In what is shaping up to be a busy election year in Massachusetts another long time state senator will be facing a serious challenge in the 2014 election. Marc Pacheco (D) the current senator for the 1st Bristol and Plymouth district will face a challenge from Republican Dave Rosa from Dighton, a relative newcomer to the political scene.
Pacheco was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1988, moving to the Senate in 1992. He has been a fixture on Beacon Hill for 26 years. His most noted accomplishment was the “Pacheco Bill” passed in 1993 which effectively blocked then Governor William Weld (R) efforts to save the state money by outsourcing some state services to private companies. The law has effectively blocked any savings since it forces private companies to pay union wages to their employees. Since passage of this law the state now sets the price of labor rather than the free labor market.
The challenger Rosa is a military veteran and now works as a consultant for the military where one of his jobs is to monitor government contractors to make sure they are complying with their contracts. Rosa has very little experience as an elected official, only having been recently elected to the Dighton Parks and Recreation Commission.
What has happened on Beacon Hill in 26 years Pacheco has been there? Spending has gone through the golden dome, taxes have increased, state agencies are rife with corruption and waste, businesses have fled the state crossing our northern border to New Hampshire and there is no accountability for any wrong doing such as the recent DCF scandals. This is what has become the culture at the State House during that time. Why has this become the culture? Because of the consistent one-party rule in the state.
The question voters will be faced with in November is can Massachusetts survive one party rule much longer? Can we continue to raise taxes even though we currently have a surplus in the state budget? Can we continue to pay high wages and generous benefit packages to state employees when it has been shown time and again there are some state services which would actually run more efficiently and cost effective if they were allowed to be privatized? Is it wise to conform to the national “Common Core” standards which will actually lower our educational standards from one of the highest in the nation to average? Can Massachusetts continue to force businesses to comply with burdensome regulations and taxes?
This is what the voters will need to decide in November. Not only will we be electing a new governor but we have the chance to elect new blood to the legislature as well. We can continue with one party rule and the spending that goes with it, or we can change the culture by leveling the playing field, by breaking up the network of tax and spend legislators.
The senate race in the 1st Bristol and Plymouth district is only one place where change can be made. Another long term state senator, Steve Brewer (D – Barre) announced his retirement and already has two republican challengers and one announced democrat. As November approaches there are sure to be other announcements as well.
The voters of Massachusetts have reached an important crossroads. They can either continue on the destructive path they are on or take a different road. One leads to more spending, more waste, more corruption, more economic decline, more unemployment or one which leads to prosperity. Which will they choose?
Commentary by Paul Roy
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