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Green-Rainbow Friends For Scott Laugenour
Holley A. Linscott, Treasurer
PO Box 612
Lenox, MA 01240-0612
team@scottlaugenour.org
(413) 551-9222

 

 

 

 

© 2012, All rights reserved


      



DEBATE IS ELEVATED
- Questions Pignatelli's seriousness about fairness
- Preparing for next two debates

[transcript of first debate opening and closing remarks in appendix]

Contact:
Friends for Scott Laugenour
Kalin Jordan, Campaign Manager
hq@scottlaugenour.org
413 551 9222 / www.scottlaugenour.org

October 23, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

With fourteen days to go before voters decide which of two candidates will represent the 4th Berkshire District, Lee Scott Laugenour, the Green-Rainbow Party candidate, is elevating the debate.

“I don't think that Smitty Pignatelli is really serious about debating tax fairness,” Laugenour claimed, referring to the Democratic Party incumbent. “He hasn't presented any solutions to unfair regressive taxation since Rep. Jay Kaufman, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Revenue, raised the issue and announced a 'listening tour' in May, 2010. “Smitty Pignatelli said at least two times yesterday, at a series of forums at Monument Mountain Regional High School, that my tax fairness plan would require a constitutional amendment, which it wouldn't. He dismissed with obvious derision and fear-mongering a good-faith petition circulated by local attorney Gail Garrett, which I signed, to look into non-profit tax exemptions, which should indeed be part of the tax fairness debate.”

Laugenour will also elevate the debate on better budgets and on the job-supporting infrastructure which those budgets fund. The next two debates will take place on October 31 and on November 1, 2012. The debate on October 31 will be at the Lenox Library at 7:30 pm, open to the public, sponsored by the Berkshire Beacon. The debate on November 1 will be broadcast live from WSBS studios, Great Barrington, hosted by Larry Kratka.

 

APPENDIX
Here is the prepared text of Lee Scott Laugenour's opening and closing remarks at the Monument Mountain Regional High School Candidate Forum, which took place at 7pm on October 22, 2012.


[opening remarks]

Thank you – I'm very glad to be here with my opponent before you this evening. Thank you, Monument Mountain Regional High School for putting together an excellent program today.

Public debates and forums such as this are important in a democracy. My policy has been to accept all invitations for voter education forums whenever all candidates on the ballot are invited in good faith by an independent sponsor. I don't set a maximum number of such events to accept. And you'll never read a news story that quotes me as saying that my political/campaign strategy is to prevent a political opponent from getting his or her message out to voters. This policy will apply not only when I am challenging an incumbent but when I am an incumbent being challenged, which I hope will be the case two years from now. This policy has been posted on my web site since 2010. I posted it then and I repeat it now because I want you to hold me to it!

The voters are clear in telling us what the main issues are:
-Struggling local economy and jobs market
-Taxes and budgets that are not fair
-Debt burdens and community liabilities that are too high

I'm not running simply because I can point to problems, which is not that difficult to do. I am running because of a desire to serve and because I will point to solutions and work to achieve them. I am a service and solutions-oriented optimist who values diversity of well-intentioned debate, unafraid to challenge and to provide a needed opposition voice.

For jobs and the economy, the solutions are not to rely only on tax breaks and favors and bail-outs given to banks and to outside investors; rather, solutions arise when we invest directly in ourselves and in our communities.

My life experience equips me with a perspective that will inform many of my answers to your questions tonight:
-I was educated in California public schools in pre-Proposition 13 days;
-I graduated from the University of Hawaii, getting a first job as an English teacher whose first-year salary equaled the 4-year tuition that my public higher education cost;
-I lived and worked in foreign countries: Japan, Hong Kong, Iceland;
-25 years with Marriott lodging, starting at the front desk and being promoted up to Regional Vice President of Market Strategy for the Northeastern US and Eastern Canada;
- I have served in my home community of Lenox, serving on the Lenox Environment Committee and being appointed to the Economic Development Action Plan Committee, which I chaired, and to the board of the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority;
- My independence from political parties that solicit and accept corporate contributions enables me to challenge the lobbyists' power, to expose corporate influence in legislation which puts short term private profits before the long-term public interest, and to be specific in policy proposals and succinct and vigorous in debate;
- my belief in grass-roots democracy that welcomes opposition, choice, and debate.

I will strive to provide an innovative approach to democracy that continues to raise the standard that voters expect from their elected officials.

I pledge service, solutions, and opposition to politics-as-usual.

I look forward to your questions and to giving you an opportunity to help you decide where to cast your vote on Nov 6. Thank you!

 

[closing remarks]


You asked great questions in this three-part program today.
I hope this exchange is helping you to make the important decision you will make on Nov 6.

Your vote to elect me as your next representative on Beacon Hill will tip the scales of power in your favor and move the needle towards popular progressive and proven solutions that are not now debated with the vigor that befits a healthy democracy.

I will promote budgets that move the needle progressively and I will vote against budgets that do not fund essential infrastructure such as quality universal public health insurance and education. The growing cost and the debt that you and your family members now absorb privately is unsustainable and is harmful to local enterprise. This situation is a product of the votes that Mr. Pignatelli has cast on Beacon Hill. Your own vote on November 6 can send a message that this must stop.

You vote in the privacy of the voting booth but I will be very public, transparent, and open in telling you how I vote when you elect me. I will set new standards for openness and transparency in government. I publicly record even my voice votes that are made at Town Meeting. I make public the joint tax returns that my husband and I file – I do this purposefully whenever I am seeking employment from taxpayers (as I am now) and will do so whenever I draw a taxpayer-funded salary. You will know precisely that I, just like Ben Downing but unlike Smitty Pignatelli, will not double-dip by taking travel deductions on my federal tax returns that were already re-imbursed by state taxpayers.

I will promote tax fairness and tax value for everyone. Tax fairness does not mean very much if the budget continues to be misguided. I will submit plans for immediate tax relief if you are earning less than $90,000 per year. I will vote against tax and fee schemes that increase the regressive tax burden.

In the spirit of offering service and needed solutions I sincerely wish to serve as your next State Representative. I ask for your vote on November 6. If you wish to keep things the way they are that is a choice you have. You also have a choice to usher in to Beacon Hill real progressive change. Determined political mobilization in opposition to unfairness is a tradition dating back from early Massachusetts history that your vote in 2012 can help to restore. Real change and progress is within reach if voters are so determined. The power is yours. If you use your power to send an important message for change to Beacon Hill I promise that I will work to raise the standard for service and solutions that voters expect from their representatives here in the 4th Berkshire District into the future and beyond into other districts. It can start here.

As JF Kennedy famously said, “Anyone can make a difference, and everyone should try.” Everyone should also vote! Thank you!

END

We accept with appreciation contributions from individual adult US citizens. We respectfully decline contributions from registered lobbyists and from officers of corporations that hire lobbyists. Please provide your full name and address. State law limits contributions to $500 per year per individual.


 

 

© 2012, All rights reserved