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Coakley Blasts Baker for Opposition to Earned Sick Time Initiative

Wednesday, August 06, 2014


Martha Coakley has turned her sights from her Democratic competitor Steve Grossman to her Republican competitor Charlie Baker when she criticized Baker for his opposition to the earned sick time ballot initiative.

Coakley called the ballot initiative a matter of basic fairness for working women and families across Massachusetts.

“We have now learned that Charlie Baker is opposed to the ballot question to provide earned sick time for every worker in Massachusetts, said Coakley. “Charlie’s opposition to earned sick time shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the difficulties faced by working families, especially working mothers. If corporate CEOs don’t have to choose between caring for a sick child or parent and losing their job, then neither should working families. I believe if we are going to truly tackle income inequality in this Commonwealth and turn this economy around for everyone, we must offer earned sick time for every worker. That’s why I’m going to fight every day to make sure this ballot question passes in November."

The ballot initiative – if passed in November – would allow for employees in Massachusetts to earn and use up to 40 hours of sick time each year.

An Important Issue

According to the Coakley campaign nearly one-third of all Massachusetts employees do not currently have earned sick time. Also, nearly one in four workers report that they have been fired, suspended, punished, or threatened for taking time of for a personal illness or to take care of a family member.

“Right now, there are nearly one million workers in Massachusetts without earned sick time,” said Coakley. “No one should be forced to choose between staying home if they get sick, or to care for a sick child, and potentially losing their job. This is a particular challenge faced by women, with nearly half of working women in the private sector unable to take a single paid sick day. That is wrong.”

Baker’s Response

According to Tim Buckley, a spokesperson for Charlie Baker’s campaign, Baker is opposed to the ballot initiative – Question 4 – but admits that Baker would work to implement the initiative if elected governor, if the ballot question were to pass.

Additionally, Baker believes that all employers should provide sick time to their employees but is concerned with the one-size-fits-all nature of the bill because it would inhibit employers in providing the benefits that work best for their employees.

 “It isn't surprising a career prosecutor doesn't understand that there are more effective ways to achieve this goal without harming small businesses and costing people their jobs,” said Buckley. “Coakley's refusal to join Charlie in boosting the Earned Income Tax Credit, a provision economists agree helps low income working moms, is proof she values cheap political points over helping families get ahead."


Related Slideshow: MA’s Biggest Political Comebacks in History

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Congressman Jim McGovern

Lost first congressional run in 1994

McGovern first ran for Congress in 1994, but lost in the Democratic primary to Massachusetts State Representative Kevin O’Sullivan. McGovern ran again two years later and defeated Republican incumbent Peter Blute.

He would go on to be re-elected seven times to Massachusetts’ 3rd congressional district. Now in his ninth term, McGovern currently represents Massachusetts’ 2nd congressional district. He serves as the second ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee, and as a member of the House Agriculture Committee.

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Former Gov. Michael Dukakis

Lost 1978 Democratic gubernatorial primary

After serving one term as Governor of Massachusetts, Dukakis was defeated by Edward King in the 1978 Democratic primary. Despite the major defeat, Dukakis was able to beat King four years later in the Democratic primary and would go on to win the general election against Republican opponent John Winthrop Sears. Dukakis also won re-election in 1986.

In addition to serving three terms as Governor, Dukakis also served four terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and was the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1988. Dukakis went on to serve for over a decade as a visiting professor at Northeastern University and as a lecturer in public management at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

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Former Gov. Mitt Romney

Lost 1994 US Senate Race

After losing the 1994 U.S. Senate race to incumbent Ted Kennedy, Romney staged a huge political comeback in 2002 when he was elected Governor of Massachusetts. During his tenure, Romney signed Massachusetts’ health reform law, also known as “Romneycare” into law. In 2008, Romney ran an unsuccessful bid to secure his party’s Presidential nomination, but would go on to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2012.

Romney has kept a low profile since losing to President Obama, but did join the board of Marriott International for a third stint as a director in December 2012. Outside of politics, Romney's positions have included being CEO of Bain Capital and president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2012 Winter Olympic Games.

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Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill

Lost first ever electoral bid

Although he is known as the second longest-serving House Speaker in US history, O’Neill’s political career actually began with defeat. In fact, O’Neill lost his first-ever electoral bid in 1932 when he ran for a seat on the Cambridge City Council. The defeat would prove to be an anomaly for O’Neill who would go on to be elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1936 and later, the US House of Representatives in 1953. During his 34-year tenure in the US House, O’Neill served as Speaker from 1977 until his retirement in 1987.

After his retirement, O’Neill published an autobiography in 1987 and was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991. He died in 1994 as the result of heart attack. 

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35th President John F. Kennedy

Lost vice presidential bid in 1956

Despite an unblemished electoral record that included being elected to the US House of Representatives in 1946 and the US Senate in 1952, Kennedy suffered an embarrassing loss in 1956 when he was the vice presidential candidate for Adlai Stevenson. One of the most lopsided elections in presidential history, incumbent President Dwight D. Eisenhower won 457 electoral vote compared to just 73 for Stevenson.

Kennedy would go on to win the presidency four years later by defeating then-Vice President Richard Nixon. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and is remembered as one of the most influential presidents in US history.

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Former Senator Ted Kennedy

Lost 1980 Democratic presidential primary

After serving 18 years in the US Senate, Kennedy made his one and only bid for the presidency in 1980 and was defeated in the Democratic primary by incumbent President Jimmy Carter. Despite the tough loss, Kennedy would go on to serve in the US Senate until 2009, making him the fourth longest-serving senator in US history.

During his 47-year tenure, Kennedy played a major role in passing many laws that addressed health insurance, immigration, civil rights, education, and mental health benefits. He died of brain cancer in 2009.


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