Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

November 1, 2012

Rivals Lyons, L'Italien face off again, for larger Andover district

Rematch of 2010 race in redrawn 18th Essex


The Andover Townsman

---- — Barbara L’Italien will try to unseat incumbent 18th Essex state Rep. Jim Lyons, the man who beat her in a state representative race two years ago.

While this race is familiar, both candidates are appealing to voters who have not necessarily cast ballots for them before.

Due to a significant redistricting of the town, the majority of Andover is now in a newly drawn 18th Essex, and will vote in this race. People who live in new precincts 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 and sub-precincts 7A and 9A will choose between Lyons and L’Italien as their state representative.

Residents who live in precincts 5, 6, 9 and

sub-precinct 9A will vote at the Andover High School Field House on

Shawsheen Road. Those living in precincts 1, 7, sub-precinct 7A and precinct 8 will

vote at the Andover Senior Center on Whittier Court, behind Town Offices on Bartlet Street.

Barbara L’Italien

Democrat

5 Harper Circle, Andover

Age: 51

Nuclear family: Married to Kevin Hall for 26 years. My children are Rudy 22; Allie 20; Samantha 18 and Andrew 15 (Hall). My mother, Claire Sullivan L’Italien, has lived with us since 1994.

Job/occupation: Former elder social worker and legislator

YES/NO QUESTIONS

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

YES

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

YES

Do you support Question 3, to legalize medical marijuana?

YES

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

YES

Would you support rolling back state taxes to 5 percent in the foreseeable future?

YES

Should there be a buffer zone around abortion clinics?

YES

Have EBT card reforms done enough?

UNDECIDED

Should students need written permission from parents to see a counselor?

NO

OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS

What is the biggest issue(s) facing Andover and what will you do to address it if returned to office?

The biggest issue is job growth. Over the last two years I created the Small Business Banking Partnership, which was a powerful catalyst for small business. Statewide the program lent out $273 million to small community banks generating 2500 small business loans. Five Andover banks received $27 million and generated 172 loans. Access to capital combined with health care cost containment will help our businesses grow.

Additionally, I can help ensure that the Bancroft School project proceeds on budget and sticks to the current timetable, given my strong working relationship with the School Building Authority.

Letter writers have been offering their opinions on legislation sponsored by Rep. Lyons (budget amendment 577, House bill 1060, House Bill 3353, for instance). Please explain your views on these proposed changes.

Mr. Lyons sponsored a bill to get rid of school based health services and nurses; sponsored a bill to zero out family planning and teen pregnancy prevention; sponsored legislation to drop insurance coverage for counseling for rape victims; cosponsored legislation to limit access to counseling for gay kids and wants to eliminate buffer zones around health clinics. I am opposed and think that most voters feel we should be focused on the economy instead.

My values include working together in a bipartisan way to solve our economic issues to provide better schools, public safety and services for seniors.

What (other) areas of state government will you fight to reform? Why?

All government should be reviewed to ensure the best use of taxpayer dollars. I would continue to slow Medicaid growth in long- term care through shifting dollars to community based care. As Chair of the bipartisan state-wide Autism Commission I am focused on better management of social services to provide better outcomes for families. I would continue to change the funding for special education to incentivize in-district programming.

Please offer your opinion on the need, if any, for changes to residency requirements for state aid.

I would support measures to ensure that no one receives state assistance if they are not a resident.

In a nutshell, what makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

Andover voters are tired of partisan bickering. I have proven to be someone who represents Andover in a balanced and bipartisan manner focused on solutions.

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James J. Lyons Jr.

Republican

12 High Vale Lane, Andover

Age: 59

Nuclear family: Wife Bernadette and sons Mikey and Tyler

Job/occupation: Small family-operated business, Dandi-Lyons flowers and ice cream shops

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

YES

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

NO

Do you support Question 3, to legalize medical marijuana? NO

Do you support an expanded bottle bill, to include items such as juice bottles? NO

Would you support rolling back state taxes to 5 percent in the foreseeable future?

YES

Should there be a buffer zone around abortion clinics?

NO

Have EBT card reforms done enough?

NO

Should students need written permission from parents to see a counselor?

YES

You have a total of 150 words to further explain your YES/NO answer(s).

The critical problems facing our state involve economic growth and job creation. I have consistently advocated the pro-growth 5-5-5 Tax Rollback, highlighting the need to roll back the 25-percent sales tax hike. This is vitally important to small businesses and working families in the Merrimack Valley, because of our proximity to tax-free New Hampshire. The sales tax rollback will help consumers, locally-owned retail stores, and working families.

In addition to raising our taxes, the Patrick Administration is misspending our hard-earned taxpayer resources. The EBT card scandal is a prime example. Other reports spotlight mandated bailouts of Lawrence City Hall, rampant patronage at the Probation Department, and health insurance subsidies for illegal aliens and non-residents. Most egregious is the unfolding scandal at the Department of Public Health: its drug testing lab scandal threatens public safety; its lax and incompetent inspections of drug manufacturers is costing human lives.

OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS

What is the biggest issue(s) facing Andover and what will you do to address it if returned to office? (You have a total of 125 words to explain.)

There’s no question that the biggest issue facing our town is uncertainty about Local Aid, after years of devastating cuts by the Patrick Administration. Representing the 18th Essex District, I have made increasing Local Aid my top priority in the legislature. Following the election of myself and other reform Republicans, we battled to increase Local Aid as a share of the state budget. I am pleased to report that we succeeded. As a result of the hard work of reform Republicans, Local Aid has increased by 7%. As State Representative, I will continue to work for increased, predictable, and sustainable Local Aid for our community.

Letter writers have been offering their opinions on legislation sponsored by Rep. Lyons (budget amendment 577, House bill 1060, House Bill 3353, for instance). Please explain your views on these proposed changes. (Up to 125 words)

Each bill returns funding or decision-making to families and communities, where such choices belong. One bill takes power away from the Patrick administration’s scandal-ridden Department of Public Health; consequently that funding should be granted to local school committees, who are best positioned to make reasoned choices for communities. Another bill empowers parents to make responsible choices about whether their young children should be exposed to graphic material or probing personal inquiries in public institutions. A third bill demands openness and transparency from large insurance companies, which hike the premiums, co-pays, and deductibles on families and small businesses under the guise of the individual mandate and other government bureaucracy/insurance company mandates. It’s time to restore funding and decision-making to families and local communities.

What (other) areas of state government will you fight to reform? Why? (Up to 75 words)

I will continue to fight for working taxpayers who are short-changed by the Patrick bureaucracy. I will battle against state taxpayer-mandated bailouts of Lawrence City Hall. I will work diligently for openness and transparency, exposing the misspending of precious tax dollars on subsidized health care benefits for illegal aliens and non-residents.

Please offer your opinion on the need, if any, for changes to residency requirements for state aid. (50 words)

I support residency requirements for those applying for taxpayer-funded benefits. I proposed a common-sense solution that prevents the Patrick bureaucracy from mandating “self-declaration” as proof of residency. Our hard-working taxpaying citizens should not be forced to subsidize benefits for out-of-state claimants. That’s a common-sense reform.

In a nutshell, what makes you a better candidate than your opponent? (25 words)

I consistently work for local aid, the sales tax rollback, openness, and transparency. We need the balance in government that only reform Republicans can deliver.

YES/NO QUESTIONS Do you support Question 1, the so-called Right to Repair bill? L'Italien: YES Lyons: YES Do you support Question 2, the so-called "Death with Dignity" act? L'Italien: YES Lyons: NO Do you support Question 3, to legalize medical marijuana? L'Italien: YES Lyons: NO Do you support an expanded bottle bill, to include items such as juice bottles? L'Italien: YES Lyons: NO Would you support rolling back state taxes to 5 percent in the foreseeable future? L'Italien: YES Lyons: YES Should there be a buffer zone around abortion clinics? L'Italien: YES Lyons: NO Have EBT card reforms done enough? L'Italien: UNDECIDED Lyons: NO Should students need written permission from parents to see a counselor? L'Italien: NO Lyons: YES