To the editor:
I offer a rebuttal here to a letter by Joe D’Amore from Oct. 2, where he asserted that 2nd Essex representative seat candidates Lenny Mirra and Barry Fogel are fundamentally similar. Joe has written eloquently and diplomatically over the years on many issues of his community but surprised me with this one. This could not be further from the truth.
Lenny Mirra is dedicated to cutting waste in government and improving conditions for small businesses. He believes the small business is the driving force of our economy. His priorities are to support the Perry Amendment, which requires proof of citizenship to receive welfare benefits, ethics reform to prevent patronage hiring for government positions, welfare reform and to end EBT card abuse. Lenny also sees that government in Massachusetts imposes excessive taxes and regulation and this is driving business — and therefore the engines of job growth — out of Massachusetts. Massachusetts lost a congressional seat this year because its population declined
Barry Fogel’s goals are to work with current legislators to produce more legislation, more government controls and more taxation. His campaign statement and list of priorities establishes this clearly. When he states he wants more resources for our cities and towns, how does he expect to do this? By reducing taxes?
Barry Fogel will incubate the current corruption in our state government because he has no policy response to it. Here is an example. Governor Patrick hired 2,000 new positions at six-figure salaries at the state level and then he cut funding to all local communities. This has taken state aid away from cities and towns and resulted in increased property taxes and fees in order to continue basic community services. He has expanded government by putting the pinch to the taxpayers.
D’Amore mentions that Barry and Lenny are not very partisan. This is patently false. Lenny is proud to be a Republican because he represents a political view that less government, less taxation and less regulation proliferate conditions where jobs are created with hard work, innovation and risk taking — something that he and his family know well by running successful businesses for two generations. Lenny demands far more accountability in government servants than we have ever known in Massachusetts. Barry, on the other hand, has depended on the government in one advisory capacity or another as an attorney for his income. He disguises his affinity to the Democratic Party and this is something that should concern everyone. His campaign is defined by his intentions to toe the party line, not make any waves and preserve the status quo.
These are the differences that voters in the 2nd Essex District will need to weigh when casting their vote in the Nov. 6 election.