Friends, family, acquaintances, those of you who fall somewhere between the three,
I write you today in hopes that you will consider what I am saying on election day this November. For those of you who know me well enough, writing a letter like this is not something I have ever done, and quite frankly wouldn’t bother you with your time if I didn’t feel completely sincere in why I wanted to address you.
You see, this November I see the opportunity for Massachusetts to emerge from a government we associate with failure and inaction to one that we can admire and expect great things from; things like better schools, better jobs, a better economy, and better opportunities for everyone in this great state. In this current field of candidates I truly believe that Deval Patrick is the candidate who can bring Massachusetts down this path it so greatly deserves.
I had first heard of the Patrick campaign through a close friend of mine. When I had first visited the Patrick site I saw a platform that appeared to me to be nothing more than idealism something this current political environment has destroyed every day for years – giving us reasons and excuses as to why things can’t be the way they should.
Looking back now, I know I didn’t give Deval Patrick nearly enough credit, cause through these core ideals he has crafted pragmatic and practical solutions in his personal, political, and corporate experiences. Even though I know some of you who may read this may resist voting for a candidate with big business experience I believe that it surely reflects well on a candidate who has operated under an ethical code that so deeply resembles our own, even when in the face of adversity. This is why if you are like me, seeing Deval Patrick speak whether in person, or on television debates, is a much needed breath of fresh air. I also give great credit to Christy Mihos and Grace Ross for doing the same though accomplishing it in completely different means.
I however must say in the passing weeks I have been reenergized by what I’ve seen from the attack ads I have seen in the Healey campaign. This may sound strange at first but her campaign has served if nothing else as a painful reminder to what we can expect from another four years from Beacon Hill insiders and what life can be like after. The negative advertising we’ve seen from the Healey Headquarters is reflective of something we are all too used to candidates running around issues and resorting to tearing down the image of their opponents. It has for too long soured the minds of the great people of this state and has led many people to expect nothing but the worst from this government – rapidly increasing property taxes, the fatally catastrophic handling of big-dig safety, a failing public school system, and a loss of our best bio-tech jobs to California because of an administration that would rather play politics than serve the electorate that gave them their jobs.
Though I’ll give Kerry Healey some credit for originally trying to run on issues, when she has tried to debate on issues her performance has been nothing but lackluster and seemingly constructed in haste. Instead what we as voters get is a campaign resorting to running a platform on a day-to-day basis on what is the hot topic in the news.
Does anyone else remember how one of her central campaign issues was rolling back the state gasoline tax? if she genuinely was in such strong support of it before, why has her commitment wavered as gas prices drop?
If I can answer my own partially snarky, rhetorical question, its because it was never a genuine concern of Kerry Healey’s campaign. It was crafted, to put it quite crudely, to buy voters who were reeling over $3.19 of unleaded gasoline. That is it, nothing less, and certainly nothing more. This is what we’ve come to expect from Beacon Hill a candidate who’d rather promise the world to win an election if only to hold office for the power that comes with.
But like Mitt Romney promised in 2002, Kerry Healey is doing the same by promising tax cuts that the state cannot afford. For those of you who have also seen the Deval Patrick ad, cutting the state income tax only shifts the burden to cities and towns who are less able to shoulder the extra responsibility for making up for lost funding.
This has hit especially hard to home to my family. For those of you who don’t know, my family represents what was really meant by the American dream, an immigrant family moving to the states and working (quite hard at that) to establish themselves and give a better life and opportunity to my brother, sister, and myself. My father was an especially extraordinary man possessing gifts and talents I can only hope to one day emulate enabling his advancement in the factory he gave his life to. My family (and myself at the tender age of 1) moved from Somerville to Easton to give the three of us the opportunity to go to a better school system. As anyone would be able to figure out a mortgage for a house in Easton is a step up from the city formally known as “Slummerville.” But through the work of an amazing set of parents my family was able to completely pay off the mortgage on their dream home. It marked a great day and achievement for a couple who had came to this country without anything higher than a 4th grade education and a rudimentary understanding of the English language. Sadly in June of 1999 we all grieved the loss of my father at too young of an age, tremendously altering all of our lives and the many lives that he touched with his great kindness. It also faced us with the reality of financial hardship forcing my brother to move back home to help with my mother, who works as a teacher’s aide for children with mental disabilities (the work of a saint but sadly also tremendously underappreciated) to scrap together the best we could. And it worked. I graduated this past May from Suffolk University seeing my parents dream come true of having all their children finish college. As my mother said after the graduation ceremony “Now I can relax.”
Except she really can’t. You see as local aid was cut to cities and towns the Town of Easton has had to continuously raise property taxes to make up for its revenue shortfalls. Her property taxes alone are making life unnecessarily difficult. She works through great pain in her back and joints – just to be sure she can get by without having to sacrifice what she has stored away for life after work. I’m terribly afraid that if the property taxes in Easton have to go up again it will put her in the position that it is no longer feasible for her to live in her dream house. Not because of missed mortgage payments but simply because of property taxes. My mother deserves better, my family deserves better, you deserve better, and quite frankly everyone deserves better than this.
You’ll see it again clearly in the weeks winding down to the election a candidate who speaks candidly and is not afraid to tell you that cutting taxes is not going to help us right now and a candidate who’ll tell you anything she wants you to hear in order to get your vote. I am a true believer in sincerity and think that all of you can see what is genuine and what is the work of a candidate who is desperately grasping for straws. Kerry Healey will call Deval Patrick “soft on crime” even though it was his funding of a DNA test that implicated Ben LaGuer as the rapist. Howie Carr will be happy to give you reasons spanning the front four pages of the Boston Herald as to why Deval Patrick is on the side of the prisoners even though on page five high officers at the department of corrections will claim that it is the Romney / Healey administration that through its reckless cuts of correction officers, has actually made us less safe. Kerry Healey will do everything in her power to convince you that Deval Patrick is a “tax-and-spend-liberal” even though overall tax revenues increased her watch nearly $750m in the past ye
You’re probably sitting here wondering what $750m bought you. I am too. One thing it isn’t buying is my vote.
And I don’t think it’s going to buy anyone else’s.