One campaign issue is the long-delayed connector between route 146 and the Mass Pike – the lack of which I’ve grumbled about many a time. According to the Telegram & Gazette, Fresolo said the Route 146/Massachusetts Turnpike connector project has been “completely funded and I had everything to do with that.” Melissa Murgo challenges that claim. The paper summarizes that and other differences:
Ms. Murgo counters that Route 146 is three years behind schedule and that it’s taken the help of other legislators and U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern to get it back on track. And, she said, Mr. Fresolo voted against a $92 million increase in education aid in 1999, and four schools have since closed in Worcester. Mr. Fresolo said the schools closed because of declining enrollment.
The incumbent said he’s proud of the vote he took in the Legislature this year for “the most progressive health care” in the country. Ms. Murgo calls single-payer health insurance the better approach.
Ms. Murgo […] also cited these differences with him: She opposes the current system of requiring students to pass the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System test to graduate; she favors allowing same-sex marriage; she would have voted to tie the minimum wage in Massachusetts to the cost of living; and she favors paid family leave in the workplace.
Vote-Smart lists Fresolo’s positions as…
- Anti-choice – he got a 0 from both NARAL and Planned Parenthood in 2005.
- Rated in the 30s and 40s by the right-wing Citizens for Limited Taxation from 2001 through 2004, and suddenly 0% in 2005 – hmm, think Murgo’s first challenge affected him?
- Poor on women’s issues, with NOW ratings of 40, 43, and 33 (about the same as his CLT scores…)
- Rated 0% by Mass Voters for Clean Elections and 0% by Common Cause
- Opposed to gun control, with consistent A’s from the NRA
- Good on the environment
- Okay on economic issues for the poor, with 70s & 80s from the AFL-CIO, but Neighbor to Neighbor ratings of 43-58 in 2001-2004, suddenly jumping to 88% in 2005 (yup, that primary challenge was good for him!)
According to the Mass Scorecard, Fresolo’s record includes votes for instituting the death penalty, against allowing parents on welfare to go back to school, against bilingual education, for extending the corporate tax credit for 5 years, against funding stem cell research, and for the amendment banning gay marriage (twice),
The Mass Alliance (the Commonwealth Coalition revived) endorsed Melissa Murgo, writing:
Melissa Murgo first ran for this seat in 2004, and her showing impressed many local political observers. Since then, incumbent Representative John Fresolo has continually been mired by scandal, and he has been losing the confidence of his constituents. As a result, Melissa has a real opportunity to win this year.
Melissa will fight to expand affordable healthcare access, and she will work to reduce the costs of prescription drugs for seniors. Melissa understands that strong schools help to build strong communities, and she will fight to make sure that the State prioritizes public education by increasing public school funding through greater local aid. Melissa knows that economic development is vital for any community, and she will work hard to help Worcester businesses succeed and to bring more jobs to the city.
(Disclosure: I am the Mass Alliance’s webmaster, but have no involvement in their endorsement process.)
Alternative Debate Transcript
And now for some fun: Along the lines of Ed Prisby’s hilarious transcript, T&G columnist Dianne Williamson wrote her own interpretation of candidate quotations from a recent Worcester League of Women Voters candidates forum. The Murgo & Fresolo bits:
Ms. Murgo: “Our district deserves better.” (Translation: “My opponent once locked himself inside a cemetery.”)
Mr. Fresolo: “I have several unions that have supported my candidacy. (Translation: “Did I say I was endorsed by The Massachusetts Nurses Association? My bad!”)
Ms. Murgo: “I’ve grown increasingly concerned by the emerging pattern of questionable information we have seen from our state representative.” (Translation: “How can you tell when my opponent is lying? When his lips are moving.”)
Mr. Fresolo: “I never told anyone I had a business degree from Central New England College. (Translation: “I can’t believe that defunct joke of a $#@$% school still keeps records.”)