By: Tom Duggan, November 3, 2014
While The Valley Patriot newspaper has a policy against endorsing candidates, each member of our editorial board is free to endorse or make public who we are voting for. Here are my personal picks for the 2014 election season and why.
As a right wing conservative myself, I find it laughable that Martha Coakley is running commercials on TV calling Charlie Baker “right wing”. If there is one thing that I hate, it’s when a candidate lies and plays dirty. Martha Coakley is doing both. There is nothing conservative or “right wing” about Charlie Baker except maybe his position on taxes. He is a moderate at best. He is pro-abortion, he is for gay marriage, he is liberal on gun rights and he was endorsed by the left wing propaganda machine of the Boston Globe.
Martha Coakley is a left wing extremist who wants illegal aliens to have the “right” to vote, wants a pathway to citizenship for illegals, she wants to raise taxes, and is controlled by the left wing of the Democratic Party. What’s more, Coakley gave Lawrence Mayor Willie Lantigua a free pass for four years while his administration raped the taxpayers, approved forgeries on election nomination papers, and violated every single election law on the books. Lantigua violated campaign finance laws by refusing to turn in his campaign finance reports, illegally accepted cash, illegally accepted corporate checks, illegally accepted donations over $500, and had a public employee listed as his campaign treasurer (among other things). Coakley also did nothing about the DCF scandal, the EBT Fraud uncovered by State Auditor Suzanne Bump, the crime lab scandal, the pharmaceutical scandal, the parole board scandal, or any of the fraud that has gone on under the Deval Patrick Administration.
While Charlie Baker is certainly not conservative enough for my liking, he understands the problems in state government. He is not tied to the Democratic Party power machine and will not look the other way when fraud is committed just to save the Democratic Party embarrassment. Baker also understands that cities like Lawrence have had a free ride for far too long. He called for receivership under the Lantigua administration, supports adding penalties for violations of the state’s public records law, and he will force the legislature to be more financially responsible. Baker is an easy pick for me. Martha Coakley is a disaster, Charlie gets it.
Attorney General: John Miller, Republican
He has no chance of winning but a vote for John Miller is a repudiation of the Democratic Party using the Attorney General’s office to promote liberal, left wing political causes. John is a class act, he is not a politician and he is actually a prosecutor.
State Auditor: Suzanne Bump (Democrat)
Winner of The Valley Patriot’s First Amendment Award in 2014, Suzanne Bump has exposed millions of dollars in fraud in the state’s EBT welfare card program despite the fact that it happened on her own party’s watch. Previous Democrat Auditors have swept such embarrassing information under the rug. But, Bump refused to cover up the results of her audits to the dismay of Democratic party leaders. When Governor Deval Patrick attacked her for exposing the fraud in his administration, Bump did more audits and found more fraud.
30,000 Missing EBT Cards in MA, State Auditor Suzanne Bump on Waste Fraud and Abuse in the Massachusetts Welfare System
Among the fraud exposed by Bump were; social security benefits being given to dead people, waste and mismanagement in the MBTA, and massive fraud and mismanagement at the Department of Children and Families.
Because Bump is a Democrat, the Democrat controlled Boston Globe and the rest of the so called “news” media couldn’t lie and pretend that her audit findings were just “republican dirty tricks” to embarrass the party.
Bump’s Republican opponent, Patricia St. Aubin is campaigning as a conservative and has criticized Bump for not doing the number of audits required by law. This may be true. But as a voter I prefer quality over quantity. At another time and in another race I would probably be supporting Patricia St. Aubin. But, having a Democrat like Suzanne Bump exposing waste, fraud and mismanagement in state government is invaluable. While partisan Republicans refuse to give her credit for exposing the very figures they use to campaign against the Democrat party, Bump continues to just go to work every day and call things like she sees them. Suzanne Bump deserves a vote for having the integrity to do her job even when doing so hurts her politically. What’s more, the Left wing Boston Globe endorsed Bump’s opponent because they are livid over Bump exposing fraud in the state’s social programs that are so sacred to left wing liberals. That alone should tell you something.
Secretary of State: David D’Archangelo, Republican
If there is one person I wish I could vote for twice, it’s Dave D’Archangelo. He is running against the Darth Vader of Massachusetts politics, Bill Galvin.
Galvin has done absolutely nothing about violations of the state’s public records law. He personally stopped efforts to change the date of the Massachusetts primaries so that military absentee ballots could be received in time to count. He has prosecuted exactly zero cases of election fraud in Lawrence after it was learned that (then) Mayor Lantigua had dozens of forgeries on his nomination papers and that Lantigua’s Election Department head had himself signed and then approved some of those forgeries.
When forgeries were found on State Rep. Frank Moran’s nomination papers by opponent Kevin Cuff, Galvin did nothing. When the Valley Patriot took the City of Lawrence to court for violating the state’s public records law, Galvin wrote a harshly worded letter. Twice. As the Secretary of State it is Bill Galvin’s job is to force public officials to be transparent. Yet, when Dave D’Archangelo requested documents showing how much of the taxpayers money Galvin spent on so called “public service announcements” Galvin refused. He is still refusing. Then there is that super secret statewide voting list that Galvin thinks is so dangerous the public should never see it. It’s clear Bill Galvin has to go and I can’t think of a better person to replace him than Dave D’Archangelo.
If Dave D’Archangelo gets elected he will open the people’s books and aggressively go after public officials who refuse to turn over public documents. He will streamline public information so that voters will not have to go through a maze of red tape to find out what government officials are spending our tax money on. Dave D’Archangelo is disabled. If elected he will be the first disabled elected official to hold state office. Bill Galvin has done everything humanly possible to protect his pal Willie Lantigua. David D’Archangelo will never tolerate that.
State Treasurer: Deb Goldberg, Democrat
It’s hard to vote against Deb Goldberg when you consider her Republican rival in this race has been invisible through the entire campaign. As the owner of a newspaper and as a talk radio host I was surprised to find out just last week that Goldberg had an opponent. I have never received one press release from Goldberg’s opponent, never received so much as a phone call or an email asking for time on the radio or an interview for the paper. And given that I am a right-wing, Tea Party guy you would think I’d have at least run into Goldberg’s opponent on the campaign trail. I didn’t. Not even once. Candidates who don’t do the work do not deserve a vote, it’s that simple. Deb Goldberg has done the work, her opponent has not.
Congress: Richard Tisei, Republican
I have watched Richard since the days of him holding up the Valley Patriot on the floor of the state senate demanding that the state do something about the corruption going on in the Lantigua administration in Lawrence. Richard Tisei is a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. He opposes letting illegal aliens get government benefits, opposes letting illegals vote, does not support a pathway to citizenship and understands the cancer that is government corruption. Seth Moulten is further to the left than John Tierney was. He is for “rights” of illegal aliens over American citizens. He is a puppet for the Democratic Party and he loves to raise taxes. My vote is for Tisei.
Congress: Ann Wofford, Republican
Ann Wofford is a long shot candidate who doesn’t have the money or the organization to defeat incumbent Niki Tsongas. As much as I like and admire Tsongas for her courage to stand up to president Obama on Syria, she did tell the voters that if we like our doctors we could keep our doctors under Obamacare. She also said if we liked our plan we could keep our plan. We now know that was a lie. Ann Wofford has fresh new ideas and will not be a puppet for her party as Tsongas has been for hers. I don’t live in that district, but if I did Ann Wofford would get my vote.
State Senate, Kathleen O’Connor Ives, Democrat
Winner of the Valley Patriot’s first Amendment award, Senator Katy Ives is one of the elected officials on Beacon Hill who cannot be strong armed or coaxed into following the Democrat party line. She may still be somewhat clueless when it comes to municipal corruption and how it affects us all. She calls herself “somewhat Pollyanna” on the issue and she is right about that. It is the only thing that concerns me about my state senator. Putting that aside for a minute, Ives broke with her party in supporting lowering the sales tax to 5%. She broke with her party in submitting and passing into law a bill requiring photo ID on EBT Welfare cards. She voted against the state’s monstrous transportation bill, voted against the gas tax hike and the tax on medical devices in Massachusetts. Ives has also been proactive in trying to add penalties for elected officials who violate the state’s public records law.
As much as I am voting for Katy Ives I am also happy to be voting against her opponent, Shawn Toohey. Toohey is a nightmare. A former “Men in Motion” stripper, Toohey has declared bankruptcy, tried to fake his answers in debates with Ives, lied when he claimed Ives voted against lowering the sales tax to 5%, was caught cheating two years ago at a Tea Party debate, and has been posting his campaign signs on state owned land such as highway off ramps, which is illegal. On issues I agree more with Toohey, or at least what he says he believes, but Toohey cannot be trusted. His word means nothing and his consistent lies on the campaign trail should show voters that he is just not ready to have power in The State House. What’s more, Toohey has run away from the press showing he still doesn’t get it when it comes to the term “public service” and “transparency”. Ives gets my vote.
State Representative Lawrence, Methuen, North Andover, Haverhill
Diana DiZoglio, Democrat
I recruited Diana DiZoglio two years ago to try and defeat David Torrisi.
The day I recruited her I told her “know one thing, you cannot beat David Torrisi in a Democratic Party Primary, but you can wound him enough in the primary to help Karin Rhoton beat him in the final.”
DiZoglio took my words to heart and said, “Tom, you are wrong, I can beat David and I will.” We all know what happened next.
Since then Diana has been a political moderate. When she thinks the Democrat leadership is right on an issue she votes with her party. When she thinks the Republicans are right on an issue she votes with the Republicans. It has caused her to be attacked by liberals and conservatives. She says she would rather vote for what is best for her district than her political party. She supported Republican Marc Lombardo’s efforts to lower the sales tax to 5%, despite Lombardo’s personal attacks against DiZoglio (war on women?). She opposed the gas tax hike, the medical device tax, and supports Question #1 to reverse the gas tax being indexed to inflation. DiZoglio also wrote and passed the Lantigua bill which prohibits municipal officials from running for office if they are in violation of campaign finance laws. It was the first bill she submitted and that bill is law today because of DiZoglio. That means Willie Lantigua had to pay all his campaign fines before running for state rep this year against Marcos Devers in Lawrence. If that alone is not worthy of a vote for Diana DiZoglio I don’t what is.
Her opponent Rosemary Smedile is a conservative Republican who has many accomplishments on the North Andover board of selectmen. If Smedile had focused on touting her own accomplishments during this campaign and stayed positive, this would end up being a lot closer that it’s going to turn out. Instead, Smedile went negative and attacked DiZoglio. As much as I personally like Rosemary Smedile the fact is, some of those attacks were simply not true. Smedile claimed DiZoglio voted against lowering the sales tax to 5%, she also claimed DiZoglio voted for the gas tax and supported giving illegal aliens preference over veterans when applying for public housing. The record shows those allegations to be false. What’s more, as a selectman in North Andover Smedile voted to raise property taxes, voted for a proposition 2 ½ override for a new police station (which I also supported) but then ducked her own record at a Merrimack College debate claiming it wasn’t her who raised taxes because other people voted on it too. Rosemary Smedile would be a good state representative if she won. But her negative campaigning will be the reason that isn’t going to happen on Election Day. If Rosemary comes back and runs for something in a future election and she learns the lessons of 2014 she can and will come back to win for state office some day.
State Rep. Newburyport, Salisbury Amesbury, Merrimac – Jim Kelcourse, Republican
It’s a three way race between Republican Jim Kelcourse, Independent Ari Hertzog and Democrat Ed Cameron. I was very impressed with Republican Jim Kelcourse when he ran as an Independent for State Senate two years ago. He was quick on his feet and he was open to new ideas. He is a fiscal conservative but more important to me is that he won’t vote with the republicans all the time. He is very independent minded and listens to people who hold opposing views. He is also someone committed to helping The Valley Patriot’s fight for public records and penalties for those who refuse to release public documents.
State Rep. Lawrence, Marcos Devers – Democrat
State Senate: Alex Vispoli, Republican
Alex Vispoli is a Selectman in Andover. He is a fiscal conservative who wants to bring a common sense approach to the way The State House does business. He opposes the gas tax, supports rolling back the income and the sales tax to 5%, has a keen understanding of budgets and how state grants work, and has been an advocate for the taxpayers as well as those who receive government services.
Alex is and has been a strong supporter of transparency in government while others just claim to be. If elected I can count on his support when our bill comes up to penalize public officials for refusing to comply with the state’s public records law. Alex is also a big supporter of animal rescues and adopting shelter dogs. He is level headed, doesn’t fly off the handle like his opponent, and he has been very restrained during he Barbara L’Italien tax scandal.
Barbara L’Italien has made much about my support of Alex Vispoli given that I was the one who broke the story that she chose to lend her campaign $13,000 while she still had a $7,000 tax bill. The fact is, my support for Alex Vispoli has nothing to do with the fact that L’Italien had a tax lien for non payment of taxes. It also had nothing to do with her decision to send the Valley Patriot documents she claimed, proved Alex Vispoli owed taxes too. The documents she sent to the newspaper disguised as tax “liens” were actually receipts of payments showing Vispoli had paid his taxes. Regardless of who I support, I am not responsible for a candidate’s actions. Barbara L’Italien didn’t pay her taxes. When caught she tried to put the stink on her opponent. When that didn’t work she tried to blame the messenger. She can explain it away as disallowed medical deductions but unless she releases her taxes she can say anything she wants, because none of us have seen her tax returns. It’s a legitimate issue. When you run for state office and you have a tax lien by the Department of Revenue it’s news. To say otherwise shows a profound disrespect for our first amendment and transparency in government.
State Representative – Tewksbury – Doug Sears, Republican
I love Jim Micelli. When he ran for Congress as a Democrat against Niki Tsongas I was happy to support him. He is a conservative Democrat State Rep. and he sometimes votes against his party. It gives me no pleasure to endorse another candidate this year but Doug Sears has actually made himself accessible. Though Sears has gone negative, as a newcomer his political attacks do not include outright lies about his opponent as is the case in other races. These two men genuinely do not like each other and it has been a heated campaign. Sears gets my support because he is more conservative than Jim Micelli, he is not corrupted by the state Republican Party as they have given him no help during the campaign, but most of all Doug Sears will help us fight for transparency in government. Jim Micelli has been missing in action on that front. Sears is a long shot candidate. He has earned my support this year.
United States Senate – Brian Herr, Republican
Senator Ed Markey is a Train Wreck. He is so far left my communist friend Tennis Lilly looks like a Tea Party conservative by comparison.
Register of Probate, Mike Morales – Republican
I know this has been a lengthy column but I couldn’t end it without saying that Mike Morales deserves your vote. Register of Probate is the job that oversees the probate (family) court. The current Register of Probate is someone who has been in office for more than a decade and until last month I had never even seen what she looks like or knew her name. That’s bad when someone is a candidate but when they are holding public office it’s an outrage. Public officials have a duty to tell the public (through the press) what they are doing with the public resources they oversee. Mike Morales has been more accessible in the last three months of this campaign than the current office holder. He is an Andover attorney who will bring transparency to that office and will reach out to the press to let us know how the family court is being run.
Ballot Questions #1 Yes, #2 NO, #3 NO, #4 NO.