To the Editor,
I would like to respond to Gary Pease’s letter in last Saturday’s edition of The Westfield News, “Why is a Super PAC supporting city candidates?”
Mr. Pease (no relation to Kelly) raised many good questions. Many of us care about fair and honest elections and sought answers to what happened in the recent primary. We are praying for God’s wisdom, guidance and strength in all of this.
He is correct that the PAC money was not “dark money.” Information about campaign donations and expenditures is online at the Office of Campaign and Political Finance website; www.ocpf.us, including Kelly’s or my campaign finance reports. The $3,310 spent is on Kelly Pease’s and the Massachusetts Majority Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee (MMIEPAC) reports back in August.
While most of us are limited in how much we can donate, donations from billionaires and millionaires to this PAC range from $5000 to $50,000 per person, averaging $25,000.
Mr. Pease is correct that this was not a fair or honest primary. The Super PAC mailing was targeted, timed and designed to confuse voters and give me no time to respond. I handle candidate mailings professionally and candidates need permission to use an image of a public official. Mayor Humason made it clear he was not going to endorse either candidate, as we are all friends. Kelly says he only spoke with Mayor Humason when he realized who was behind this mailing. But shouldn’t Kelly have publicly corrected the obvious deception the card implied?
On election night, we were aware of the deceptive mailings and realized many people had voted in the Democrat primary. However, that did not explain the high voter turnout in the Republican primary or the unexpected results by a little known candidate, who only weeks before had many people asking, “Who is Kelly Pease?” and beating one of the top vote getters in the last four city elections.
Last week we received the “Voter Activity Report” that shows if a voter pulled a Democrat or Republican ballot. What we learned was that more Independent voters than Republicans voted in our Republican Primary. 1577 Republicans and 1619 Unenrolled.
Based on past voting history voters can be ranked A, B, C and D for different elections, such as in a primary, municipal or presidential elections. A voters = vote every time, B = votes pretty regularly, C = seldom votes, and D = never votes. The turnout should have been 65-70% “A” voters, 30-45% “B” Voters, 10-15% “C” Voters, and 2% “D” Voters. The actual turnout was 65.87% “A” voters, 38.71% “B” voters, 23.33% “C” voters and 5.86% “D” voters.
What is unusual is the report included the names of 700 “C” or “D” ranked unenrolled voters who have no history of voting in Republican primaries, and Democrats who switched to unenrolled to vote in this primary, who could have picked a Democrat ballot for the popular Neal/Morse race and Markey/Kennedy races.
I became involved in politics in 1989 when Steve Pierce ran for governor. Steve is a widely respected for his integrity and honest, plainspoken manner. At that time, Steve said if we did not control the growth and spending of government, we would be raising taxes and deficit spending as far as the eyes could see. Thirty years later, government is still on that path and now pushing for higher taxes and more unelected and unaccountable government. We are all paying for it today. Despite a 43 billion dollar budget, revenue is not budgeted for the purpose each tax was created for. We are not receiving the services we are paying for. While surpluses go into a Rainy Day fund, deficits are papered over by cuts in Local Aid, lack of road funding, broken promises and unfunded mandates that push the burden onto municipal budgets and local property taxes.
This election should be about electing someone who is willing to work with members of both parties to get things done and fight for the best interests of all the residents of Westfield. We will always have the influence of big money, from the “good old boys” to the powerful special interests, but this must be balanced by the interest of ordinary men and women who work everyday to support and make a better life for their families, or run a small business.
Deciding what to do has not been easy. It means the world to me to have the support of many good people in Westfield. Shouldn’t the donation of even a few dollars from a resident mean as much as a large donation from outside the city? Shouldn’t a candidate run on his own merits? Shouldn’t the representative of our City care more about serving the people than helping themselves? Shouldn’t the election be less about splitting the Republican vote and more about unifying Independents, Democrats and Republicans and working to get things done on issues that we all care about, like our children’s education, affordable healthcare, fixing roads, restoring our economy and re-opening small businesses and letting people live their lives, rather than party politics and division?
I have served as City Councilor for seven years and worked to represent the residents and small business owners, I have worked to inform and engage voters on issues and ballot questions. Together, we have stood up to special interests, both locally and statewide with some success.
In 2014, voters repealed Automatic Gasoline Tax Increases saving two billion dollars that would have gone to the MBTA and not the roads. This same volunteer group was able to prevent the Olympics coming to Boston by promising to put “no taxpayer funded bailout of the Olympics” on the ballot.
In 2015, Governor Baker restored 100 million dollars to road funding. Westfield received $675,000.
In 2017, Westfield voters rejected extending the term of Mayor to four years.
For everyone who is tired of paying high taxes and not receiving the services promised, whether for a new school, fixing our roads, or an education and healthcare system that has grown out of control, overly complex and expensive, or a government that generates huge revenues but never has enough resources, I ask for your prayers and support as a write-in candidate in the November 3rd election for Representative to the General Court. For more info or contact me, to volunteer or donate, please go to danallie.com and click on GET INVOLVED. Thank you.