In these days of partisan warfare and hype about "change", how do you vote? How can you really make for a better Massachusetts and a better federal government? What is the "real" problem in politics?
One party (whichever party has less seats in the House/Senate) will always tell you they are "committed to change" -- yeah, right! Committed to changing who gets credit for non-partisan success, and who gets blame for everything not taken care of, that's all!
In a televised debate for a Missouri senate seat, Senator Jim Talent mentioned two of the major obstacles to getting work done in Congress is "combative personalities" who prevent consensus (and hog the mainstream media), and the use of the fillibuster (mainly by the same "combative personalities") to prevent votes. On a state level, we can take Lt. Governor Kerry Healy's continued attacks on Defense Attorney Deval Patrick's valid work on behalf of a convicted felon in the same light. We cannot continue to have this kind of politics, and we cannot, as voters, continue to pander to such personalities by eating up crap force-fed to us by those personalities via the media. We cannot continue to let our collective short-term memories allow us to be misled about "lies" and other non-issues. Unfortunately, this sometimes means we must point out the "real lies" that are used in partisan politics.
Mr. Mihos' slogan is that he won't be a "drive-by" governor. He is a long-time, permanent resident of Massachussetts, and has served us well as a political appointee. His recent actions have proved he has worked on our behalf, in spite of the fact that he was not an elected politician. On the Massachusetss Turnpike Board of Directors, he, along with Jordan Levy, fought for more oversight of the "Big Dig", but was blocked politically at every turn. In fact, the Boston Chamber of Commerce pressured then-Lt. Governor Jane Swift to remove both of these distinguished public servants from the Turnpike Board, and succeeded.
Both men prevailed, though legal action, in their reinstatements. Then Jane Swift arbitrarily created additional positions on the board to increase her influence. Sadly, we now know just how badly we needed more oversight of the "Big Dig", after the death of a woman travelling in one of the new tunnels from a collapsed ceiling section.
Ex-president Eisenhower's creed was that the only time the government should be doing something is when it is the only one that can do it, it can do it well and it is necessary. Think of it this way: all other things being equal, would you rather buy a suit for $150 or pay someone $250 to buy the same suit for you? This is what so many people do not understand about government, and the government is usually the worst agent to do most things -- it's wasteful, it's bureaucratic, and even in the best society, it is always at least somewhat corrupt.
Politicians love to introduce "programs" they can add to their resume, even if those programs favor people who don't earn the money being spent. Our government is a chaotic, ugly patchwork of "programs" that waste our money and rarely solve problems. Meanwhile, those who earn the money are punished because said "programs" discriminate against them. Consider all the non-working, non-disabled adults who have free health care, and all the persons who work for employers that are too small to carry health insurance or only hire part-timers to avoid it -- yet those people are paying for someone else's insurance, even while they don't have it themselves! That is DISGUSTING! And those rich politicians skim our hard-earned dollars via smokescreens called "expenses"!
Christy supports the return of a higher proportion of tax dollars to the communities where the taxpayers live. Individual communities know where they need the money spent, they have less bureaucracy, and their elected politicians are far more accountable to their communities, who know them. Christy Mihos has proposed Proposition 1, calling for 40% of tax revenues to be returned to Massachusetts' cities and towns. It's about time!
And if you need any further proof of where Christy's loyalties lie (and don't lie), he has pledged to fight to remove the toll booths from the Massachusetts Turnpike. By law, this was supposed to happen long, long ago, but efforts were unsuccessful. Tolls were created to pay for the Turnpike's construction. Now they serve as expensive pork in the form of mindless but high-paying jobs in the toll booths...in otherwords, the Turnpike Authority's continued existence is both illegal and self-serving, and the state has had more than 20 years to comply, and failed. In 20 years, none of the candidates I've elected (or tried to elect) have fulfilled their obligation to Massachusetts taxpayers...because they just don't care!
Debates at 7pm Thursday, October 19th on NECN (no link) and 7pm Tuesday, October 25th on WBZ-4 include all 4 candidates for Governor!
Christy Mihos is an Independent candidate, who in his time as a public servant, has never had an agenda except for what is best for the people of Massachusetts. You can find out more from his campaign website, http://www.christy2006.com. His running mate is John J. Sulivan, a knowledgable and experienced public servant from Winchester, Massachusetts. Learn more about John J. Sullivan, candidate for Lieutenant Governor, from the debate on Tuesday, October 17th on NECN!
I would also like to add my two cents about an oft-repeated fear-mongering myth that the 2 major parties like because it guarantees them party-power. That is the myth that somehow, electing an independent candidate will cause some sort of freeze on constructive work by our elected servants. BULL-HOOEY! If that were true, why is partisan politics so raunchy, disgusting, misleading and sickening? Why does our federal Congress, for example, get absolutely nothing done it said it would do while apparently trying to find plenty of time to sling mud, both real and false (e.g., the "Bush lied" myth)? If one party gains control of both the legislative and executive branches, bloated spending bills flow like honey and bills are passed that are excessively detrimental to normal, working Americans. If opposite parties are in the same places, trash politics takes priority over constructive legislative work.
I think that electing an independent will moderate all of those influences. All of a sudden, there is no proponderance of favoritism toward one party's legislative proposals -- and no sneering dismissal, either. The lack of strong political favoritism will remove the barriers to constructive work and smooth the path to efficient government. With less party influence, the extreme personalities in government will have less influence, and those tireless servants who really do want what's best for us but are now blocked by walls of minority favoritism and exclusivity will be able to work more constructively for the people.
It will be better in the long run in both federal and state government if the parties would actually weaken as political entities. It is even a myth, in these days, that the two major parties stand for any well-defined political or moral outlook -- there are members from the liberal to the conservative extreme, as well as everything in between, in both parties. In fact, there is no real need for a party system, but the political parties don't want you to think that. A party system is just a way to browbeat voters in elections. The correct way to win voters' hearts is your individual achievements, voting record, convictions, goals, skills, and willingness to cooperatively serve the public.
Far from polarizing, the Independent Governor will be both a moderating and more practical influence, enabling the cooperative work of both major parties.
Deval Patrick seems like a nice man, and I admire his professionalism in not joining in a mud-slinging free-for-all with Kerry Healy. However, I disagree with every stand he has (except that he supports the Cape Wind project, while power-Democrats like Ted Kennedy protest alternative energy sources in their backyard). (Can't ruin those "million-dollar views" with windmills in the ocean!) As a life-long resident of a state firmly in the grip of rich Democrats who have no idea how a "normal" person lives, I fear two things about Patrick: a) He will also be a tax-n-spend liberal (for example, he supports in-state tuition rates, at colleges already strapped for funds to educate Massachusetts citizens, to illegal aliens; and 2) The powerful TNSLs already in control of the Massachusetts House will gleefully run amok.
Kerry Healy seems like a good candidate, but I believe we can do better. Since she can't look to a previous political record for Deval Patrick (he's a defense attorney, a respectable and often thankless occupation), she morphs his work on behalf of a convicted murderer into being "soft on crime", in spite of the fact that Patrick has overwhelming endorsements from law enforcement in communities across the state. In fact, Patrick probably did more to help the cause of justice than anyone, paying for a DNA test that proved the perpetrator guilty and settled the question.
What a waste! If she was truly the smart cookie she makes herself out to be, she would be focusing on what she can achieve instead of taking cheap shots at a defense attorney doing what defense attorneys do (supporting the pillars of our wonderful consitution). At the very least, she should be figuring out we are already sick of it. But apparently, she's not such a smart cookie.
We can't say much of Healy's "record" because she is in the shadow of Governor Mitt Romney. Patrick speaks of Healy's influence in taking money away from cities and towns so they can't properly fight crime, but that claim is questionable at best, false at worst. It's easy to forget the sorry fiscal shape that Massachusetts was in when Romney came to roost, and we have to pay to bring it back. Voters should remember this when voting for candidates who would just love to connect their names with "history" by creating all sorts of new "programs"! Our state's financial picture has improved since Mitt Romney took office, it's true. The best thing to do now is return more money to the cities and towns that can better decide where to spend it.
The only other candidate is Green Rainbow Party candidate Grace Ross. She doesn't seem to actually want a political life enough to deal with all the baggage that comes with being Governor. She would be better off running for a State Representative position, and if she does, maybe then I'll change my mind. To be fair, I have a lack of knowledge about her, and you can thank the media's two-party bias for that.