to Friends for Scott Laugenour for accountable and transparent government
focused on the health, education and future of our unique local communities
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Friends For Scott Laugenour
Holley A. Linscott, Treasurer
PO Box 612
Lenox, MA 01240-0612 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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
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
-I was educated in California public schools in pre-Proposition
-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,
-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
- 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!
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
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!
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.