Coakley will keep state in top rankings

by Ian Kea

Massachusetts needs a governor who will fight to preserve the middle class, stand up against big banks, close the wealth gap, enforce an increased minimum wage, preserve equal opportunity and keep Massachusetts as the forefront on education, healthcare, the environment, and business standards. The governor we need is Martha Coakley.

Under the Patrick administration, Massachusetts became the 13th best state for business and first in quality of life, according to Forbes, and first in environmental protection, sustainability, and efficiency, according to Bloomberg. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center ranked the Commonwealth first in healthcare, and Education Week, an education and news publication, ranked it first in education.

These rankings were built with a new administration under Patrick after former Gov. Mitt Romney’s term ended in 2006. Coakley has introduced plans to improve education, healthcare, environmental protection, efficiency and sustainability, business, civil rights, public safety and gun control, immigration, affordable housing, workers’ rights, veterans’ benefits and much more.

When Romney left office, Massachusetts ranked 47th of all 50 states in job creation, according to the U.S. State Department. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Commonwealth also experienced the second largest labor decline in the U.S. during Romney’s term. He also left the largest per capita debt in the nation to Bay Staters, according to the Bureau of Economic Affairs.

By Flickr user Martha Coakley

Coakley is part of a highly effective Patrick administration that believes in giving everyone a fair shot in this economy. Coakley has been a champion for women’s rights by being committed to preserving Massachusetts buffer zone which allows women to be able to get reproductive care without fear of harassment.

Holding companies accountable for their environmental impact under the Clean Air Act has also been a priority for Coakley. She successfully challenged the Defense of Marriage Act in 2009 and made sure Massachusetts’ same sex couples were offered the same privileges of heterosexual couples by the federal government. When big banks were taking advantage of Massachusetts residents, Coakley won settlements of $60 million from Goldman Sachs and $10 million from Fremont Investment and Loan for the practice of subprime loans and lending, according to Boston.com.

While Coakley was fighting for middle class families, former Harvard Pilgrim CEO and current Republican Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker was raising his paycheck. During his decade at Harvard Pilgrim, Baker kept the company afloat but put himself ahead of others in the process. Baker raised premiums 150 percent while tripling his salary to $1.7 million, putting a healthcare cost burden on thousands of residents in the Commonwealth.

Baker’s platform of fiscal responsibility is not what it seems, as he left Massachusetts in a considerable amount of debt after his mishandling of the Big Dig, which led to tax increases. It also forced the Commonwealth to borrow money to cover costs for the large infrastructure project, according to The Boston Globe and the Executive Office of Administration and Finance Records.

Baker opposes Question 2, also known as the updated bottle bill. The bill would save over $7 million in cleaning and litter costs for local towns in the Commonwealth according to the Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Baker has also been against workers as he opposes Question 4 which gives guaranteed paid sick days to employees. Coakley has been a staunch supporter of paid sick time, and an updated bottle bill, a fiscally responsible and long term ethical choice.

The real question for Massachusetts is this: do you want to capitalize on the progress that has been made?

With Coakley as governor, the middle class will have a voice, and a fiscally responsible governor who will keep Massachusetts leading the nation in nearly everything from business and education to environmental sustainability and healthcare.

If you want a governor who will put people first, vote Coakley.