Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday Roundup: Harrington's new idea

This week, sister publications Lowell Sun and Sentinel and Enterprise are profiling candidates for the First Middlesex House seat being vacated by Robert Hargraves (R-Groton). Two Republicans are vying for the nomination, and one of them, Sheila Harrington (R-Groton) is advancing a proposal that I've not seen before:
GROTON -- For many workers, landing a competitive job in Massachusetts means they may not be able to work in the same field, should they ever resign or get laid off.

That's because, says Sheila Harrington, many employers ask workers to sign a contract that prohibits them from seeking a similar job elsewhere or starting a business in which the skills and knowledge they acquired on the job might come in handy. The Bay State court is known for enforcing the contractual agreement -- so much so that skilled professionals are afraid to use their talents outside the corporate shadows, Harrington says.

Harrington believes limiting the scope the non-compete clause and the range of workers to whom such contracts may be applied is crucial to creating more jobs in Massachusetts.

"If you want to stimulate more jobs in Massachusetts, you have to be more creative" than simply rolling back the sales tax, Harrington says.
I'm skeptical that there are that many people still out of work because of non-compete clauses. Even so, it's refreshing to see a candidate talk about something different than taxes, casinos, and immigration for a change.

While I don't think reporter Hiroko Sato meant the profiles of Harrington and Connie Sullivan (R-Ayer) to be contrasting pieces, it looks like Harrington is taking a veiled shot at Sullivan when the profiles are read one after the other:
AYER -- Discouraging Massachusetts consumers from crossing the state border is one of Cornelius "Connie" Sullivan's economic stimulus strategies.

Lowering the sales tax would help create many more jobs in the state, and that's evident from how stores were hiring people for the tax-free weekend, Sullivan says....

He supports rolling back the sales tax to 5 percent -- or as low as 3 percent if voters are willing to. That would require the state to scale back on spending, but the state government has "plenty of fat" to trim anyway, he says...
Presumably, the Sun and Sentinel will be looking at the Democratic candidates on the days to come.

On to other things...

Second Franklin House District
The four candidates for the Democratic nomination will face off in a forum at 6:00 pm at the Greenfield Community Television studios. GCT is pretty good about posting their events online, and we will post a link on CMassPolitics.com once it becomes available.

Lee Chauvette (D-Athol) was interviewed by Athol author James Joseph Brown.

Second Congressional District
Jay Fleitman (R-Northampton) tells the Telegram that the federal stimulus was "a disaster," the Gulf oil spill was "handled horribly," and that Afghanistan is "an abject mess."
Fifth Congressional District
Sam Meas (R-Haverhill) gave a wide-ranging interview to the Haverhill Gazette. He said the number one reason he is running is:
First, there is a huge lack of choice in Massachusetts. There is one dominant party, and many are running unopposed. It is the antithesis to democracy. We've spent $1 trillion on two wars trying to give them the freedom of choice, but we do not have it here. To me, that's important. If Republicans were the dominant party, I'd say the same thing.
Third Congressional District
The Boston Globe reports that James McGovern (D-Worcester) co-authored a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to protect food stamp funding in a proposed child nutrition bill.

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