Controversial Questions Appearing on Ballot

Friday, November 2, 2018
By Sue Ellen Woodcock

Two recent MIT grads who have never lived in the 19th Suffolk District are taking a shot at Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo by quietly putting two non-binding questions on the Nov. 6.

Question 4 addresses the Global Warming Solutions Implementation Act and Question Five is also a non-binding question seeking to repeal a $45,000 increase in annual compensation for the Speaker, it also seeks to prohibit elected officials and their senior staff from engaging in any lobbying activity for five years once they leave office. The question further seeks a term limit of eight years for the Speaker of the House position.

DeLeo simply points to his accomplishments as it relates to climate change and the environment. As a result of his work, he said, “Massachusetts has been named No. 1 in the U.S. for eight years in a row beating out California.”

“Massachusetts will be the first state in the United States with a commercial-scale offshore wind project, and has committed to 3,200 megawatts of offshore wind. The first project will provide power to 400,000 plus homes in Massachusetts,” DeLeo said.

“There are now more than 2,000 megawatts of solar in Massachusetts up from under 10 megawatts in 2008 and there are now more than 109,000 clean energy jobs in Massachusetts,” DeLeo said.

As House Ways and Means chair, the Speaker has helped build Massachusetts’ nation-leading climate change policies by championing and voting for the three ground-breaking environmental and clean energy polices passed into law in 2008. (Green Communities Act, Green Jobs Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act)

Working with his colleagues in the House, he has continued to build on this foundation by passing legislation to expand the adoption of clean energy, combat climate change and invest in climate resilience measures via major clean energy legislation in 2012, 2016 and 2018 and major environmental legislation in 2014 and 2018.

“Under my leadership, the Commonwealth has invested hundreds of millions of dollars for conservation, resiliency, energy efficiency, and climate change preparedness,” DeLeo said.

Winthrop and Revere are among more than 200 designated Green Communities across the state. Both communities have committed to cutting energy use by 20 percent over five years and have already implemented projects to bring them well on their way. The $16.5 million Winthrop Shore Drive improvements are complete. There is $11 million for improvements to Revere Beach. Also, the latest Environmental Bond Bill set aside funding for several local projects including $15 million to mitigate against coastal flooding in Winthrop.

Voters can head for the polls on Nov. 6 or can still take advantage of early voting until Nov. 2, and will also consider several contested races. For senator in congress incumbent Elizabeth Warren is challenged by Republican Geoff Deihl and Independent Shiva Ayyadurai.

“I think it’s going to be a close race,” said Paul Caruccio, of the Republican Town Committee. “It’s an interesting election because the candidates are on such opposite sides of the spectrum. Elizabeth Warren doesn’t relate well to the people in the state. Geoff Deihl is more sincere.”

In the governor and Lt. governor race, incumbent Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito are being challenged by Democrats Jay Gonzales and Quentin Palfrey.

In the attorney general race incumbent Maura Healy is being challenged by Republican James McMahon III, for secretary of state incumbent Bill Galvin is being challenged by Republican Anthony Amore and Green-Rainbow party member Juan Sanchez Jr.

For treasurer, incumbent Deb Goldberg is being challenged by Keiko Orrall and Green-Rainbow candidate Jamie Guerin. For auditor, incumbent Suzanne Bump is challenged by Republican Helen Brady, Libertarian Daniel Fishman and Green-Rainbow candidate Edward Stamas. Congresswoman Elizabeth Clark is being challenged by Republican John Hugo. In the district attorney’s race Rachel Rollins is being challenged by Michael Maloney.

Running unopposed are DeLeo, and State Sen. Joe Boncore.

“It is becoming apparent that this midterm election is the most important in a generation,” said State Sen. Joe Boncore. “Our democratic experiment only works if we exercise our right to vote. Don’t just say you’re going to vote on Nov. 6 make a plan to vote – and get your family and friends to join you. The opportunity to vote early in Winthrop, is available right now and I want to thank the Town Clerk’s office for the tremendous job in making that possible.”

“The most important thing to do is vote,” said Cathy DelVento, chair of the Winthrop Democratic Town Committee. “The country is at a crossroads amongst the higher leadership and voting gives people an opportunity to go to the polls and send a message. You can’t complain if you don’t exercise your privilege.”

Voters in all communities will have to decide on three statewide ballot questions.

Question 1 is a proposed law in regard to patient to nurse limits. According to the “State Election Information” booklet, a Yes vote would limit the number of patients that could be assigned to one registered nurse in hospitals and certain other healthcare facilities. A no vote would make no change in the current laws relative to patient-to-nurse limits.

Question 2  is a proposed law, which asks if a citizens commission should be created to consider and recommend potential amendments to the Constitution to establish that corporations do not have the same Constitutional rights as human beings and that campaign contributions and expenditures may be regulated. A Yes vote would create a citizens commission to advance an amendment to United States Constitution to limit the influence of money in the elections and establish that Corporations do not have the same rights as human being. A No vote would not create the commission.

Question 3 is a referendum on an existing law, which addresses a transgender anti-discrimination question. A Yes vote would keep in place the current law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in places of public accommodation. A No vote would repeal this provision of the public accommodation law.

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