2010 Election In Full Swing

Association Endorses Pro-Retiree Candidates

ELECTION DAY 2010: With Election Day, November 2, now less than a month away, Association leaders continue to stump for candidates approved and endorsed by our Executive Board.

Our Association has a long history of actively endorsing those candidates who, regardless of party affiliation, have a record of supporting public retirees. We especially look toward candidates who have played an active role in sponsoring our Association's legislation and impacting public policies that are favorable to public retirees.

Some members have questioned why the list of 2010 endorsements does not contain Republican office seekers? In the past, the Association has actively supported many Republican candidates, including Governor Paul Cellucci. While we enjoy a very close relationship with many Republican members of the Legislature, none have opponents this fall.

This year, unfortunately, several of the Republican candidates for high office have taken their cue from talk radio and made an anti-public employee/retiree message a key component of their campaigns. This message includes proposals to transform our beloved defined benefit plan into a 401k-retirement plan, as well as mandating Social Security coverage.

This year, our main focus is on the race for state Treasurer and Receiver General, for which our Association is enthusiastically supporting Steve Grossman. With his successful background as a small business owner, combined with his dedication to public service, Steve is one of the most impressive statewide candidates to come along in many years. Over the course of the past year he has been in constant contact with our Association, including several visits to our office, all aimed at learning the intricacies of our Massachusetts public retirement system.

"When it comes to public retirees, Steve Grossman gets it," said Association President Ralph White. "Steve will be an excellent Treasurer, making retirees a priority."

In addition to our statewide efforts, the Association is also focused on the 10th Congressional District. Norfolk County District Attorney Bill Keating is our endorsed candidate to replace retiring Congressman Bill Delahunt. Keating, whose relationship with the Association goes back decades to his time on Beacon Hill as a State Representative and Senator, is running on a platform that includes protecting and strengthening Social Security.

"As a rule, we don't tend to be as involved in federal races as we are in state elections. However, due to the issues at stake this year and our long history with Bill Keating we could not sit by on the sidelines," explains Association Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel. "With the anti-public retiree positions taken by Jeff Perry (the Republican candidate in 10th Congressional District), this was an easy choice. Perry even supports mandatory Social Security enrollment for public employees, a position completely opposite ours."

In much the same vein, we also endorse the candidacy of longtime ally, Mike Morrissey of Quincy, as Norfolk County District Attorney. "Here's one candidate who far exceeds the standards that must be met for our support,' states White.

"Over the years as a state rep and then senator, Mike has been there for us, not just in word but action. When one looks back over the history of his involvement with our Association, there's no question whatsoever that Mike deserves our support.

"I've worked closely with Mike and witnessed firsthand the tremendous leadership and commitment that he brings to public service". "I know that he will continue to do so as the next Norfolk County District Attorney."

Our Association's Executive Board has endorsed the following candidates for the State Senate and House of Representatives. Again, these are candidates with whom we have a record of working on behalf of public retirees. Each has a highly contested election campaign and has earned the endorsement of our Association. Included is the name of the district and communities in which their name will appear on the ballot.

Treasurer and Receiver General

Steve Grossman

By now, members should be well acquainted with Steve Grossman and our Association's enthusiastic support of his candidacy for the office of Treasurer and Receiver General. Rarely does a candidate for a statewide constitutional office come along with the passion and determination to focus on the issues of direct importance to public retirees. Steve Grossman is the only candidate committed to defending and improving our beloved defined benefit system, as well as increasing COLA benefits.

10th Congressional District - South Shore, Cape Cod and the Islands.

William Keating

Bill Keating has been a very special friend of our Association for many years. In addition to sponsoring countless pieces of Association-backed legislation during his time on Beacon Hill, Bill is responsible for the elimination of the spousal estate tax that once proved devastating to so many widows and widowers. As a moderate, Bill is an independent thinker who will act in the best interests of his district - not special interests outside Massachusetts.

Norfolk County District Attorney

Michael Morrissey

No question, Mike Morrissey has been there for us, and now we have the opportunity to be there for him, supporting his candidacy as the next  Norfolk County District Attorney. During his public service, first as a state rep and then senator, Mike has stood with our Association, fighting for every major piece of pension and insurance legislation. We know that as a leader and advocate, Mike can best serve the retirees and citizens of Norfolk County as their District Attorney.

Candidates for the State Senate

Senate President Therese Murray

Plymouth and Barnstable: Barnstable (Pcts. 10-12), Bourne, Falmouth, Kingston, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Sandwich.

As Senate President and the previous chairwoman of the Committee on Ways and Means, Terry Murray has played a critical role in every policy decision affecting public retirees over the past decade. She has been fair and open-minded, even as the economy faltered and cries for cuts in retiree benefits grew louder. Not only has she led the fight to protect the health care rights of retirees, Terry Murray also paved the way for the new COLA base law to pass this summer. She is a true friend and important leader on Beacon Hill.

Senator Richard Moore

Worcester and Norfolk: Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Dudley, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millville, Northbridge, Oxford, Southbridge, Sutton, Uxbridge, Webster.

The chairman of the Committee on Health Care Financing and previous chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Service has been a critical asset to our Association for many years. Dick Moore helped shepherd through our landmark COLA law in 1997, which has led to near universal annual COLAs over the past thirteen years. As a nationally recognized expert on health care, as well as one of the Senate's most highly regarded leaders, Dick Moore continues to be a key member of the Senate for public retirees.

Senator Thomas McGee

3rd Essex and Middlesex: Lynn, Marblehead, Melrose (Wds. 6-7), Nahant, Saugus (Pcts. 1, 3-5-9), Swampscott.

The current chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Service, Tommy McGee led the fight for the new COLA base law enacted this past summer. Holding a long-term interest in retirement policy, Tom is one of the Senate's leading experts on our public retirement law. His leadership and voice on issues of importance to our Association is irreplaceable.

Senator Marc Pacheco

1st Plymouth and Bristol: Berkley, Bridgewater, Carver, Dighton, Marion, Middleborough, Raynham, Taunton, Wareham.

As a leading advocate for labor and working families dating back to his time as a local official in Taunton, Marc Pacheco has long made our Association and members a top priority. His support of our legislative proposals is invaluable during Senate debate. A senior member of the Senate, Marc chairs the Committee on Post Audit and Oversight.

Senator Jennifer Flanagan

Worcester and Middlesex: Ashby, Bolton, Clinton (Pcts. 1- 2), Fitchburg, Gardner, Lancaster, Leominster, Lunenburg, Sterling, Townsend, Westminster.

Jen Flanagan has been a close friend of our Association dating back to her time as House aide in the 1990s. As vice chairman of the Committee on Transportation, Jen was instrumental in ensuring that retirees were treated fairly and with dignity during the controversial debate on so-called "Elderly Driving." Jen Flanagan is also a fierce advocate for our members, sponsoring many Association bills.

Senator Brian Joyce

Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth: Avon, Braintree (Pcts. 1, 3-5), Canton, East Bridgewater (Pct. 4), Easton (Pcts. 3-6), Milton, Randolph, Sharon (Pcts. 2, 3), Stoughton, West Bridgewater.

As the former Chairman of the Committee on Public Service, Brian Joyce has long been one of our Association's advocates in the Senate. Not only does he hold a deep understanding of the ins and outs of public pension policy, Brian has never been shy about fighting for the pension and insurance rights of retirees on the floor of the Senate.

Representative Barry Finegold

Second Essex and Middlesex: Andover, Dracut, Lawrence, Tewksbury.

After six terms in the House, Andover's Barry Finegold is running for the open Senate seat being vacated by Sue Tucker. Now a senior member of the House leadership, Barry has been a good friend to our Association, sponsoring pro-retiree legislation and fighting behind the scenes to make retirees a priority. We expect his good work to continue as a member of the Senate.

John Keenan

Norfolk and Plymouth: Abington, Braintree (Pcts. 2,6-12), Holbrook, Quincy and Rockland.

After a hard fought primary, Quincy City Councilor John Keenan is poised to fill the seat vacated by Senator Michael Morrissey. As the director of the Norfolk County Retirement System, Keenan is well known to our Association. He holds a deep understanding of our Chapter 32 retirement law and is a staunch defender of our defined benefit pension system. Due to his background, John will play a critical role in the Senate as key decisions are made concerning the future of our retirement system.

Katherine Clark

Middlesex and Essex: Lynnfield, Malden, Melrose (Wd. 1-5), Reading, Stoneham and Wakefield.

While still relatively new to Beacon Hill, having been elected to the House in 2008, Katherine Clark has made a lasting impression on our Association. Undoubtedly a rising star, Katherine is a dedicated public servant who has made senior advocacy a central concern. We can count on Katherine Clark to be there for our members, making public retirees a priority.

House of Representatives

Rep. Christine Canavan

10 Plymouth: Brockton (Wd. 4, Pcts. B-C; Wd. 5, Pcts. B-D; Wd. 6), Easton (Pct. 3) and West Bridgewater.

Christine Canavan has long been one of the leading labor advocates in the House. She is someone we can count on to insure that the interests of public retirees are well considered by the House leadership.

Rep. Jim Dwyer

30th Middlesex: Reading (Pcts. 2-3, 5), Stoneham (Pct. 3) and Woburn (Wds. 2-6).

Jim Dwyer is a longtime public servant. A member of our Association, Jim is a retired probation officer and previously served as a local elected official in Woburn. As a public retiree himself, Jim holds a deep understanding of the circumstances faced by our members and shares that insight with House colleagues.

Tackey Chan

2nd Norfolk: Quincy (Wd. 1; Wd. 3, Pcts 1-2, 5; Wd. 4, Pcts 2, 4; Wd. 5, Pcts 1,3-4)

Despite this election being his first run for public office, Tackey Chan has been a close friend and supporter of our Association for many years. During his tenure as a top aide to Senator Michael Morrissey, Tackey not only became well versed in the details of our public retirement system, but he also demonstrated a real concern for retirees. Always accessible and known for his easy going personality, Tackey played a key role in drafting many of the pro-retiree proposals passed by the Senate in recent years. He will be a great addition to the House, where we look forward to working with him in the future.

Rep. Barbara L'Italian

18th Essex: Andover (Pcts. 1, 7-8), Boxford (Pct 2), Georgetown (Pct. 2), Haverhill (Wd. 2, Pcts. 1-2; Wd. 5, Pct. 2; Wd. 7, Pct. 2), Methuen (Pct. 7) and North Andover (Pcts. 7-8).

As the vice chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Barbara L'Italian holds a position of considerable influence. Part of House Speaker Robert DeLeo's circle of advisors, Barbara is a forceful advocate for her district and the issues important to her. Thankfully, she has made it a point to befriend our Association and make public retirees a priority. Barbara is one of our top allies in the House and has earned our endorsement.