Friday, September 15, 2006

Massachusetts elections next Tuesday

Hey Massholes, trying to decide who to vote for in the upcoming election? This year's biggest race is for Governor. Here are a couple of useful links for information- has user-friendly info on where the candidates stand on several important issues, and here's a more extensive, but more cumbersome issues website.

DCoE is endorsing Deval Patrick. I also like Gabrieli, and Reilly scores points for being the only candidate whose children attended public schools. However, Patrick's stance on several campaign issues is closest to mine. He's pro Cape Cod wind farm, pro stem cell research, pro gay marriage, and he's the only candidate who addresses the recent increase in gang-related gun violence in the city of Boston. Plus, I like how he doesn't dangle the tax rollback out to the voters. All of the other candidates are preaching rolling back the income tax from 5.3% to 5%, as if that 0.3% is the answer to everyone's problems. That 0.3% translates to about $240 for a family of four earning $100,000, which means it would probably only save me about $70 a year. Big fuckin' whoop. I'd rather have more affordable housing, a higher paying job, better health insurance, a safer community, improved public transportation, or a myriad of other things than $70 extra bucks in my pocket.

One last thing- if you don't vote, you have no right to complain about your government.


Beth said...

I like your last comment the best. It's really awful that more people vote for American Idol! Working for the government has completely jaded me, but I am still going to vote, dammit!

Beth said...

Oh yeah, I actually liked your whole post, but I don't really follow politics in your crazy state. I am surprised no one has proposed doubling the size of Fenway and Gillette Stadium - they'd win in a landslide :-)

eileen said...

Yeah, it bugs me when people who don't vote whine about the government.
Mass politics ARE crazy- how weird is it that we have a Mormon Republican governor?

Anonymous said...


How do you propose you get affordable housing, a higher paying job, better health insurance, a safer community and improved public transportation? I am sure you have some ideas as to how these things can happen, right?

eileen said...

I don't have the answers, either, but I'd rather hear candidates talking about these issues then acting like the proposed tax rollback is going to improve the quality of life here in the commonwealth. Saving $240 a year isn't going to prevent young professionals from moving out-of-state (a big talking point this election), but lower real estate prices and better paying jobs might.

Anonymous said...

Local government has no real control over real estate prices. Sure they could lower property taxes, but where would they make up for that loss of cash? Boston is one of the hottest real estate markets, which unfortunately screws those trying to live there. You could move to Quincy, Revere, or Chelsea and pay lower rent, and still live close to the city.

Better paying jobs? Once again they could cut taxes that companies pay, but once again where do they make up for that lack of income.

Better healthcare? You could always pay more for better health care.

Safer communities? Well when the city doesn't have money to pay for Firemen or Police, so this is a tough one. The government could help here with stricter gun laws (Mass. already has some of the strictest), mandatory sentences, and teen curfews. But I doubt those would pass. Another solution, move to the suburbs.

Improved Public transportation? Everytime the MBTA tries to raise fares people complain. Compared to other cities where you have to pay per ride getting discounts on every 10th or whatever, Boston has a pretty sweet deal if you buy the monthly pass it's unlimited trips. Sure the buses/trains could be in better shape. But imagine the costs that is spent on cleaning graffitti alone? And the added cost of cleaning because those people who leave their Metros and Dunkin Donut cups on the train instead of taking them with them. If the riders don't take care of the trains, why should the MBTA?

I think people should vote, and I agree it does give them some right to complain, but it can't stop there. You need to be more active than that. If you're upset with something, call your congressman or congresswoman. Show up at Town Meetings. Don't complain about the guy in office, do something to get someone else better in there. Or else, don't complain.

eileen said...

Thanks for the insightful post, Anonymous. I obviously realize that the government does not control real state prices and the job market, but I prefer it when politicians discuss these and other issues rather than throwing a bone to the voters by promising lower taxes and whatnot. Remember to vote in the primary today, everyone! Well, maybe just registered Democrats, because I don't think there are any important races for Republicans.

Lori said...

I completely agreed with your statement about Deval's tax stance. Every election candidates ride the tax wave which proves fruitless in the end.