NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 27, 2013

Winslow the best kind of 'professional' politician

(Continued)

Gomez attacks both Winslow and Michael Sullivan for being “professional politicians.” Maybe at some point in voter history, I’d have seen that as a negative, but right now, in this time of crisis, it sounds better than “amateur politician.” Do we want a professional or amateur fiscal conservative addressing the nation’s great problems?

Both Dan and Michael are poster boys for the way term limits is intended to work: They both served in one government position, then moved on to another, then another, accumulating valuable experience while not getting complacent in a permanent job.

Dan Winslow did have a permanent job as a district court judge, yet left it to become Gov. Romney’s chief legal counsel, where he worked on actual balanced budgets. Then he ran for office himself: not starting at the top, but becoming a state representative when his state rep moved up to fill Scott Brown’s Massachusetts state Senate position. His priorities, according to the Massachusetts Political Almanac, have been “jobs and the state economy, cutting taxes and wasteful spending while preserving core local services,” as well as “integrity and ethics in state government.”

He calls me with original ideas, like allowing taxpayers to apply their sales taxes to a reduction in their property taxes — an improvement over Deval Patrick’s 2006 campaign “property tax reduction” for which we are still awaiting details.

I even liked Winslow’s proposal for one new tax — on the $20 million left over in state politicians’ campaign funds after an election, which isn’t considered taxable income as they carry it forward to their next campaign. An added benefit is that it would remove some of the advantage incumbents have over challengers from their own or the other party.

Granted, these ideas aren’t becoming law either, because they’re being made within an overwhelmingly one-party legislature. In Washington, an idea person could have a real impact as the situation becomes more desperate.

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