State of Massachusetts secondary Archives: on Government Reform


Kevin O`Connor: Every vote must count; make ballots more accessible

Election integrity must be preserved, and Kevin O`Connor is committed to ensuring that every vote counts. When the pandemic hit, power brokers on Beacon Hill refused to create reasonable ballot access rules. Kevin fought that injustice all the way to the State Supreme Judicial Court, and he won. Kevin also supports continuing the Electoral College system for presidential elections.
Source: 2020 Massachusetts Senate campaign website KOCforSenate.com Oct 6, 2020

Shiva Ayyadurai: Pledges to serve one term, not focus on re-election

Career politicians exist to serve themselves, not America and not YOU. They spend 80% of their time after election to get re-elected, and the remaining 20% on legislation to pay back those who funded their election. I will serve one-term, 100% for you, and I will push forward legislation for your long-term interests, not my re-election.
Source: 2020 Massachusetts Senate campaign website Shiva4Senate.com Jun 24, 2020

Ed Markey: Ok with outside PAC ads, if positive ads

Markey and Kennedy sparred over a "People's Pledge," which would limit outside money spent in the race. Kennedy supports it, while Markey only limits negative advertisements. Markey has been endorsed by Environment Massachusetts, which plans to put together a $5 million campaign to support his candidacy.

"We should welcome positive voices, disclosed voices," like those from "environmental groups," Markey said.

"Who gets to say these are voices we like?" Kennedy replied.

Source: CNN coverage of 2020 Massachusetts Senate debate Feb 18, 2020

Joe Kennedy III: Supports People's Pledge: no outside PAC spending

Markey and Kennedy sparred over a "People's Pledge," which would limit outside money spent in the race. Kennedy supports it, while Markey only limits negative advertisements. Markey has been endorsed by Environment Massachusetts, which plans to put together a $5 million campaign to support his candidacy.

"We should welcome positive voices, disclosed voices," like those from "environmental groups," Markey said.

"Who gets to say these are voices we like?" Kennedy replied.

Source: CNN coverage of 2020 Massachusetts Senate debate Feb 18, 2020

Joe Kennedy III: Proposed pledge to limit spending from outside groups

The three-way Democratic primary for incumbent Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey's seat may see the candidates sign the so-called People's Pledge to limit outside campaign financing. Politico reported that U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy's campaign had recently reached out to Markey and labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan with proposed language to limit spending from outside groups and plans for a pledge signing ceremony. Kennedy had already called on his opponents to sign a pledge after he entered the race in September, the Boston Globe reported.

Politico reported that the campaigns were finalizing details and could sign an agreement within the next two weeks. Liss-Riordan and Kennedy had confirmed plans to sign the pledge, but the pair postponed while the Senate was in session, with the Markey campaign telling Politico that the senator was "actively looking at" a pledge agreement.

Source: Springfield Republican on 2020 Massachusetts Senate race Nov 7, 2019

Shannon Liss-Riordan: Pledge to limit campaign spending from outside groups

The three-way Democratic primary for incumbent Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey's seat may see the candidates sign the so-called People's Pledge to limit outside campaign financing. Politico reported that U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy's campaign had recently reached out to Markey and labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan with proposed language to limit spending from outside groups and plans for a pledge signing ceremony. Kennedy had already called on his opponents to sign a pledge after he entered the race in September, the Boston Globe reported.

Politico reported that the campaigns were finalizing details and could sign an agreement within the next two weeks. Liss-Riordan and Kennedy had confirmed plans to sign the pledge, but the pair postponed while the Senate was in session, with the Markey campaign telling Politico that the senator was "actively looking at" a pledge agreement.

Source: Springfield Republican on 2020 Massachusetts Senate race Nov 7, 2019

Lori Trahan: Ambitious campaign finance and voting reform plan

Lori understands that Americans are skeptical about our political system. With trust in our institutions at an all-time low, Lori wants to help foster a stronger relationship between citizens and their government. Lori supports an ambitious campaign finance reform plan and will also work to break down the barriers that exist in civic engagement. Lori understands that voting is one of the most important rights we as Americans have and she intends to expand that right, not restrict it.
Source: 2018 Massachusetts 3rd House campaign website LoriTrahan.com Oct 9, 2018

Charlie Baker: Automatic voter registration via RMV and MassHealth

Hundreds of thousands of new voters could join the state's rolls in the coming years after Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation that adopts automatic voter registration. The voting measure registers eligible residents when they get their driver's licenses or health insurance through the state.

The automatic voter registration law makes Massachusetts the 14th state to adopt such a measure. Under the new law, eligible residents who interact with the Registry of Motor Vehicles or the MassHealth program will have to opt out if they don't want to join the voter rolls, rather than opt in.

The law also allows the secretary of state to reach agreements with state agencies to automatically register voters if they meet certain criteria, potentially further expanding the net the state can cast to reach eligible residents.

Baker previously said he had confidence that the state could install automatic voter registration with a "fairly high degree of integrity" at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Source: Boston Globe on 2018 Massachusetts gubernatorial race Aug 9, 2018

Heidi Wellman: Oppose making voter registration easier

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Make voter registration easier"?

A: NO

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Massachusetts Senate candidate Mar 7, 2018

John Kingston: Washington is broken: term limits for members of Congress

Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Kingston criticized Sen. Elizabeth Warren Wednesday for protecting career politicians and supporting the broken status quo in Washington by refusing to endorse term limits for Members of Congress. Kingston has signed the U.S. Term Limits Congressional Pledge and was praised by the organization in a statement released last week.

"Washington is fundamentally broken, in no small part, because there are too many politicians in Congress whose top priority is getting re-elected, rather than doing what is right for the nation," Kingston said. "That is why I fully support term limits for members of Congress."

"Members of Congress should never forget they are there to serve the citizens that elected them-- not to advance their own political careers," Kingston continued. "Sen. Warren's continued refusal to endorse term limits puts an exclamation mark on her loyalty to the broken status quo in Washington."

Source: 2018 Massachusetts Senate campaign website JohnKingston.com Feb 14, 2018

Bob Massie: Organized people can beat organized money

I reject the idea that our political future should be determined by elites. I know, as does Our Revolution Massachusetts, that organized people can beat organized money and entrenched power.

The grassroots power of 10,000 Our Revolution Massachusetts members and friends will be critical to successful caucuses, as well as building momentum toward the primary and general elections. We will work to employ their creativity and energy in a genuine people-powered campaign.

Source: ORMA questionnaire on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Dec 20, 2017

Jay Gonzalez: Special interests and big money have no place in elections

Special interests and big money have no place in our elections. As Governor, I will work to curtail the influence of moneyed interests in politics and increase disclosure requirements that will bolster transparency around how campaigns and outside groups raise and spend their funds. I support passage of a federal constitutional amendment that will expressly permit Congress and states to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures, including corporate contributions. I am proud to be one of the first candidates in the country to sign the American Promise pledge to use my office to advance this amendment. I also propose creating new disclosure requirements for donors to independent expenditure groups and closing existing loopholes in state campaign finance laws that allow special interests & big donors to exert undue influence. I'm the only candidate that has published a detailed campaign finance reform policy that includes these and other proposals.
Source: ORMA questionnaire on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Dec 20, 2017

Setti Warren: Supports automatic voter registration

Of the eight specific federal legislative proposals in ORMA's "People's Platform," I am fully comfortable supporting the first five, including the Automatic Voter Registration Act, and I will work to implement each of these in Massachusetts as governor.

SummerForProgress.com summary of H.R. 2840, the Automatic Voter Registration Act:

We fought for elimination of superdelegates coming from Massachusetts, as well as a Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) system. Both measures are included in the platform and RCV will be on the 2020 ballot. We support the pending legislation in the state house for Automatic Voter Registration. Our goal is to revitalize democracy here in the commonwealth by supporting legislation that would increase civic engagement and remove barriers to voting.

Source: ORMA questionnaire on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Dec 20, 2017

Jay Gonzalez: Strong campaign finance policies ensure democracy's promise

Let's aim high on campaign finance reform. "We the people" is a cornerstone of our American political identity. America is its people. But we know that our democracy is not self-fulfilling. It takes us, all of us, to breathe life into it and protect it. We cannot take it for granted.

Our collective well-being depends on a strong, healthy and responsive democratic government. We need to aim high to ensure that our elections and government are open and responsive to all of us. We need to make it easier for regular people to impact elections and policy, and to participate equally in the political process, regardless of their income and resources.

We need strong campaign finance policies to ensure that our democracy fulfills its promise to each and every one of us, to the people. Unfortunately, the current system for funding elections falls far short of the ideal, both nationally and right here in Massachusetts.

Source: 2018 Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign website jay4ma.com Dec 12, 2017

Beth Lindstrom: For Congressional term limits

Should I earn the opportunity, I will consider my service as a duty, and never as an entitlement. I'm a believer in term limits for everyone in Congress. At most 12 years in the House, and the same for the Senate. Frankly that is closer to the vision of our founders, who wanted citizen legislators and not a permanent governing class.
Source: Sampan.org on 2018 Massachusetts Senate race Oct 23, 2017

Heidi Wellman: Term limits for US Congress

A maximum of two terms for US Senators and four terms for US House Representatives. If we limit the extent of it I strongly believe we will see a decrease in cronyism. The population wants it and if a person can't make a difference in 6 years time, then I believe it would be time for a new replacement anyway. We may find MORE people willing to run for office. Average folk like you and I.
Source: 2018 Massachusetts Senatorial website HeidiForSenate.com Oct 15, 2017

Geoff Diehl: More public access; more checks on state spending

Source: 2018 Massachusetts Senatorial website DiehlForSenate.com Oct 1, 2017

Jesse Gordon: Reform campaign finance to stop protecting incumbents

Q: Citizens United, a 5-4 Supreme Court decision, resulted in enabling the wealthiest people and largest corporations in this country to contribute unlimited amounts of money to campaigns. This decision must be overturned and corruption in politics must end. This means fighting to pass a constitutional amendment making it clear that Congress and the states have the power to regulate money in elections. We must also eliminate super PACs and other outside spending abuses and work to aggressively enforce campaign finance rules.

A: Agree.

Candidate's position on this issue: Campaign finance reform should focus on fighting the system that protects incumbents and the wealthy; realistically the only solution is public campaign financing.

Source: ORMA questionnaire on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Jul 31, 2017

Jesse Gordon: Why require in-person voting? Why register? Why Tuesday?

Q: In order to protect our democracy, we must fight for a publicly financed, transparent system of campaign financing that amplifies small donations. We must also ensure that all Americans are guaranteed an effective right to vote.

A: Agree.

Candidate's position on this issue: On the right to vote, every restriction should be questioned: Why require pre-election registration at all? Why require in-person voting? Why Tuesday?

Source: ORMA questionnaire on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Jul 31, 2017

Shiva Ayyadurai: We need term limits against lobbyists & career politician.

What better person to represent Massachusetts than someone who knows information technology, someone who knows biotech, someone who knows how to create jobs. A Senator is someone who is supposed to be a representative. I am de facto the best representative. I am not a lobbyist or a career politician. We need term limits. I'm not looking to do this as a job. One or two terms maximum and then get back to the farm. That's it.
Source: Merion West on 2018 Massachusetts Senate race Jul 24, 2017

Bob Massie: Rigged political system addressed by democratic engagement

Q: How do you deal with what Bernie Sanders referred to as the rigged political system?

A: I think the founders would be horrified by the level of power exerted by the wealthy and by corporations. And if the founders had been able to anticipate them, they would certainly have denied corporations the idea that they were somehow a person with constitutional rights.

Q: What can be done?

A: I don't understand why people ignore politics. The one thing that can overcome the [corporate] forces is democratic engagement. But [corporate forces] understand that, so they do everything they can to dishearten us, to disenfranchise us, to suppress voters, to change the rules. In fact, I believe that the Republican Party has realized that the only way it can stay in power is by continuing to cheat--cheating in voter suppression, cheating in Citizens United, in redistricting, cheating in just about every way they can, to make sure that only the people who are likely to vote for them get to vote.

Source: Commonwealth Magazine on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Jun 16, 2017

Setti Warren: Public records laws for open and transparent governing

As Mayor of Newton, Setti Warren governed in an open and transparent way because people deserve to know what their government is doing in their name. Massachusetts lags the nation in government transparency, but nowhere is sunshine needed more than the annual state budget making process. Setti Warren believes that a budget is not only a statement of values, but that the process of writing this values statement requires public input. That's why he will make public records laws apply to the governor's office and has endorsed the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center's recommendations to make our budget process more transparent.
Source: 2018 Massachusetts governor campaign website SettiWarren.com Jun 1, 2017

Bob Massie: Supports same-day voter registration

The Cambridge Dems asked for stances on charter schools, sanctuary cities/states, the millionaire's tax, and money in politics (Not every candidate was asked about every issue):
Source: Politico.com on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Feb 1, 2017

Jay Gonzalez: Supports same-day voter registration

The Cambridge Dems asked for stances on charter schools, sanctuary cities/states, the millionaire's tax, and money in politics (Not every candidate was asked about every issue):
Source: Politico.com on 2018 Massachusetts governor race Feb 1, 2017

Charlie Baker: Declined to sign "People's Pledge" against outside PAC ads

Both made efforts to fire up their bases with red meat comments on wedge issues like illegal immigration and campaign finance reform. Coakley scolded Baker for not signing a campaign gimmick that blocks third party spending in campaigns known as the "People's Pledge" while pressing him on supporting a constitutional amendment that would reform campaign finance laws. Baker responded by saying that he'd like to see reforms, but the constitutional amendment process is far too slow.
Source: Springfield Republican on 2014 Massachusetts Governor race Oct 29, 2014

Bruce Skarin: Campaign finance reform to end pervasive corruption

An independent candidate for the US Senate, Skarin took part last year in the NH Rebellion, a two-week trudge across the Granite State to underscore the need for campaign finance reform to end what participants called pervasive corruption in Washington.

Now Skarin is raising money in $15 increments to finance a 1,000-mile walk around Massachusetts starting in April to highlight his campaign against Democratic Sen. Edward Markey.

"This may seem like an incredibly ambitious thing to do, but I don't think it's the least bit crazy," Skarin said. "I'm trying to put an emphasis on the need of representing the people. Right now there's institutional corruption."

By accepting only up to $15 per person a year, he said, he won't be beholden to the special interest groups, large corporations & powerful industries that he says exercise disproportionate influence in Congress. Skarin's immediate goal is to collect 334 donations and qualify as an official candidate with the Federal Election Commission.

Source: Worcester Telegram on 2014 Massachusetts Senate race Feb 14, 2014

Brian Herr: Reduce non-military federal workforce by 15% via attrition

We need leaders who will make tough decisions and do what is right for our country. Some of the things I would do:
  • Reduce the federal workforce by 15% by instituting a hiring freeze of non-military personnel. This would not require layoffs--with natural attrition, the federal workforce would gradually decrease while still keeping the same level of service.
  • Eliminate duplicate and inefficient programs that produce waste, fraud, & abuse.
  • Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Our elected officials in Washington have clearly shown that they will not balance the budget on their own.
  • Impose Term Limits on Members of Congress. Without fundamental reform and new leadership, little will change across the political landscape of America.It's time for Congress to roll-up their sleeves and get to work. America will prosper again when we stop the reckless spending and balance the federal budget."
    Source: 2014 Massachusetts Senate campaign website, BrianHerr.com Feb 6, 2014

    Brian Herr: If we want new ideas, send new people, via term limits

    Brian Herr called on Congress to amend the Constitution and impose term limits on Members of Congress. "We have real problems that must be addressed," said Herr. "Unfortunately, the ideas coming from Washington--from both Democrats and Republicans--are the same tired policies that simply are not working. If we want new ideas in Washington, we must send new people."

    Herr continued: "The Founding Fathers envisioned individuals serving our country then returning to their everyday lives. This is a far cry from today's reality, in which many Members of Congress have spent decades in those chambers."

    Herr proposes to limit U.S. House Members to six two-year terms and U.S. Senate Members to two six-year terms. Recognizing the need for practical support from Incumbents, the change would not be applied retroactively to current Members of Congress but would begin upon their next election.

    Source: 2014 Massachusetts Senate campaign website, BrianHerr.com Feb 6, 2014

    Brian Herr: If we want new ideas in Washington, we must send new people

    Republican U.S. Senate primary candidate and Hopkinton Selectman Brian Herr today called for 12-year term limits on members of Congress. "We have real problems that must be addressed," Herr said in a press release. "Unfortunately, the ideas coming from Washington--from both Democrats and Republicans--are the same tired policies that simply are not working. If we want new ideas in Washington, we must send new people."

    Herr proposes limiting U.S. House members to six two-year terms and limiting U.S. Senators to two six-year terms. "Recognizing the need for practical support from incumbents, the change (should) not be applied retroactively to current members of Congress but would begin upon their next election," the press release reads. Herr said the country's Founding Fathers envisioned lawmakers returning to their everyday lives after serving, not staying in power for decades.

    Source: Hopkinton Crier on 2014 Massachusetts Senate race Feb 6, 2014

    Deval Patrick: To be in the leadership business, govern for the long-term

    We have produced the results we have [because] we have governed for the long-term. In government, just like in business, there is enormous pressure to manage for the short-term, to lurch from crisis to crisis. I am determined to keep our focus on the next generation instead of the next news cycle. And more often than not you have shared that discipline.

    Yet, even as we celebrate that progress tonight, some things have not changed enough. We lead the country in student achievement but some of our students remain stuck in achievement gaps. We're using better tools to combat youth violence but still lose too many people to a cycle of violence. We are the only state to guarantee emergency shelter but too many people need it. Our economy is growing, booming in some quarters. But we are leaving some of our neighbors behind. If we are to be in the leadership business, we need to lead in rebuilding the ladder to success, too.

    Source: 2014 State of the State speech to Massachusetts legislature Jan 28, 2014

    Charlie Baker: $500 donor limit is crazy; it's suppression of free speech

    At a Republican forum in Braintree in early April, Baker critiqued rules such as the inability to launch an exploratory committee and donation limits as strictures that benefit incumbents. "We have a $500 limit. Five hundred dollars, you know, in this day and age, I'm sorry, is crazy," Baker said. "I mean the federal limit is $2,500 in the primary; $2,500 in the general. A number of other states, people have gone to court to say that this is a suppression of free speech. They've won. I think Massachusetts probably ought to move. What do you think about having a ballot question that deals with some of these silly incumbent protection rules?"
    Source: State House News Service on 2014 Massachusetts Governor race Dec 3, 2013

    Joe Kennedy III: Necessary regulations costs are crippling

    On federal compliance: "Back home in my district just outside Boston, the 4th District, I hear concerns about the cost of compliance from those regulations in almost all the cities and towns that I visit," said Kennedy. "They don't disagree with the importance of these regulations, but as they struggle to get back on their feet post recession and deal with an already crippling loss of state and federal dollars due to our budget situation here, that cost of compliance can seem almost impossible."
    Source: Taunton Gazette on 2020 Massachusetts Senate race Nov 15, 2013

    Carla Howell: Libertarian government is bare-essentials small government

    Q: What is small government?

    A: Small government is a night watchman, a tiny institution that does only the bare essentials. Small government is limited to defending our lives, our liberty, and our property. Small government is a mere fraction of today’s big government. Libertarian government is small government.

    Source: Eric Darbe, Massachusetts News Jan 5, 2000

    Carla Howell: Supports term limits; 12 years for herself

    Q: Do you support term limits?

    A: Yes, I do support term limits. I understand why some oppose them. But I believe that term limits is a form of limiting the power of government. In particular, limiting the power of individuals to use government. So I do support term limits, I believe they should be applied to judges as well as legislators.

    I promise that, if I am elected, I will serve no more than two terms as US senator from Massachusetts.

    Source: Eric Darbe, Massachusetts News Jan 5, 2000

    • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Massachusetts Politicians: secondary Archives.
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