Small business owner, erstwhile unemployed guy, and self-identified MA Tea Party Republican Mark Fisher wants to be governor here. He spoke with me today about his vision of what government should and should not be about.
On his campaign site, he details his planks. There and personally, he makes no bones about being a full-platform MA Republican. That is, you can hold him personally accountable for the planks in the recent MA GOP version. (You can see it courtesy of RedMassGroup here; the party does not openly publicize it.)
Click below to listen in to Fisher’s positions. He starts, like the famous the-rents-too-damned-high guy, with the call on the front of his own site, “NO TOLLS.” That is one of his political and moral certainties. He says the MA Pike has been paid for since over 30 years ago, the ads and service area fees pay for road maintenance, so the tolls should go away. Moreover, both the sales-tax and income-tax hikes, billed as temporary, need to each return to 5% as the voters chose. He sees all three as moral issues — “If we can’t trust our government,” he said, “there’s no use talking about anything else.”
I had thought we’d mix it up on health-care. I asked him about it when he appeared recently at a Rappaport Center round table. He claimed that the solution to health-case cost hikes was to let the free market settle it, that said free market had not gotten its chance to work fully. I contended and still do that deregulation from the Weld administration permitted wild capitalism at its worst by the large providers, leading to regional monopolies and price inelasticity. When we got to that near the end of today’s half hour, he deflated me by not disagreeing. He still contends that letting providers across state lines offer various policies in the style of auto insurers would drive down prices, but he agreed that the likes of Partners gobbling up hospitals and doctor groups created regional monopolies.
Fisher drew in his company, Merchant’s Fabrication, with its 7 employees. He spoke of his travails in keeping health care affordable to them, particularly in light of not even being able to get competitive quotes from providers because he pays 100% of this employees’ deductible.
We were farther apart on areas like marriage equality. His Tea Party mind has it that the resolutions to such conflicts need “to be settled in culture.” Of course, he’s down on what he calls activist judges legislating from the bench. You can listen in as he points to the likes of the Boy Scouts easing off on their anti-gay policies as these forces came to bear.
Listen in as he differentiates himself specifically from Charlie Baker. He also feels sanguine headed into this weekend’s MA GOP convention. He has to have 15% of the delegates voting for him to get on the primary ballot. He recognizes that many delegates around the state don’t want to spend the time and money for the convention (Boston this time), but his people have called the delegates and he feels sure he has plenty of votes.
Double Baker note: Fisher has been asking the Baker campaign for a debate. Today, Fisher said that’s not going to happen before the GOP convention because the other camp refuses. Also, Baker’s people are the only gubernatorial hopefuls’ that have not agreed to speak with us. Check our posts and archives for all the others, except Martha Coakley, and her people have scheduled a show with us for next month.
Cross-post to Left Ahead.