Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

November 1, 2012

Disagreement on Lantigua, ballot questions in 17th Essex race

Widely divergent approaches from rep. candidates Cuff, Moran


The Andover Townsman

---- — Candidates Frank Moran and Kevin Cuff will be on the ballot looking to become the state representative for the new 17th Essex district.

Because Andover was significantly redistricted prior to this election, many Andover voters will be voting in a different race than they have previously. Voters in current Andover precincts 2,3 and 4 will vote in this race between Cuff of Andover and Moran of Lawrence.

TWO CANDIDATES

CANDIDATE 1: Kevin M. Cuff

Political party: Un-enrolled

Address: 265 Beacon St., Andover

Age: 48

Nuclear family: Wife Megan; 9-year-old daughter Hannah, a fourth-grader for the fightin’ Tigers of West El; and the legendary Guinness Dog

Current job: Executive director for a national trade association interpreting and implementing national banking and financial services regulatory and statutory reform. I have 25 years of experience in state and federal legislative and regulatory affairs.

CANDIDATE 2: Frank A. Moran

Political party: Democrat

Address: 38 Dartmouth st. Lawrence

Age: 42

Nuclear family: Married 21 years to Wanda (high school sweetheart); two children, Frank Jr. and Yahaira

Current job: Broker/owner of Moran Realty Group.

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YES, NO UNDECIDED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

[Candidates were given a total of 150 words to further explain one or more of their answers]

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

Cuff: NO. More accurately, “skip the question.” This summer, the Legislature passed and the governor signed a solution satisfactory to both sides.

Moran: YES. This allows for individuals who are comfortable with the personal mechanics to do their own work. It will also keep cost down by creating competition for lower prices to the consumer.

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

Cuff: YES.

Moran: NO. It is still too premature for folks to be at home without proper medical supervision in case something unexpected happens. I do believe that we should look at the current hospice situation and see if we can improve or incorporate there some of the thoughts regarding “Death with Dignity.”

Do you support Question 3, to legalize medical marijuana?

Cuff: YES. Saying this will lead to relaxing other drug laws is irreverent. This is a consummate quality-of-life issue that can greatly improve the suffering of chronic pain and disease. As I said before...if smoking a little doob can get you through the day (under appropriate physician supervision), then I am all in favor.

Moran: NO.

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

Cuff: NO. Not at this time. An expanded bottle bill would gives N.H. retailers an unfair competitive business advantage. However, I favor any plan to increase the gross tonnage of recyclables, saving communities a ton of money.

Moran: YES. It will help create jobs and further keep our environment clean.

Would you roll back state taxes to the 5 percent level during your first term?

Cuff: NO.

Moran: NO.

Can you see yourself rolling back state taxes to 5 percent any time in the next 10 years?

Cuff: YES. The Massachusetts electorate overwhelmingly supported a tax rollback — back in 2000! Massachusetts legislature’s (supermajority) one party rule has allowed for the simple parliamentary overturn of issues decided by the electorate. We must restore trust in our state government.

Moran: YES -- once we create more revenue streams.

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Should Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua resign? [YES/NO, with up to 100 words to further explain.]

Cuff: YES.

I stood with Lawrence City Councilor Marc LaPlante and other Lawrence elected officials in calling for such an act following the rash of indictments of his administration officials.

But, I also want to be very clear. Mayor Lantiqua’s administration should not just be held accountable for criminal indictments but, more importantly, for incompetence. Consistent failure to understand Massachusetts General Laws or the city charter disqualifies one to be the city’s chief executive.

Furthermore, the failure or refusal by my opponent to articulate his position on this issue (or any issue for that matter) for perceived political gain is likewise and equally negligent to the oath he has sworn as an elected official.

Moran: NO.

But if the mayor is formally charged of any wrong doings he should seriously consider stepping down to minimize the amount of distraction it will cause the city. It will be extremely difficult to do the people’s work with such a black cloud hanging over the city.

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OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS

What is the biggest issue facing Andover and what will you do to address it if elected?

Cuff: Andover is an extremely well managed and functioning municipality due to great political leadership (Board of Selectmen) and operational management (town manager). It has a Master Plan: Framework for Decision Making and a Strategic Information Technology Plan assuring its continued operational management success for the future. In an era of regionalization, it would be highly beneficial for surrounding communities (Lawrence and Methuen) to be challenged to follow Andover’s lead as well as to be the recipient of some of its benefit through shared professional acumen and resources, etc.

Moran: I will fight to get more Local aid for Andover public schools.

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What is the biggest issue facing Lawrence and what will you do to address it if elected?

Cuff: Unemployment and foreclosures are dramatically above the state’s averages. I will exercise my experience of understanding the housing market to use all available state and federal programs, down payment assistance, first-time homebuyer, returning vets (VA), etc. to stabilize and encourage home-ownership and build a better sense of a stabilized community.

Simultaneously, I will work with other elected officials in improving the reputation of the city through responsible municipal management in order to attract outside businesses through the capitalization of lower commercial rents and property prices, access to interstates, rail, affordable housing and affordable labor.

Moran: Public safety, education, unemployment, city infrastructure and lack of accountability. All are very important quality of life issues that must be addressed if we are to move Lawrence forward.

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What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

Cuff: I have performed a state representative’s role by writing and passing legislation/regulations in health care, mortgage and bank licensing and foreclosure prevention. I have chaired/participated on coalitions affecting consumer protections through the Community Reinvestment Act, fair lending and fair housing, state and national financial reform.

Moran: Unlike my opponent I’m a small business owner. I know how to live within my means, I know how to create jobs, manage a budget / personnel, and as a third-term city councilor I have the local government experience.

Do you support Question 1, the so-called Right to Repair bill? YES, NO, UNDECIDED Cuff: NO Moran: YES Do you support Question 2, the so-called "Death with Dignitiy" act? YES, NO, UNDECIDED Cuff: YES Moran: NO Do you support Question 3, to legalize medical marijuana? YES, NO, UNDECIDED Cuff: YES Moran: NO Do you support an expanded bottle bill, to include items such as juice bottles? YES, NO, UNDECIDED Cuff: NO Moran: YES Would you roll back state taxes to the 5 percent level during your first term? YES, NO, UNDECIDED Cuff: NO. Moran: NO. Can you see yourself rolling back state taxes to 5 percent any time in the next 10 years? YES, NO, UNDECIDED Cuff: YES Moran: YES Should Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua resign? YES, NO, UNDECIDED. Cuff: YES Moran: NO Candidates were given up to 150 words to further explain their first six Yes, No or Undecided answers. They were given 100 words to further explain their answer on whether Mayor Lantigua should resign. OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS What is the biggest issue facing Andover and what will you do to address it if elected? (Candidates were given up to100 words to explain.) What is the biggest issue facing Lawrence and what will you do to address it if elected? (100 words) In a nutshell, what makes you a better candidate than your opponent? (50 words)