State Rep. 17th Essex District: Question 2 -- Independence
Candidates discuss standing up to their own party leadership.
As a way to inform our readers about the candidates, Patch asked the candidates for State Representative in the 17th Essex District five questions that focused on a vaiety of topics important to the voters of Tewksbury.
Here is Question 2:
Candidates like to talk about their independence but practice is often different than theory. Describe one issue on which you have strongly disagreed with your party's leadership.
Patricia Commane, Democrat
I disagree with my party's leadership on several issues. One high profile issue recently was the vote in the legislature to raise of the sales tax from 5% to 6.25%. If I had been in the legislature at the time, I would have voted no, and if elected I will support measures to reduce the sales tax back to 5%. The sales tax is a regressive tax and a high sales tax is simply bad economics for businesses and families in the Merrimack Valley.
Paul Adams, Republican
I thought it was wrong for the Republican caucus during Governor Romney's administration to vote in favor of the annual budgets, which increased baseline spending by the hundreds of millions each fiscal year. Although spending increases mirrored revenues, I would have advocated for across the board tax cuts, including a lower corporate tax rate and returning the income tax back to 5% as was mandated by voters. Also, I would not have supported Governor Romney's universal healthcare mandate, but the vast majority of Republican legislators did. The onerous mandate has led to tax hikes, deficit spending, a tidal wave of regulation and forced many businesses to choose between laying off employees or staying solvent. Instead, I support free-market reforms that have worked well in other states to bring down health insurance costs, including: competition from out of state insurers, tax deductions for health insurance, and caps to tort awards, thereby reducing lawsuits.