morning during an interview with "Charlie in the Morning" host Charles Schneitzlen at WJJW at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. "[They want] to try to define me before I get to define myself."
Cahill says he's "a fiscal conservative who'll run a fiscally conservative administration." He left the Democratic Party last summer because, he said, the two-party system is broken.
The GOP's motives aren't hard to divine: Scott Brown's stunning election victory in January to fill the Senate seat of the late Edward M. Kennedy has boosted the aspirations of the moribund party — its recent string of governors notwithstanding. With Cahill running as an independent, he threatens to split the vote for Baker.
"The Republicans want to regain power," said Cahill. "[Mississippi] Gov. Haley Barbour [RGA chairman] poured over a $1 million into attack ads."
The former Democrat says he won't attack back — at least not using negative ads.
"Conventional wisdom tells people that I need to go out and run my own negative ads against Charlie Baker or Deval Patrick, which we're not going to do," he said. "We could spend a million or two on the air, but I think that would leave people confused of who's telling the truth. It's much better for people to do it one on one and that's what I'm doing — that's why I'm here today."
Despite slipping polls, he said a rally Thursday night in Dorchester turned out more than 1,100 people. He's building a grassroots network across the state to talk to people "about who I really am and what I've done for the commonwealth."
Cahill points to his efforts to return Lottery monies to towns, and to cleanup and structure the School Building Authority, restoring its financial health and targeting worthwhile, economically feasible projects. If elected, he would apply part of the sales tax revenue into fixing infrastructure problems and give students 21st-century classrooms. Education, he said, is key to rebuilding the economy.
The major portion of Cahill's plan to rejuvenate the state's economy is across-the-board tax cuts and incentives to promote entrepreneurial investment, such as tax relief for the first three years of a startup. He thinks the current and past administrations have focused too much on big business and specialized areas rather than broadly based incentives for all small businesses.
"I was a small-business man out of college. I realized through experience how difficult is to manage your own business when government takes more and more of your revenue," said Cahill. "We want to allow people to keep more of their money."
The Quincy native operated Handshakes Cafe, which grew to three locations during the 1980s, credited the Reagan tax cuts for helping him expand his business.
The cuts would be an investment paid through the job growth — more people working and buying means fewer people depending on government assistance to get them through hard times thus less government spending, he said.
"Let the pivate sector not the public sector rebuild our economy so we can invest in infrastructure."
Cahill was to take up those topics in his address to the Massachusetts Mayors Association later in the morning at Cranwell Resort in Lenox (Gov. Deval Patrick was also speaking Friday; Baker spoke Thursday) and visit Taconic High School in Pittsfield in the afternoon.
For more on Cahill's positions, go to timforgovernor.com.
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