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Baker Proposes Reforms to Increase Government Accountability

Friday, August 08, 2014


Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker has announced a series of reforms aimed at government accountability and electoral reform.

These reforms are designed to make Beacon Hill more accountable, transparent, and geared toward providing real customer service to Massachusetts taxpayers.

“The people of Massachusetts deserve a state government that gets out of the way, is innovative and designed to truly serve them, not the other way around,” said Charlie Baker. “One-party rule on Beacon Hill is entrenched, protected by special interests that outweigh the needs of the people and as Governor, I will lead a new direction where people come first and politics is secondary.”

Baker also announced some electoral reforms to shorten the campaign season and level the playing field. Baker says that the current system is designed to protect incumbents, something these reforms would set to change.

Good Government Reform

Baker proposed four key government reforms aimed toward increasing the accountability of Massachusetts’ government.

These four reforms – improving customer service, creating a state government dashboard, reviewing all regulations, and reviewing and reforming all quasi-publics – are praised by Baker for being “good government reforms,” which can ultimately improve the Massachusetts government in the future.

“Government should never forget that its purpose is to serve the people,” said Baker about government customer service. “Unfortunately, the experience of dealing with the state government is anything but customer-friendly for many people and organizations. We should utilize technology and the great innovative and creative talent in our state to develop a bold plan for transforming the experience of dealing with state government, both online and in person.”

Competitive Elections

Additionally, Baker wants to see reform for the election cycle and process, one that he currently believes favors the incumbent.

The three reforms – closing loopholes that benefit special interests, moving the state primary to earlier in the year, and changing the campaign finance calendar to a primary/general calendar – would all make for a much more competitive election, according to Baker.

“Currently, Massachusetts campaign finance laws, including personal donation limits, are based on a calendar year,” said Baker about changing the campaign finance calendar. “This lengthens campaigns and protects incumbents because candidates need to fundraise in the year prior to the election to maximize fundraising. We should instead have a primary/general calendar, with a $1000 individual limit for each.”


Related Slideshow: 10 Competitive Legislative Races in Central MA

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17th Worcester - House

Incumbent: John Binienda, Sr. (retiring)

Democrats: Mike Germain (pictured), Moses Dixon

Republicans: Kate Campanale

“If Mike Germain wins the primary, it will be interesting to see how hard he works to win the house seat; he is not known to be that hard of a worker. I think that if he wins, that seat could go to the republican candidate.” - Chris Pinto, Worcester Republican City Committee

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12th Worcester - House

Incumbent: Harold Naughton, Jr.

Democrats: Harold Naughton, Jr.

Republicans: Brad Wyatt (pictured)

“Harold Naughton decided to leave to run for Attorney General. When it seemed like his competition would be to hard, he came back to run for his old seat. While Naughton is seemingly on his way out, Brad Wyatt is a candidate who is very much on the rise.” - Bill McCarthy, Worcester rep, Massachusetts Republican Party

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Stephen Brewer's Open Senate Seat

Incumbent: Stephen Brewer (retiring) (pictured)

Democrats: Anne Gobi

Republicans:James Ehrhard, Michael Valanzola

“James Ehrhard has to win the primary against Valanzola but I think that he has a real shot at winning the primary. Ehrhard is a candidate that is really working hard to go door-to-door covering all the towns and working really hard.” - McCarthy

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1st Worcester - Senate

Incumbent: Harriette Chandler

Democrats: Harriette Chandler, William Feegbeh, Sean Maher

Republicans: Paul Franco (pictured)

“I think that all of the Senate races are going to be very close and competitive. Paul Franco is a super guy and a great candidate. I think the Franco/Chandler race has the potential to be a top three race in Central Massachusetts.” - Rob Cunningham, Executive Director, Massachusets Republican Party

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16th Worcester - House

Incumbent: Daniel Donahue

Democrats:  Daniel Donahue (pictured), Joshua Perro

Republicans: none

“Donahue is clearly ahead in his race. His primary opponent has no clear rationale as to why he is running.” - Paul Giorgio, Democratic Party Activist

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15th Worcester - House

Incumbent: Mary Keefe (pictured)

Democrats: Mary Keefe, Philip Palmieri, Ralph Perez

Republicans: none

“Anytime you have a state representative (Keefe) up against a city councilor (Palmieri), you are always in for a competitive race.” - Giorgio

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Worcester/Norfolk - Senate

Incumbent: Richard Moore (pictured)

Democrats: Richard Moore

Republicans: Ryan Fattman

“Ryan Fattman is running in a really favorable district against Richard Moore who has been there a long time. Richard may be a nice guy, but when you look at what is going on at Beacon Hill, a young candidate may be just what we need.” - Cunningham

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18th Worcester - House

Incumbent: Ryan Fattman (pictured)

Democrats: David Cortese, Mark Dowgiewicz, Brenda Ennis

Republicans: Charles Arakelian, Jesse Limanek, Joseph McKenna

“I think the 18th Worcester House District will be a good race. We will have to see how it advances as we get closer to November.” - Travis Shofner, Data Director and Voter File Manager, Massachusetts Democratic Party

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9th Worcester - House

Incumbent: George Peterson, Jr. (retired) (pictured)

Democrats: Martin Green 

Republicans: Shawn Craig, David Muradian, Jr.

“We have been keeping our eyes on the Peterson seat. Martin Green will be running for that seat. We think that race will be very competitive.” - Shofner

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10th Worcester - House

Incumbent: John Fernandes

Democrats: John Fernandes (pictured)

Republicans: Christopher Kivior, Mark Reil, Jr.

“There are quality candidates running against Fernandes, a guy who has been there a while. Given the mistrust in Beacon Hill, I think some of these good republican candidates have a good shot.” - Cunningham


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