I was asked to represent the Jay Gonzalez campaign at my caucus, but in the end he came and spoke for himself. So, even though I haven’t been active on BMG for some time, I decided to post my talk here where people who are thinking about the governors race would see it.
When I started to get calls to work on Jay’s campaign I was thinking something many of you may be thinking: Charlie Baker is unbeatable. But I asked a variety of people what they think Charlie has done for the state, and got mostly surprised silence.
In answer to the flip side of that question, I got lots of answers.
While Baker has been governor and in the middle of an economic boom, Massachusetts’s bond rating was lowered.
Our transportation systems are a wreck.
The Department of Revenue had a data breach and misled the public about it.
The Department of Revenue failed to deliver child support payments to about 1,500 parents since the beginning of the year.
There was more, but I became convinced Charlie could be defeated.
Still, I listened to all 3 Dem candidates before making a commitment.
In the end I choose Jay for three reasons:
His experience, his success, and his vision for the Commonwealth.
First his experience.
Jay has strong experience in Massachusetts government both as Deval Patrick’s budget chief and as a bond lawyer, helping more than 100 cities and towns with bond financing to build roads, schools, libraries, etc. He was the Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care and CEO of a health insurance company.
I decided he had the right experience.
Was he successful?
As our Budget Chief, Jay earned the Commonwealth its highest bond rating ever, and that was during the recession. A high bond rating can save the state millions in interest cost.
As President & CEO of CeltiCare Health, Jay helped tens of thousands of low-income residents gain access to affordable health care, and the company added hundreds of jobs.
Under Jay’s leadership CeltiCare was the first insurer in Massachusetts to remove restrictions on life-saving detox treatments, to limit initial prescriptions for opioid painkillers, and to proactively assign case managers to members suffering from substance abuse disorder. The company was named a Boston Globe 2016 Game Changer for these innovations. http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2016/05/11/four-innovative-ideas-for-fixing-opioid-crisis/nxlYSjMzo0UMPEI9NBPbVI/story.html
Jay’s success was good enough for me.
Last, his vision for the Commonwealth.
Jay sees a Massachusetts in which proper fiscal management, single payer health care, a $15 minimum wage, and equal pay will be game changers in stimulating our economy.
His vision for the state is one in which:
People can afford the health care they need;
We invest in a working transit system and housing that people can afford to live in;
Every child has access to quality early education;
Our criminal justice system restores justice, fairness and common sense to how it treats people;
We restore funding to our environmental budget to protect our clean air and water, and fight the growing tides of climate change in the Bay State; and
The governor’s records become the people’s records, without executive office exemption, and transparency restores trust in state government.
I pledged to speak for Jay Gonzalez for governor because he has the experience, the success, and the vision for our Commonwealth that I believe in. I hope you do too.