By: Peter Larocque – February 2014
You probably have heard of some movies titles like, “The Return of Batman” or “Superman Returns”, well just like these, State Senator Barry Finegold has returned! You may be asking where he went. I do not know the answer to that but what I do know is that for the entire 2013 Lawrence City Election Season, he was not to be heard from or to be found anywhere. Not one public endorsement through the whole election. Even with U.S. Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren both endorsing Dan Rivera for Mayor, one would think that he would get inline and do likewise, but not even a peep was to be heard publicly.
But now that all the election excitement and hoop-la is over, Senator Finegold has returned swinging, giving new meaning to the phrase, “Three strikes and you‘re out”!
The first pitch was his election reform bill (S 1975). I realize that the Senator has been away for awhile, but he would have had to be living under a rock to not know of the election shenanigans that have plagued the City of Lawrence for years. Especially this time because finally after much pressure, Secretary of State, Mr. William Galvin, sent personnel to help oversee the polls to assure former Mayor Lantigua and his faithful followers behaved themselves. After all this, one would think that an election reform bill would have included Voter I.D. But what did we get from our Senator? Early voting online and same day (election) registration. Red flags are flying everywhere! This, Senator Finegold, is strike one!
Next pitch, the Senator makes a pledge to fight the “youthful offender” decision by our State’s Supreme Judicial Court. The ruling by the SJC makes available to juvenile killers the eligibility for parole after only serving 15 years.
Let’s make this clear, we are talking about juveniles who are found guilty by a jury of their peers of first degree murder, not manslaughter. Then they get sentence to life, but now the possibility of parole is on the table after 15 years. This is the same SJC who attacked marriage some years ago and now here they are taking another whack, this time at the entire family.
The families of the victims don’t have the privilege of parole from their nightmare and pain, but because of our SJC, we now make sure the killers do! Senator Finegold, along with Senator Bruce Tarr, filed a bill to require juvenile killers to serve at least 35 years before being eligible for parole.
Although a nice try, in my opinion, 35 years is not enough. I believe that no parole should be awarded to killers, juvenile or not! Life means Life! I would have made it a minimum of 50 years before any kind of consideration for parole becomes available. Strike Two!
Next pitch, Senator Finegold has announced that he will be running for State Treasurer, stating his middle-class roots as a reason he is qualified for the position. To this I say fantastic! Run Senator Run! For whatever reason you decided, that’s okay with me. But I do have another take on the “why” this decision came about. I think you are running for a higher seat because we both know that now with your biggest supporter no longer the Mayor of Lawrence, you most likely would lose in a re-election bid for State Senator.
The only reason that you are a State Senator today is because the voters of the City of Lawrence came out and voted for you at the behest of former Mayor Lantigua. You didn’t even win in your hometown of Andover in the primaries, and the only reason you won in the general election is because you ran against a very weak opponent, Mr. Paul Adams. Strike Three, you’re out! But anyway Senator, I think that you will make a good State Treasurer, Go get em!
In conclusion, please know this, I like Senator Finegold. He is a man of faith, a wonderful husband and father to his children. An all around great guy! I just have a very different view on the politics than he does. He was all supportive of the State takeover of Lawrence’s Public Schools; I’m not and never have been. He likes BIG Government I don’t! But that’s life. God’s speed my friend.
God Bless you all! Peter Larocque