Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

October 26, 2012

State senate candidates tout records

Neither believe Lantigua should resign

By Neil Fater
The Andover Townsman

---- — Neither Barry Finegold nor Paul Adams believes embattled Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua should resign. Neither supports expanding the state bottle bill. And neither one endorses voting for any of the three questions on the state ballot.

The Townsman asked questions of the two candidates vying to become Andover’s state senator. While the two Andover residents offered subtle differences on the ballot questions before state voters, they indicate they believe their records show a big difference on who will deliver for those Andover voters.

Stating the Senate version of the budget is what allowed Andover to receive more education aid this year, incumbent Senator Finegold said, “I not only fight to bring back money to our town, but I succeed in that goal.”

Adams, one of Andover’s current state representatives, said he is fighting to reform state government, while Finegold has cut local aid and “supports more mandates and regulations that make our electricity, energy and healthcare costs some of the highest in the nation.”

Candidates answers to the Townsman questions can be found on page 5. More questions, for both state senate and state representative candidates will follow next week, the final Townsman before the election.

PAUL ADAMS

Republican

High Street, Andover

current State Representative, seeking state senate seat

Please answer the following questions YES, NO OR UNDECIDED. You then have a total of 150 words to further explain your answer(s) to one or more of these questions above.

Do you support Question 1, the so-called Right to Repair bill?

NO.

Do you support Question 2, the so-called “Death with Dignity” act?

NO.

Adams: I am morally opposed to physician-assisted suicide, and I oppose it having state sanction.

Do you support Question 3, to legalize medical marijuana?

NO.

Adams: There are other medicinal options that provide the same effect for users, but I do have sympathy for those who are suffering and in pain. Further legalization of marijuana would provide vastly more opportunities for drug abuse (as has been the case in other states with a medical marijuana law), be nearly impossible to enforce, and would place people in violation of federal law.

Do you support an expanded bottle bill, to include items such as juice bottles?

NO.

Should Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua resign?

NO.

What do you consider your chief accomplishment(s) of your last term, and what specifically did you do to achieve them?

Adams: My accomplishments as state representative illustrate why the people have a clear choice between my opponent and me. Over the last two years, I’ve successfully fought for regulatory reform, personal income tax reduction and a local aid increase. My regulatory reform bill requires the state to produce a price tag on every proposed new regulation on the private sector. I advanced these changes within legislative committees, solicited input from employers and employees, and fought for them on the floor of the House of Representatives.

My opponent has done the exact opposite. He raised taxes across the board by billions of dollars, destroyed thousands of jobs, and cut local aid, which pressures property taxes and cuts support for education, public safety and public works. In addition, he supports more mandates and regulations that make our electricity, energy and healthcare costs some of the highest in the nation.

BARRY FINEGOLD

Democrat

Stirling Street, Andover

Incumbent State Senator

Please answer the following questions YES, NO OR UNDECIDED. You then have a total of 150 words to further explain your answer(s) to one or more of these questions above.

Do you support Question 1, the so-called Right to Repair bill?

NO.

Finegold: The legislature passed a compromised package that was endorsed by both sides of this issue and I stand by that initiative rather than the ballot question.

Do you support Question 2, the so-called “Death with Dignity” act?

UNDECIDED

Finegold: After the experience my family and I went through this summer with the death of my sister, this question is very difficult and personal. I can see the positives and negatives of each side of this argument, however I think each voter should decide this on their own, voting with their conscience.

Do you support Question 3, to legalize medical marijuana?

NO.

Finegold: I have sympathy for those in pain, and if medical marijuana helps people with certain conditions, it should be made available to them in a controlled way. However, I have serious concerns over how the ballot question is drafted; it is too broad and the oversight is not strong enough.

Do you support an expanded bottle bill, to include items such as juice bottles?

NO.

Finegold: I do support expanded recycling. But we have to find a third way that is not as harmful to consumers and businesses on the border. Recycling is incredibly important – not only does it reduce the need for landfills and help sustain our environment for future generations, but it also saves our municipalities money in trash tonnage costs. According to the Town, if each household diverted just 5 additional pounds from the trash to recycling each week, it could save Andover $75,000 to $100,000.

Should Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua resign?

NO.

You have a total of 100 words to further explain your answer.

Finegold: The whole situation is extremely frustrating. If these people under investigation are found guilty of wrongdoing, then they need to be held accountable and should face serious consequences. In this circumstance, it’s in the hands of the court. There will be a mayoral election in one year. This is a decision that the people of Lawrence need to and will make.

What do you consider your chief accomplishment(s) of your last term, and what specifically did you do to achieve them? (You may use up to 150 words.)

Finegold: During the most recent budget cycle, I pushed for and successfully accomplished awarding Andover with its highest allocation of education money ever. The House sent over their approved budget and I was not satisfied with their numbers for Chapter 70 (education) money. I voted to increase Andover’s allotment by over $600,000 from the House’s plan to give a total of $7.9 million to Andover’s education budget. Additionally, this was the first time in years that the special education circuit breaker was fully funded. Andover is expected to be reimbursed over $2 million— ensuring that students with special needs receive the services and education they deserve. I not only fight to bring back money to our town, but I succeed in that goal.