Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday roundup: Pension talk still driving sheriff's race

If a small snapshot is any indication, the political talk around Worcester  is still centered on the Worcester County Sheriff's race, where discussion of Governor's Councilor Tom Foley (D-Worcester) and his disability pension continues as we begin a new week. The topic was discussed this morning on WCRN-AM's The Midday Report with Hank Stolz. While there is no podcast of the show available, most of the callers sounded like they were more apt to blame Foley for running for office while collecting disability than to blame the odd pension system that would allow him to collect while being sheriff (should he be elected).

For better or worse (depends, I suppose, or which candidate you support), today marks the fifth day of discussion of Foley's disability pension. Dianne Williamson broke the ice in the Telegram with a column on Thursday, followed by notes from Shaun Sutner on on Friday and in the print edition on Sunday.

Coincidentally, Foley's supporters have come out in force over the weekend. Whether in response to the stories or because of the calendar (yesterday was 30 days before primary election day), Foley lawn signs have been sprouting like clover in this area. This morning I drove through Clinton on my way to 495 and counted 24 Foley signs in the 2.6 miles between the Lancaster town line to the west and the Berlin town line to the east.

Speaking of the Telegram, if you are trying to access the stories lined above and find yourself banging your head against the (fire)wall, it's because the T&G has begun charging non-subscribers for online access to most locally-produced articles. I have an on-line account and will continue to include links to the Telegram in my stories, but how much access you, the reader, will have is anyone's guess.

On to a very short roundup...

Third Congressional District
The Telegram keeps up its profiles of Congressional candidates, this time checking in on Brian Herr (R-Hopkinton). Herr briefly outlined some of his positions:
Like his opponents in the primary, Mr. Herr wants to cut government spending. He supports unemployment benefits in this “scary time,” but doesn't support borrowing money to extend benefits. He believes the government should provide services for vulnerable populations such as people with disabilities, as long as cuts are made elsewhere.

Schools, he contends, are best run at the local level, so he wonders why the country needs a U.S. Department of Education with a budget in the tens of billions of dollars.

He slammed a bill Congress passed last week to restore public jobs as more unnecessary spending.

He believes spending cuts need to come before new tax cuts.
Herr also claims to have more than 4,000 Facebook friends.

Fifth Congressional District
Sam Meas (R-Haverhill) has added former Haverhill Mayor Mike Sullivan as an advisor. He is also apparently "Bad to the Bone."

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Senate District
Fifth Worcester House District
Sen. Stephen Brewer (D-Barre) and Rep. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) spearheaded a bill to allow the Worcester County 4-H Club to lease land from the state for the next 25 years.

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