Also for State Senate
In two State Senate races, progressives with impressive track records are deserving of your vote. In the Middlesex and Worcester District, Jamie Eldridge is well-positioned to move from the House of Representatives and take over the seat from Pamela Resor, who is not seeking re-election. Eldridge is independent-minded and serious on core issues — a combination much-needed in the Senate. In the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex District, political newcomer Sara Orozco has demonstrated that she is more than just an anti–Scott Brown vote (although given Brown’s conservative record, and particularly his opposition to same-sex marriage, that is probably enough to earn reform votes). Over the course of the campaign, Orozco has shown that she is ready to make real contributions to health care, housing, jobs, and education.
The Phoenix suggests residents of those districts cast their votes for Eldridge and Orozco.
Question 1: Vote no.
This ballot initiative to abolish the state income tax is soreheaded, but is not without a certain appeal. Question 1 would allow voters fed up with the follies on Beacon Hill to give the finger to state government.
It is, nevertheless, the most politically immature and irresponsible measure to appear on the ballot in some time. The cuts in social services and education alone would transform Massachusetts into the Mississippi of the Northeast.
Paying taxes, as Barack Obama has reminded voters in the national election, is part of the compact citizens make with their government. Nobody likes paying taxes, but only a fool would deny their necessity.
Voters unhappy with State House affairs should take a look at the performance of their representatives and senators. If their legislators are deemed to be bums, then they should vote them out of office.
Question 1 would be a bad idea at any time. But during this economic crisis, it should be beyond consideration. Vote no.
Question 2: Vote yes.
This binding initiative to decriminalize marijuana in Massachusetts is on the ballot as a result of a widespread grassroots campaign. Various district attorneys have banded together in an effort to convince voters that approval of this long-needed and sensible reform would turn the state into a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. That’s a crock. And it makes smart people wonder just what drugs the DAs are on. Scare tactics, however, tend to be effective. Most of the supposedly enlightened and independent daily newspapers have inhaled the smoke the DAs are blowing and are urging rejection.
Reject the DAs’ nonsense. Vote for marijuana reform. Vote yes.
Question 3: Vote no.
The Phoenix is no friend of dog racing, which this initiative would abolish. But efforts to clean up this form of wagering have been notable. Massachusetts has a highly regulated dog-racing industry. At a time of economic trouble, we think it is unwise to adopt a measure that would cost people their jobs.
In addition, long-term trends in the gaming business suggest that dog racing is declining in popularity. It may well die a natural death. Vote no.