An Overall View: Comparing Candidates' Statements on Vision, Experience and More

Share, with attribution, and amplify progressives' voices, questions and priorities during the 2014 campaigns. 
SOURCE CITE: progressivemass.com/2014statewide
Feb. 2014. 


VISION, QUALIFICATIONS, FINAL COMMENTS

[Section I and Section IV, excerpted from our questionnaire]

* ABOUT THE CANDIDATES

* PHILOSOPHY AND PRIORITIES

* ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

* PDF VERSION: VISION, QUALIFICATIONS, FINAL COMMENTS EXCERPT

Candidates' original responses are here: progressivemass.com/2014govmain


BROWSE MORE OF THE GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES' QUESTIONNAIRE: 


About the Candidates

[Section I of our questionnaire]

Motivation

[Question 1]Why are you running for office?

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Don Berwick

Why are you running for office?

I have never held elected office and have spent my career outside politics, focused, instead, on innovation and executive leadership. I founded and led for 19 years the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), which became one of the world’s largest nonprofits focused on health system improvement. President Obama then asked me to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Washington – an agency with a budget larger than the Pentagon’s, with responsibility for leading health care reform in our nation.

I am running for Governor because – with the gridlock in Washington and public trust near all-time lows – this nation needs a beacon to show the rest of the country that bold, progressive leadership can work and deliver for the people. Massachusetts can and should be that beacon. We are a state that has compassion. We made health care a right in 2006, eight years before the rest of the nation. We were the first state that said you can marry the person you love. And we have the best energy policy in the nation

We need a government that fights for social justice, equality, compassion, and an economy that allows everyone to thrive.  As Massachusetts Governor, that will be my fight.

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Martha Coakley

Why are you running for office?

I am running for Governor because I believe we are at a critical time here in Massachusetts. As our recovery continues, we have the opportunity to build an economy in the Commonwealth that is better for everyone, not just those at the very top. We already have some of the best public schools in the world, but we have the opportunity to give every child an even better chance to reach their full potential by expanding access to early education and better aligning instruction with workforce needs. And we must continue our work on health care, to improve accessibility and affordability; especially to high-quality mental health care, which is so important to so many families here in Massachusetts.

We need a strong, Democratic leader in the corner office to help our state seize the opportunities that are laid out before us. As Attorney General, I took on the challenges that were important to people in Massachusetts, from opposing DOMA to helping keep thousands of families in their homes by taking on the big banks. My record of leadership on critical issues, and my clear vision for our state, give me the skills and drive to tackle the challenges we will face in the next eight years, both those we can anticipate and those we can’t, and to continue to build on the remarkable progress we have made together.

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Steve Grossman

Why are you running for office?

I am running for governor because I believe the people of Massachusetts want proven leadership that leaves no one behind. At a time when 250,000 of our fellow citizens are out of work, 800,000 are on food stamps, and nearly 1 million people lack a single hour of earned sick time, rampant income and economic inequality is the defining challenge we face as a Commonwealth and as a nation. When I’m governor, I’ll change that. I’ll work tirelessly to ensure that all residents, no matter which city or town they live in, have a fair shot to get ahead and create a brighter future.

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Juliette Kayyem

Why are you running for office?

We have to solve our challenges with bold, innovative ideas. Without these ideas and a real plan for progress we cannot utilize government’s capacity to help people when they need it most. We cannot let the tired ideas of the past slow us down, because the challenges are too great. There are too many of us in Massachusetts who feel like they don’t belong, too many who can’t afford college, too many remain unemployed or underemployed, and too many of our young people are relegated to a life in and out of prison. I am not saying that tackling these issues will be easy, they are not. But we can tackle the tough issues; we can bring jobs to Massachusetts that are sustainable and that will make Massachusetts competitive in the increasingly complex world we live in. We can ease the burden for everyone in Massachusetts so people are not so worried about putting their children through school and about finding a lasting job. We can close the income inequality gap to ensure that no family struggles to put food on their table. We can expand universal Pre-K and after school programs to help young children, and dramatically reduce the number of young people put in jail for non-violent crimes.

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Qualifications

[Question 2] What prepares you to serve in this capacity?

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Don Berwick

What prepares you to serve in this capacity?

While much of my background is in health care, most of my professional career has been focused on improving large systems and organizations. As a non-profit executive, I grew a small seed grant into one of the largest organizations in the world focused on health care improvement, with a $40 million annual budget and projects throughout the world and in every state in the union. Even during the most recent recession, we froze executive pay and bonuses, and never laid off a single employee.

In government, I led Medicare and Medicaid – the largest agency in federal government, with a budget larger than the Pentagon’s – during the early implementation of the most significant health care reform since the creation of Medicare. I am proud of my role in implementing the Affordable Care Act; we were able to ensure that young people can stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26, children with preexisting conditions can no longer be denied the care they need, and insurance company rates are now subject to new levels of transparency.

My experience in innovation, executive leadership, and breakthrough improvement, coupled with my progressive vision for our Commonwealth, prepare me to serve as our next Governor.

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Martha Coakley

What prepares you to serve in this capacity?

As I mentioned briefly above, I have spent my life in public service. Shortly after I graduated from law school, I joined the Middlesex District Attorney’s office, where I ran the Child Abuse Unit and developed strategies to better address domestic violence; I was then elected District Attorney myself in 1999. In 2006, I had the tremendous honor to be elected the first female Attorney General in Massachusetts, and to be reelected in 2010.

I am proud of the work I have done throughout my career to address the important issues facing people in Massachusetts. From recovering millions of dollars from contractors involved in the Big Dig and taking on banks that knowingly sold risky loans, to holding the EPA accountable for enforcing greenhouse gas regulations and working to better address bullying in our schools, I have worked to make our state a place that is more equal, more fair, and where everyone has the opportunity to build a better life.

I could not have done it alone, however, and my time as AG has shown me the importance of articulating a vision and then building the best team, and working with partners across the state, including local government, businesses, non-profits, and individuals, to achieve our shared goals. This inclusive approach to leadership is even more critical as Governor, because government cannot hope to tackle the major challenges we face alone; I will bring a proven record of inclusiveness to the corner office to help harness all of our collective energy and ideas.   

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Steve Grossman

What prepares you to serve in this capacity?

I am the only Democratic candidate for governor who has spent a lifetime creating jobs and economic opportunity. First, I’ve created jobs for more than 35 years at our family business, a union shop for 62 years that has never once had a matter go to arbitration and has had earned sick time for more than 25 years. Second, I’ve created jobs as state treasurer, where we launched the Small Business Banking Partnership. I’ll bring to the Corner Office a proven track record of building consensus and collaboration among my colleagues to implement common-sense solutions that can change peoples’ lives and create widely shared economic opportunity.

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Juliette Kayyem

What prepares you to serve in this capacity?

I worked for President Clinton and Deval Patrick at the Justice Department, where I took on institutional discrimination. I advocated through federal authority to have one of the first anti-bullying complaints resolved. When military institutions denied women equal access to education, I was a part of the team that fought and won them their rights at the Virginia Military Institute, and at the Citadel. When I was a columnist for the Boston Globe, I took on an administration I had personally worked for when I called on the Pentagon to end its female combat exclusion rule. My work was affirmed when the Pentagon decided to lift the prohibition in recognition of women’s contribution to the war effort.

When Governor Patrick asked me to be the first Under Secretary for Homeland Security, I took on Beacon Hill to implement the first interoperability plan for our first responders. When President Obama asked me to manage the clean up of the Gulf Coast after the BP oil spill, I knew lives and livelihoods, not to mention our environment, were on the line. Engaging over 60 federal agencies, five states, and numerous local partners we were able to turn around one of the worst environmental disasters in history.

I am the only candidate in this race to have executive leadership experience at both the state and federal levels, and I have made government work in some of the most difficult situations. I worked across the aisle, and beside people that I didn’t politically agree with, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, and Haley Barbour to name a few; however, when crises happen we must put ideological differences aside to solve whatever problem we face. I have made my career managing crises and finding solutions for the most difficult challenges our state and nation have been forced to face.

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Philosophy and Priorities

Role of Government

[Question 3] What do you think is the proper role of government in Massachusetts residents' daily lives?

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Don Berwick

What do you think is the proper role of government in Massachusetts residents' daily lives?

Government plays an essential role in helping us create the communities we want to live in.

I am a progressive. I believe that government can and must play a positive role in the lives of our citizens, and especially in the lives of the most vulnerable among us. I believe that we have a moral obligation as a society to help those who need help. Throughout my campaign, I have been inspired by the words of Senator and Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who said:

"The moral test of government is how it treats people in the dawn of life – the children, people in the twilight of life – the elderly, and people in the shadows of life – the sick, the needy, and the handicapped."

I believe that compassion is not a luxury, but a core value for proper government. If government does not show compassion – most crucially in helping the least fortunate in our communities – the damage to our social fabric is profound. I have never heard a better description of such compassion than Humphrey's words.

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Martha Coakley

What do you think is the proper role of government in Massachusetts residents' daily lives?

Government plays a vital role in the life of every resident of Massachusetts. From the day-to-day responsibilities like repairing roads and ensuring public safety, to taking on the critical challenges of our time including climate change, inequality, and public health.

Government should be there to ensure that everyone is treated equally, that there is a basic level of fairness, and that everyone has the best possible chance to succeed. And we must allow our businesses to grow and incentivize innovative solutions to our greatest challenges, but also make sure competition is encouraged and consumers are treated fairly.  

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Steve Grossman

What do you think is the proper role of government in Massachusetts residents' daily lives?

Faced with the worst economic crisis our country has ever seen, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt rebuilt our middle class and restored the confidence of the American people. Seventy seven years ago, in his second inaugural address, Roosevelt said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those  who have too little.” Right here in Massachusetts, far too many of our fellow citizens still have too little to make ends meet – too little education, too few jobs, too little healthcare, too little hope, and too little dignity. I believe the role of government is to level the playing field for all people and create equality of opportunity.

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Juliette Kayyem

What do you think is the proper role of government in Massachusetts residents' daily lives?

Government has the capacity to do good, but I know that it can do better. The political establishment says that not everyone belongs in this conversation. I disagree. We need a conversation that solves the problems of our time with a sense of urgency, but we must also do so in a way that is the right solution for the long-haul, that demonstrates a real plan for progress, that brings people in and keeps them there.

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Top Priorities

[Question 4] If elected, what would be your top 3 priorities?

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Don Berwick

If elected, what would be your top 3 priorities?

First, as a father, grandfather, and pediatrician, I put great stock in the wellbeing and future of our children.  We do well by Massachusetts children in many respects, but I want to raise the bar.  I want us to be an example for the world of a total community dedicated to the development and wellbeing of its children. We should promise every child under five years of age – and the families that nurture them – the support and environment that assure that they will enter lives that are safe, emotionally enriching, and healthy, and that allow them to develop their skills and talents to the fullest extent possible.  As Governor, I will organize and personally lead a statewide, community-by-community effort to coordinate public and private services that guaranty success and readiness for kids under five, and for their families (of any structure).  I will help Massachusetts communities that want to join in that endeavor to do so together, through cooperation, learning and continual sharing of best practices.

Second, I believe that income inequality will be the issue that defines the next decade. In recent years, incomes for the wealthiest among us have increased dramatically, while middle and working class wages have remained stagnant at best. I will aggressively move toward polices that increase upward mobility, and that create opportunities for everyone to benefit from participation in an economy that is growing and thriving.

Third, the next Governor will need to control the cost of health care. Chapter 224 is a good start, but if we don't see serious cost reduction on an aggressive schedule, we need to be ready to act, and act quickly. That's why I am the only candidate in the 2014 Governor's race to put the possibility of a single payer health care system on the table. The complexity of our health care payment system adds costs, uncertainties, and hassles for everyone – patients, families, doctors, and employers, and single payer is one way to remedy that.  Equally, we need to work to transform our health delivery system into one focused on teamwork, continuity, prevention, and wellness.  The Triple Aim – better care, better health, and lower cost through improvement, which I have worked toward for three decades – will be the constant focus of my agenda in health care.

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Martha Coakley

If elected, what would be your top 3 priorities?

  1. Building an economy that creates good-paying jobs and that works for everyone, across every region of the Commonwealth, not just those at the very top. And implementing strategies to reduce the high level of income inequality in Massachusetts, including raising the minimum wage and providing for earned sick time.
  2. Improving our public education system to give all children, regardless of their income bracket, the best possible chance to reach their full potential.
  3. Controlling the cost of health care, while maintaining our first-in-the-nation levels of access and quality, and decreasing stigma while improving access to high-quality mental and behavioral health care.

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Steve Grossman

If elected, what would be your top 3 priorities?

1) Within the context of creating between 75,000 and 100,000 jobs annually, I’ve set a goal of creating 50,000 new manufacturing jobs over the next five years mostly in our older, industrial cities by investing in our vocational-technical schools and closing the skills gap.
2) My education plan includes fully funding a universal pre-kindergarten program for every four-year-old in Massachusetts, providing all students, no matter where they live and how much money they have, a fair shot at reading by the third grade.
3) I will advocate for a comprehensive initiative with respect to climate change and reducing our carbon footprint that will build on Governor Patrick’s successes in renewable energy, expand our commitment to electric cars, and allocate 1 percent of our state budget to environmental programs to ensure the successful implementation of our priorities.

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Juliette Kayyem

If elected, what would be your top 3 priorities?

Every person who is running to be the next Governor has to be focused on education, infrastructure and job creation. But if we want to continue to push for government to do good we must focus on more than a silo view of policy. As Governor Patrick has done we must have a view that is both for fixing the problems of today with an eye towards the future. In this respect we must reform our criminal justice system, reduce and prepare for climate change, and ensure equality for all especially women.  

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

[Section IV] Use this space to add any other issues important to your vision for Massachusetts or any other matter you think progressive voters should know about your candidacy.

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DON BERWICK

Use this space to add any other issues important to your vision for Massachusetts, or any other matter you think progressive voters should know about your candidacy.

I believe that the most important foundation for success in any organization, community, or political entity rests on shared values.  When values are weak, strategy cannot work; and when values are strong, successful strategy will almost inevitably emerge.  This nation is at serious risk today because of a growing failure among our leaders to articulate the very values that have allowed America to be a moral leader and the engine of democracy throughout the world.  The silence has been filled too often by voices of self-interest and “win-lose” theories of predatory markets as some sort of route to excellence.

The values for our community and Commonwealth that I hold most dear are these: social justice, equality, and compassion.  I want us to be a state that evinces every day in our public action the same commitments that will characterize the community I want to live in – a community where we can count on each other, act on our most generous and loving instincts, and protecting those among us who, without that protection, would suffer.  To get there we need to reestablish, without apology or fear of being called naïve, the moral vocabulary of a truly great nation.  That means a renewal of our faith in ourselves and of our commitments to each other, and of government’s essential role in acting on that.  Let Massachusetts lead the way in that for a nation that badly needs to find its compass again.

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MARTHA COAKLEY

Use this space to add any other issues important to your vision for Massachusetts, or any other matter you think progressive voters should know about your candidacy.

No response

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STEVE GROSSMAN

Use this space to add any other issues important to your vision for Massachusetts, or any other matter you think progressive voters should know about your candidacy.

I have championed many progressive policies throughout my lifetime and long before it was politically popular to do so.

On equal justice for all, my wife Barbara and I have stood shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT community for the past 15 years. As chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) under President Bill Clinton, I re-established the DNC’s gay and lesbian caucus and hired the DNC’s first full-time director of gay and lesbian outreach.

On economic fairness, beyond simply supporting an increase in the minimum wage to $11 an hour, I have taken a further step and said that as governor, I would veto any bill that cuts unemployment benefits.

On reducing our carbon footprint, in 2007, our family business Grossman Marketing Group replaced the carbon-based fuel it had been using with 100 percent certified wind power.

On criminal justice reform, I strongly believe we must overhaul mandatory minimum sentences for low-level offenders.

On civil rights and civil liberties, I’m deeply concerned about the erosion of privacy. I support smart policing, in which the expansion of wiretapping is reserved for investigation of specified crimes, not fishing expeditions from authorities that seek to gather as much data as possible regardless of its relevance to criminal investigations.

On financing our robust transportation agenda, I’m strongly in support of indexing the gas tax to inflation and oppose efforts to repeal this legislation.

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JULIETTE KAYYEM

Use this space to add any other issues important to your vision for Massachusetts, or any other matter you think progressive voters should know about your candidacy.

You will see that I omitted or did not answer yes or no on some questions. I strongly believe in governments’ ability to do good, but believe it can always do better. Governor Patrick has demonstrated a political compass that continues to push progressive values. To continue this push we need bold and innovative solutions to solve the problems of today with an eye towards the future. This means not being theoretical in ideas, but putting forth plans that can work to lift up every resident so they have a feeling of belonging. This campaign must be about those ideas, as we as candidates need to use the campaign to be a better Governor, not use it as a way to make promises that we cannot keep.

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PDF VERSION: VISION, QUALIFICATIONS, FINAL COMMENTS EXCERPT

Candidates' original responses are here: progressivemass.com/2014govmain. 


BROWSE MORE OF THE GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES' QUESTIONNAIRE: 

Browse other questionnaires from other statewide races: progressivemass.com/2014statewide

 


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