Monday, August 27, 2012

Scott Brown: Taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil are OK

According to published reports, the four largest transnational oil companies reported $ 139 billion in profits last year. But even with these highly profitable companies, the US taxpayers still subsidize the oil industry with about $ 64 billion. When the US Senate recently voted to eliminate the taxpayer subsidies for oil companies, Scott Brown sided with the oil industry and voted to disapprove the bill.

Scott Brown claims to be a political moderate. His record on the taxpayer subsidy bill for oil companies demonstrates otherwise. He claims to support the best interests of Massachusetts voters. But a big tax giveaway to Big Oil—is that in our best interests?

I think not.

Here’s one way for Scott Brown to really demonstrate his support for the best interests of Massachusetts voters: be a real job creator. He should convince his republican colleagues in the US Senate to redirect Big Oil tax subsidies to building highways, bridges, water and sewer lines, ports and harbors, and internet infrastructure. By investing in America, thousands of new jobs in Massachusetts will help jumpstart the economy. A renewed demand for goods and services will enable small businesses in Massachusetts to hire new employees and further stimulate the economy.

Scott Brown’s wealthy “job creator” friends have been sitting around for almost four years now, not creating good paying jobs. Scott Brown has also blocked virtually every jobs creating bill that has been considered by the US Senate in the past two years.

So, here’s the big choice: go with Scott Brown and retain tax breaks for Big Oil, or redirect taxpayer subsidies to create new jobs and watch people with paychecks in their pockets stimulate the economy and create more jobs. This choice is a really a no-brainer.

Whether it is wishful thinking or just blind ideology, Scott Brown is moving Massachusetts in the wrong direction—job killing instead of job creating.

Scott Brown thinks that more tax cuts for wealthy Americans are the only way to create jobs. The trickle down theory was tried in the early 1980’s under Reagan. It didn’t work then and it isn’t working now. Let’s stop subsidizing Big Oil and start investing in Americans—let’s put them back to work.

John F. Zipeto
14 Canterbury Street
Andover, MA 01810

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Brown Record Speaks for Itself

As a long-term resident of the Merrimack Valley, I am deeply concerned that the public image Senator Scott Brown presents via the media and scripted speeches fails to focus on the reality of his record.

To set the record straight I believe voters should know the following FACTS about Mr. Brown’s legislative actions:

1. Contrary to his numerous claims and his recent ads, Mr. Brown’s voting record is one of a partisan Republican and not a moderate independent. Until Elizabeth Warren entered the Senate race, 93.8% of the time he voted the straight Republican Party line. (ProgressMass study of voting record, 5/7/12). 

2. He has promoted this false image of being independent by claiming to support Democratic measures --while working behind the scenes to obstruct them. For example, while he belatedly voted to support financial reform, the truth is that private emails show he worked behind the scenes to permit banks to continue risky business practices. As the Boston Globe reported on June 4, 2012, “Senator Scott Brown has trumpeted his role in casting the deciding vote in favor of the 2010 Wall Street overhaul, but records show that after he voted for the law, he worked to shield banks and other financial institutions from some of its tough provisions. E-mails between Brown's legislative director and US Treasury Department officials show that Brown advocated for a loose interpretation of the law so that banks could more easily engage in high-risk investments.” (at p. A-1, Metro).In similar fashion, he initially voted NO twice to block a needed payroll tax cut extension to help 160 million mostly middle class Americans – but then, once it became clear the measure would pass, he changed his vote to yes, proclaiming he supported the idea all along.
3. Contrary to his image of being a “man of the people” with his truck and barn coat – and high six figure income, Brown’s voting record shows him to be a Wall Street best friend, to the point that Forbes Magazine named him one of Wall Street’s favorite Senators! A grateful Wall Street has responded by making more financial contributions to Brown than to almost any other Senator (N.Y. Times, 11/18/11).
4. Brown has been anything but a Job Creator and friend of small business! His No votes to promote JOBS and protect workers include opposing bills that would:  

a) extend Unemployment Insurance (S. 1660)
b) protect 22,000 MA teacher, firefighter, and police jobs. (S. 1723)
c) create 11,000 MA infrastructure repair jobs (S. 1769)
d) promote American jobs while discouraging off-shore jobs (S.3816)
e) provide summer jobs for teens (Boston Herald).

5. Brown’s voting record shows him NOT to be a “Friend of the Middle Class/Students/Women/ Environment”. Repeatedly he voted with the Republican Party leadership against the interests of the middle class. He voted NO to renew Student Loan relief. The reason he gave was that the relatively small cost for helping financially strapped students and their families was to be paid by closing tax loopholes for the rich – he preferred cutting preventative health care for the poor. (NYTimes, 6/28/12). He voted NO to the “Buffet Rule” to tax millionaires fairly. He co-sponsored the effort to limit women’s access to health care insurance coverage at work. (Boston Globe, 2/15/12). He voted NO to give women equal pay for equal work (S. 3772). He voted NO on the Senior Citizen Relief Act that would help seniors struggling on social security just a little (S. 3985). Brown voted NO to help 9/11 responders exposed to toxins get needed health care coverage. (NYTimes, 12/9/2010). He voted NO to protect clean air regulations, such as the EPA’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution – which science shows contributes to children’s asthma and other illnesses. A May 13, 2011 letter to him from some 40 environmental groups pointed out that Brown’s votes contradict his misleading claims that he is a supporter of a “clean environment”.

The Brown record speaks for itself. Voters need to separate myth from reality when assessing his candidacy -- and the press needs to step up and help identify the facts.

Sincerely yours,

Lois Karfunkel
22 Orchard Crossing
Andover, MA

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Important Voting Information

We need your help in contacting all Democratic and Unenrolled college students in Andover who will be returning to school very soon. This is a MUST DO effort. Each student must register to vote and be prepared to complete a ballot regardless of WHERE they may be in September or November. Please spread the word as quickly as you can--by email, face-book, twitter, cell phone, or even across the dinner table. The election information provided below will serve as a guide and reminder for them. 

Voter Residency—You must submit your voter registration form in your home town using your home address. College and university dormitory and away-from-home apartment addresses will not be accepted in non-resident communities.

Massachusetts Voter Registration forms are available at post offices, public libraries, Registries of Motor Vehicles and City/Town clerk’s offices throughout the state. You can also receive voter registration forms from the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office by calling 617-727-2828 or on the web at Since each state has its own voter registration requirements and forms, DO NOT use non-Massachusetts voter registration forms. Submit your completed voter registration form as soon as possible, preferably before you return to school.

Absentee Ballot Information— If you do not plan to be in Andover on September 6, 2012 or November 6, 2012, stop by the Andover Town Clerk’s office (978-623-8255), Town Hall, Bartlet Street, as soon as possible (i.e., before returning to school) and file an Absentee Ballot application. If ballots are available, you will be able to vote on the same day. Otherwise a ballot will be mailed to you. IMPORTANT: Your completed ballot MUST BE RECEIVED on or before the date of the election to count. If you are unable to complete an absentee ballot application at the Town Clerk’s office, contact the Secretary of State’s office at for the form and mailing instructions. Submit your application as soon as possible to allow the time for your receiving and completing the ballot. 

Deadline to register to vote in the State Primary Election is Friday, August 17, 2012. The Town Clerk’s office is open until 8 pm. Mail-in voter registration forms must be postmarked on or before August 17, 2012.

State Primary Election—Thursday, September 6, 2012. Precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 vote at the Field House, Andover High School. Precincts 1, 7, and 8 vote at the Senior Citizen Center, Whittier Court. Polls open from 7am—8pm. Absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before September 6, 2012.

Deadline to register to vote in the State Election is Wednesday, October 17, 2012. The Town Clerk’s office is open until 8 pm. Mail-in voter registration forms must be postmarked on or before October 17, 2012.

State Election—Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 vote at the Field House, Andover High School. Precincts 1, 7, and 8 vote at the Senior Citizen Center, Whittier Court. Polls open from 7am—8pm. Absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before November 6, 2012.