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New WTAG Host Paul Westcott Dishes On MA Politics

Saturday, January 12, 2013

 

Talk radio host Paul Westcott will be taking over as the new morning host on WTAG after Jim Polito's departure last month. While Westcott won't be taking over the Central Mass airwaves for another two weeks, GoLocalWorcester had the chance to get his thoughts on issues facing the region and the Commonwealth as a whole.

Westcott moved to New Hampshire two years ago where he hosts the Paul Westcott Show on Clear Channel's WGIR in Manchester. Prior to his time in the Granite State, Wescott worked for iHeartRadio, Clear Channel's digital property in New York.

Budget Issues and Development

For Westcott, the big questions facing Washington are some of the same ones facing officials in the Worcester area.

"It's a lot like what we're seeing across the country, which is all budgetary," he said. "Everybody's talking about the numbers. How is stuff going to get paid for?"

Westcott pointed to Worcester's several downtown development initiatives and noted the need to strike a balance when it comes to giving city, county and state tax breaks to spur private development.

Gun Rights

"I'm a very strong supporter of the Second Amendment," Westcott said.

In the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Ct., many politicians have the knee-jerk reaction of immediately calling for expanded gun control laws. But Westcott said he does see some action on the issue coming down the road.

"There's going to be a back and forth on that, which I think I'll be pretty well-suited to talk about," he said, noting that New Hampshire gets blamed quite a bit for some of the gun violence that takes place in its neighbor to the south.

Westcott is a gun owner himself; he owns a hunting rifle, which he said family in New Hampshire will be holding onto for him while he makes the move to Massachusetts.

One-Party State

Westcott said he thinks that even Democrats get sick of having single-party control eventually, and that the Republican Party is heading into a rebuilding year after the defeats of 2012 on the national, state and local level.

The presidential election year may have hurt Scott Brown, he said, because many voters are not as informed on the lower tickets on the ballot and the former Senator was able to be pegged as a Tea Party supporter.

However, toward the end of the Senate race against Elizabeth Warren, Brown was able to position himself as the kind of Republican Bay State voters support, and Westcott likes Brown's chances in a special Senate election if John Kerry is confirmed as Secretary of State.

In terms of his own politics, Westcott stopped short of placing himself entirely under the GOP's big tent.

"I'm obviously a conservative," he said. "I don't like branding myself as the Republican guy because I disagree with them almost as much as I disagree with the Democrats."

MassGOP

Westcott said the issues currently facing the Massachusetts Republican Party are those you'll find in any GOP organization in a predominately blue state.

"We got walloped by fighting national versus national," he said. "Now, looking locally, how can Republicans win again? Really, in Massachusetts, it has to be local. Not even the county level, but city and town-by-town."

For Westcott, the MassGOP's top priorities need to be building the kind of strong organization that can give Bay State Democrats a run for their money and developing the local-level talent the Commonwealth's Republican Party already possesses.

"There needs to be a better bullpen. Let's get some new names out there."

Experiencing Central Mass

Westcott said he hasn't been to Old Sturbridge Village in years and that he learned to ski at Wachusett.

"There's a whole bunch of great places right now that my wife and I are looking to visit and explore," he said, adding that he's still learning the area, one of the challenges when of moving into a new market and a new place.

"I hope to meet a lot of popele, learn a lot about it and really get to experience Worcester." 

 

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