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DIGFOGRAPHIC: YOUR #MAGOV14 MATRIX

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Images by Scott Murry | @hotdogtaco

There are still nearly two whole seasons between now and the statewide gubernatorial primaries in September, and even longer until the general election on November 4. As such, relatively few people give a damn about the political process at this juncture, even though volunteers abound and campaign bees in the Beacon Hill establishment are already working weekends and around the clock. Chances are disinterest surrounding the selection of our next head of the commonwealth will only grow as Red Sox season progresses, and as Deval Patrick’s exit overshadows news of the race to replace him.

Running with the assumption that folks are hardly debating the governor’s race at their local drinking fountains, we thought to give them something worthwhile to talk about. With all due respect to Dig readers, a number of whom are activists and academics who can navigate our labyrinthine State House blindfolded, we also made the matrix before you for those who aren’t likely to read any other coverage of the race all year. In doing so, we identified the most seemingly relevant issues, then reached out to the hopefuls, and parsed answers accordingly. Our promise: One week with this spread in the bathroom, and you’ll be among the most informed voters in Massachusetts.*

-DigBoston News + Features Editor Chris Faraone

*–Unless otherwise noted, candidate positions and quotations were reported from direct communications with campaigns, official campaign literature, and candidate discussions at the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School.

 

FT_BakerADULT BEVERAGE: Guinness

FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER: Mulan (Baker: “She’s tough as nails.”)

 

WORK EXPERIENCE:

  • Former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Former Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Former Massachusetts Secretary of Administration and Finance

WILD CARD (HOUSING): The top Republican in the field says, “The cost of living in Massachusetts is too high–including housing.” Part of the solution, he says, “is more housing.” “Another part of the solution is to grow our economy in all parts of the state, so there are good jobs, thriving communities and quality infrastructure.” Despite his GOP affiliation, Baker says his plan includes helping “to prevent foreclosures.”

RANDOM PROMISE: “As Governor, I will work day and night to … deliver the support (domestic violence) victims need and stiffen penalties to make sure abusers don’t get the chance to hurt anyone a second time.”

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FT_BerwickADULT BEVERAGE: Dark beer

FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER: Atticus Finch

 

WORK EXPERIENCE:

  • Pediatrician by training
  • Former Harvard Medical School professor
  • Founder and fellow of Institute for Healthcare Improvement (Cambridge, MA)

 

TIDBIT: In 2010, Berwick was appointed by President Barack Obama as administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but left the post after Republicans endlessly bashed him for openly supporting Great Britain’s national health service.

WILD CARD ISSUE (CASINOS): His word: “I was the first 2014 gubernatorial candidate to oppose continuing to allow casinos to enter our commonwealth, and the first to endorse the ballot initiative now proposed to repeal the casino law.”

RANDOM PROMISE: Berwick says he will “personally lead a statewide initiative to make Massachusetts the healthiest state in the nation, through smoking cessation, obesity prevention and reduction, and specific programs to curb domestic and physical violence.”

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ADULT BEVERAGE: Sam Adams

FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER: Batman

 

WORK EXPERIENCE:

  • Former surgeon
  • Former Chairman of the Wellesley Board of Selectmen
  • Former Chief Operating Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • Corporate Senior VP for Parexel International (Waltham, MA)

TIDBIT: We asked Avellone what his “personal hell” would be. He said, “A Republican governor.”

WILD CARD (STUDENT LOANS): As governor, Avellone has said he will “ensure that our public college tuition is funded at 50 percent.” To do that, he would “work closely with state legislators on keeping college tuition affordable for everyone in Massachusetts,” and “propose loan forgiveness plans for some key occupations that serve the needs of our citizens.”

RANDOM PROMISE: To pay for expanding “access to state funded pre-K programs for low income children,” Avellone would create “a dedicated pre-K Education Fund.”

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FT_GrossmanADULT BEVERAGE: Bombay Sapphire martini, up, four olives

FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER: Indiana Jones

 

WORK EXPERIENCE:

  • Career CEO of Grossman Marketing Group (Somerville, MA)
  • Current Massachusetts State Treasurer

 

WILD CARD (HOUSING): “Too many families in Massachusetts are one paycheck away from becoming homeless,” Grossman says. “We’ve been deeply hurt by the dramatic reduction of federal housing vouchers and a shift to a two year housing voucher program, which should return to three years. I plan to propose a meaningful expansion of our housing voucher program, without waiting for the federal government to act.”

RANDOM PROMISE: Grossman, who has experience employing people in the private sector, made the significant workplace promise to create “50,000 new manufacturing jobs in Massachusetts over the next five years.”

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ADULT BEVERAGE: N/A

FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER: Dr. Kay Scarpetta

 

WORK EXPERIENCE:

  • Current Massachusetts Attorney General
  • Former Middlesex County District Attorney

 

 

TIDBIT: We asked the AG to describe her own personal hell: “93 North at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon.”

WILD CARD (STUDENT LOANS): Coakley wants to “explore strategies … to bring down the cost of tuition and fees at public colleges and universities.” As for private and non-profit institutions, she’ll “identify and address cost drivers, like high executive salaries,” and “hold for-profit schools accountable when they drive students into debt and don’t provide the education they promised.” She’ll also be exploring “loan forgiveness for public service.”

RANDOM PROMISE: “To make space for social-emotional learning in the Boston Public School curriculum.”

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FT_McCormickADULT BEVERAGE: Vodka Soda

FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER: James Bond

 

WORK EXPERIENCE:

  • Investment banker and entrepreneur
  • Founder at Saturn Partners (Boston, MA)

 

 

WILD CARD (HOUSING): McCormick, an independent, says he’ll grow “good high-paying jobs in livable communities where people can live close to where they work,” and “increase our housing stock in all areas, whether it be rental or home ownership, to make Massachusetts a more affordable place to live and raise a family.”

RANDOM PROMISE: The proud fiscal conservative says: “I will be relentless in cutting unnecessary spending so we won’t need to raise taxes.”

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FT_FalchuckADULT BEVERAGE: Bully Boy Vodka

FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER: “Cool Hand” Luke Jackson

 

WORK EXPERIENCE:

  • Vice Chairman at Best Doctors, Inc. (Boston, MA)
  • Former D.C. attorney

 

WILD CARD (STUDENT LOANS): “The state needs to properly fund higher education, and at the same time take a serious look at universities’ administrative costs. Excessive administrative costs mean that money that could otherwise go to education or support for students is misallocated.”

RANDOM PROMISE: As governor, Falchuk “will appoint an Assistant Secretary for LGBTQ Affairs, tasked with coordinating and managing across departments the implementation of programs in current law, in ways that are culturally competent and responsive.”

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FT_KayyemmADULT BEVERAGE: Whiskey and grapefruit juice

FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER: N/A

 

WORK EXPERIENCE:

  • Former Massachusetts Undersecretary of Homeland Security
  • Former Assistant Secretary for Department of Homeland Security
  • Former Boston Globe columnist

WILD CARD (HEALTHCARE): In a Progressive Massachusetts questionnaire, Kayyem said she supports moving the commonwealth to single-payer insurance. “To stem the rising costs of healthcare,” she wrote, “we must employ alternative strategies.”

RANDOM PROMISE: Kayyem says she wants “to make every issue a woman’s issue.” “Women fight wars, they are firefighters, they are nurses and doctors, they are police officers, case workers,” she says. “Every one of these issues is a woman’s issue and I will promote that from the State House.”

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FT_MarkFisher

As things stand right now, Charlie Baker will glide through the September Republican primary unopposed, then proceed to face the independents and whichever Democrat emerges from the killing field. But according to Mark Fisher, a curmudgeon from the Tea Party faction of the Bay State GOP, Baker benefited from an improper vote count at their party convention in March.

To prove his point, Fisher will appear in Suffolk Superior Court on June 18, when his attorneys will argue their case against the Massachusetts Republican State Committee (unless the seemingly extortionist scam afoot prevails, in which the fringe candidate is trying to secure money to stay off the ballot). Whether he winds up facing Baker in the primary or not, though, his choice words from a March roundtable at Suffolk Law are worth acknowledging, both for the laughs and out of fear that anyone would vote for him …

Fisher on Existentialism …

“[Life is about the] pursuit of happiness … not government imposed happiness.”

Fisher on Bipartisanship

“I’m one of those Republicans who believes Republican Party and Tea Party are not mutually exclusive.”

Fisher on Inspiration

“Voting and complaining have been my political involvement up until this point in time.”

Fisher on Hunger…

“EBT food stamp fraud is a Democrat problem.”

Fisher on Opportunity …

“The Democrats don’t care bout the illegal immigrants, they care about their votes.”

Fisher on Science …

“I love climate change, I love New England–I love winter, spring, summer, fall–but it’s become too politicized … I don’t believe the science is there.”

Fisher on Higher Ed …

“Maybe we’ve overburdened the market with college grads because we’ve said that the only way to success is through a college education.”

Fisher on Working Poverty …

“Minimum wage jobs get minimum wages.”

Fisher on Fairy Tales

“If you want a good neighbor, find a law abiding gun owner–they have got to be squeaky clean.”

MATRIX 600

DOWNLOAD THE DIGBOSTON #MAGOV14 MATRIX (PDF)

Next Week in DigBoston: Scott Lively is … The 10th Man!!!

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2 Responses to DIGFOGRAPHIC: YOUR #MAGOV14 MATRIX

  1. Pingback: Headlines for Thursday, May 8, 2014 » MASSterList

  2. Joshua Norman Joshua Norman says:

    Mark Fisher responded to the Massachusetts Republican Party’s allegations against him.
    http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/05/mark_fisher_candidate.html