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Charlie Baker & Karyn Polito


Senate candidates Markey, Herr disagree on issues, records

Brian Herr for US Senate logoIn Case You Missed It

By Brad Petrishen


WORCESTER - If the candidates for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts agree on much of anything, it isn't readily apparent.
"People are clearly looking for a change," said Brian Herr, a former Hopkinton selectman who says government needs to run more like business.
"I've been campaigning for two straight years, and people know I'm working very hard," said incumbent Democrat Edward J. Markey, who won his seat in last year's special election against Republican Gabriel Gomez.
Mr. Markey's campaign for a full six-year term in the Senate hasn't been written about extensively in the Boston newspapers, perhaps a function of the fact that Mr. Herr has little name recognition and little funding.
A married father of five with a background as a manager in the construction industry, Mr. Herr accuses Mr. Markey of ducking debates and trying to keep the race out of the news.
"Sen. Markey is doing everything in his power to keep this race under the radar screen," Mr. Herr said. "He hopes he can dupe the voters and sort of slide back into office without having to earn it."
Except for their support on abortion and same-sex marriage, the two differ on nearly every major issue. While Mr. Markey supports casinos, Mr. Herr does not. Mr. Herr is against immigrants in the country illegally from gaining citizenship except for children, while Mr. Markey supports the path to citizenship.
When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, the disagreement gets personal.
"His proudest vote put my mother into a state of worry," said Mr. Herr, who opposes the act and says it forced his mother, a breast cancer survivor, off her health insurance.
Mr. Markey stands by the act, saying it is essential to ensuring health care is seen as a right, not a privilege.
While voters who pay attention to issues have a clearer choice between Mr. Markey and Mr. Herr than they do in the more nuanced gubernatorial race, Mr. Herr argues Mr. Markey is a poor leader who needs to be "retired."
"Mr. Markey hasn't passed a piece of legislation in his name in 21 years," Mr. Herr said during the pair's only debate, televised on New England Cable News.
Mr. Herr last week pointed to the Library of Congress as evidence of his claim. Using a tool on its website that determines a law sponsored and signed into law by a politician, the site does indicate that the last time a bill was written and eventually passed by Mr. Markey was in 1993.
However, Mr. Markey staunchly denied that is the case this week, pointing to numerous bills he is credited with authoring in the last decade.
Additionally, the argument used by Mr. Herr is the same one Mr. Gomez was widely criticized for making in 2013 in a race that received far more fact-checking and scrutiny.
"It's, at best, a shaky attack," Norman J. Ornstein, a respected congressional observer, told WBUR last summer.
WBUR reported that the claim is true when read narrowly, but pointed out that Mr. Markey has authored numerous bills that were later folded into larger bills and signed into law. President Barack Obama has also signed bills nearly identical to ones Mr. Markey has sponsored, including one in 2010 that required companies to make digital services more friendly for people with disabilities.
Mr. Obama signed that law with Mr. Markey and famous blind musician Stevie Wonder standing behind him, pictorial evidence of which can be found online.
"(His attack) portrays a misunderstanding of the legislative process," Mr. Markey said, noting that the National Journal ranks him as passing 506 laws - 8th most out of any current U.S. senator.
That count includes co-sponsorship on laws, which, Mr. Markey said, is the way business gets done - or doesn't get done - in Washington.
"The one main difference is that Brian Herr is going to Washington to make Mitch McConnell the majority leader," Mr. Markey said, which he said would be bad for Massachusetts.
Mr. Markey blamed Republicans for the gridlock in Congress that led to a government shutdown shortly after his arrival. "It became very clear to me that the Republicans were committed to just stopping all action on everything," he said.
But Mr. Herr argues that he's not an obstructionist, rather a fiscal conservative much more plugged into the desires of the electorate than Mr. Markey. "I've worn through four pairs of shoes on this campaign," Mr. Herr said, criticizing Mr. Markey for only debating once and noting that, despite a bankroll of nearly $2.4 million, his opponent has not been running many advertisements.
When asked why he hadn't agreed to five debates as Mr. Herr requested, Mr. Markey replied, "I always debate my opponents, and I debated him on NECN." Mr. Markey called the 30-minute debate "lively and comprehensive.

'We Like Mike,' say Ledger & Enterprise

Mike Heffernan Camapign Logo


Contact: Brendan Moss
Date: October 29, 2014
Cell: (617)-850-2193

In Case You Missed It!
'We Like Mike,' say Ledger & Enterprise

"We strongly endorse Mike Heffernan for treasurer."

The Patriot Ledger and The Enterprise
Oct. 29, 2014

OUR OPINION: We endorse Mike Heffernan for treasurer

We like Mike.
Republican candidate for state treasurer Mike Heffernan has an easy charm and loquacious nature that would serve him well navigating a Legislature controlled by Democrats. But more than that, Heffernan has done his due diligence as a candidate for higher office and has delved deeply into myriad issues likely to affect the commonwealth’s financial future.
Heffernan has crisscrossed the state to learn firsthand how the current matters the treasurer’s office oversees will affect the people he hopes to serve. In Springfield, he met with officials and the business community to see for himself how a casino would affect not only the local economy, but the state’s hugely lucrative Lottery program. He compared what he learned there to data from Massachusetts towns that border states with casinos and learned that there was little if any effect on lottery sales.
In his analysis, he took into account that Springfield has been hit hard by high unemployment and a tornado. A casino supporter, he believes that the city’s infrastructure has the bones necessary to support the MGM casino, and that tertiary businesses, like hotels, restaurants and gift shops, would see an economic boost. Heffernan believes the arts community would also benefit from the addition of the live entertainment at the casino.
Heffernan also has done his due diligence on the Legislature’s recent controversial passage of a bond bill to finance a $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. He expressed concern that the legislation would create special exemptions to the state’s public records and procurement laws, and he advocated for transparency.
When it comes to local aid, the Chapter 90 money that fixes our roads and funds our schools and the essential work of our first responders, he sees no excuse for cutting it. Heffernan is concerned, and rightly so, that Massachusetts has for too long underfunded its pension fund. He says he would seek to correct that situation so we don’t end up with a crisis the likes of which Rhode Island endured. And when it comes to floating debt, Heffernan has his eye set on the state’s bond rating, because a rating drop is too costly to taxpayers.
As for Democratic candidate Deb Goldberg, when asked whether she supported casinos, she said no. Her opposition stems from personal rather than analytical issues. For a candidate seeking statewide office, her reasoning is oddly facile. She also said casinos would have a negative impact on the Lottery’s more than $4 billion in annual sales, though data from other states shows that casinos have little to no long-term effect on state lottery revenues.
Goldberg also said she would divest the state’s $61 billion in pension fund investments out of fossil fuels, but she couldn’t say what percentage those holdings amount to or their dollar value. Although her experience in the family business is broad and commendable, Heffernan’s managerial experience is deeper.
After benefiting from the exceptional professionalism and transparency current Treasurer Steve Grossman brought to the office, Massachusetts should expect nothing less than having his legacy carried forth.
We strongly endorse Mike Heffernan for treasurer.

MetroWest Daily News: Heffernan for Treasurer

Mike Heffernan Camapign Logo

Date: October 26, 2014
Contact: Brendan Moss
Cell: 617-850-2193

In Case You Missed It!


"When you're choosing someone to steward billions in public money, the key qualities are honesty, competence and seriousness. Mike Heffernan has those qualities, and would make a fine state treasurer."

Editorial: Heffernan for treasurer

The MetroWest Daily News

The treasurer's job is mostly administrative: The treasurer manages the state's investments and bond offerings, runs the Lottery and administers the School Building Authority. There's room in the treasurer's office for limited initiatives, but it's not a place for either a political partisan or an ideological crusader. Political ambitions don't necessarily hurt a treasurer's performance, as current Treasurer Steve Grossman demonstrates, but they can be a distraction, as we saw with his predecessor, Tim Cahill.

In this year's race, the politician is Democrat Deb Goldberg, a former Brookline selectman, member of the Democratic State Committee and one-time candidate for lieutenant governor. She has studied the issues affecting the treasurer's office, but she has no particular expertise in high finance or public administration. She is a credible candidate for treasurer, but not the best candidate.

Mike Heffernan, the Republican nominee, has never run for office before. But his 30-year career in the financial services industry qualifies him to do the job after the campaign is over. He has managed investments and employees for such firms as CitiGroup, EF Hutton and Salomon Brothers and helped found a start-up in the mobile-IT field that now employs more than 300 people.

A Southborough native who now lives in Wellesley, Heffernan knows more about complex securities markets than politics, but he has a firm grasp on the challenges facing the state and how the treasurer can help address them. When you're choosing to someone to steward billions in public money, the key qualities are honesty, competence and seriousness. Mike Heffernan has those qualities, and would make a fine state treasurer.

'Experience pays off with treasurer'

Mike Heffernan Camapign Logo

Date: October 25, 2014
Contact: Brendan Moss
Cell: 617-850-2193

In Case You Missed It!

BOSTON - In today's Boston Herald, Columbia University political scientist John Sivolella stresses the importance of experience and independence in the next state treasurer. He cites Mike Heffernan's focus on the pension system and government transparency, while pointing to the Democratic opponent's "issues that make for good bumper stickers rather than good government."


"While the toss-up race for governor draws much of the available oxygen from the state’s daily political coverage, there is at least one down-ballot election that is worth examining closely this year.

"The contest for treasurer, given the importance of the office’s independent functions and the disparate perspectives and qualifications of the candidates, should not be a rubber-stamp exercise for voters."

 * * *

"The GOP candidate for treasurer, political outsider Mike Heffernan, understands pension issues and securities markets because of decades of high-level private-sector work experience.

"Heffernan cites the woeful underfunding of the state’s pension system, ranked at the bottom of multiple national measures in terms of sustainability, as an area of immediate priority for the next treasurer.

"He also tends to focus on quaint concepts like government transparency and accountability."

* * *

"His opponent, Deb Goldberg, seems to pursue campaign issues that make for good bumper stickers rather than good government. She says that as treasurer she’d want to force the state to divest its pension funds from fossil fuel investments and supports a divestiture bill that even the Democratic-controlled Legislature pushed to the back burner prior to the election by referring it to the recesses of a study commission.

"The executive director of the state’s Pension Reserves Investment Management program understandably expressed grave concerns about the concept."

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