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Parker's Primary Picks

Before getting to the substance of this post, I should explain why it has been so long since last I blogged: I was away for the month of August (cross-country trip culminating in my sister's wedding in Washington State), then I flew home to start law school the next day. Being a law student is time-consuming and has prevented me from following local issues as closely as I would like. Consequently, my policy blogging may be limited in frequency in the coming months, and I may shift my focus from local issues to those of wider breath, not because I do not remain interested in the goings on in Newton, but because I hesitate to weigh into discussions when I am not fully informed about the issues at hand.

Let me also preface this post with my usual pre-primary endorsement disclaimer: these are my personal views and are not given in my capacity as an officer of the Democratic Party. Further, this post is probably only of interest to those who intend to vote in Tuesday's Primary (polls are open on September 14 from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM) and who have yet to make up their minds.

Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the major contested races that will appear on Tuesday's Democratic Primary ballot (with the exception of state representative, all of these races encompass all of Newton):

Treasurer: Steve Grossman— I have known Steve for nearly 20 years and he is a man of tremendous character and integrity. The state treasurer serves an important management role for which Steve is well-qualified. He has run his family business for a generation where he has earned high praise for his treatment of employees, his vision, and his ability to inspire high levels of performance from his employees. Steve also understands the role of the Treasurer's office in creating jobs and spurring the Massachusetts economy. I am confident that with Steve Grossman as State Treasurer, our tax dollars will be invested wisely and the agencies under him will be run efficiently and effectively. Fundamentally, I'm voting for Steve because I trust him with my money.

Auditor: Suzanne Bump — My reasons for supporting Suzanne are similar to why I am voting for Steve. The position of State Auditor has an important role to play in manitaining the integrity of our state government. The Auditor needs both a familiarity with the workings of state government, so as to be able to identify what isn't working, and a commitment to using the power of the office to right wrongs, even in the face of pressure to look the other way. Suzanne has the balance of experience and independence the job requires and the integrity to use the power of the office only in the public interest. One of her opponents has never held elected office and lacks state government experience. The other has not inspired my confidence that he would properly wield the power of the office.

Senator: Cindy Creem — I have known and worked with Cindy for almost twenty years. She is a smart, effective legislator whose values and priorities align well with her district. Her opponent has failed to make a persuasive case that she should be replaced.

Representative: Ruth Balser — Like Cindy, Ruth has been a friend and colleague since I was first elected to the Board of Aldermen in 1991. Ruth was also one of my preliminary opponents in last year's mayoral election. Ruth has been an outstanding state representative, both in terms of her responsiveness to constituent concerns and as a legislator, where she has demonstrated an ability to select important issues in need of legislative solutions and has persisted in pursuing those solutions over the course of years, compromising where necessary -- but no more than necessary -- to achieve passage of important legislation. Most notably, her work to require sprinklers in commercial buildings has likely prevented fires from spreading and saved lives not just in Newton but throughout the state.

Disagree with one of my picks? Want more information and links to details of their work? Please post a comment and share your thoughts.

Reader Comments (4)

I actually agree with all of your choices. I've known Steve Grossman from a business perspective for 35 years, he's solid and honest, and makes a good case for himself as state Treasurer. And even though I can't vote for Ruth [I'm in Koutoujian's district], I endorsed her in a letter to the Tab.

09.12.2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan Fahey

"I hesitate to weigh into discussions when I am not fully informed about the issues at hand." I hesitate too. Then I wade right in... :-)

09.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Norton

Can you clarify for those not aware...in what capacity do you serve as an officer for the Democratic party? And in that role, what have you looked to accomplish? Lastly, can you please state your current involvement with the Massachusetts Young Democrats?

Thanks. And congrats to Debby - wedding pictures of her and Dash looked beautiful!

10.14.2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Good one, Emily ;-) I guess I sometimes do that too. . .

Eric, I am a member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, where I have focused my efforts on promoting the values and priorities of the Democratic Party, particularly in the areas of education, the environment, and the economy. I'm no longer a Young Democrat, having "aged out" of the group, but as a co-founder, I sometimes still get to speak at their annual conventions. Regarding Debby's wedding, thanks, they did look great and the entire event was a blast!

10.22.2010 | Unregistered CommenterKen Parker

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