To the editor:
It’s easy to forget just how bad it was. Former state Rep. Sally Kerans claims her six years in the Legislature were impactful and productive and she’s correct in some regards. But was it good for her constituents?
Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance advocates for fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability in state government and increased economic opportunity for the people of our commonwealth. As part of our mission, we maintain a legislative scorecard in which the public can view how their state representative and state senator vote on key issues. That scorecard may be found at www.MassFiscalScorecard.org. As part of our mission, we want to share with the constituents of Danvers, Peabody and Middleton how former Rep. Kerans voted while in the Legislature. Her votes may be an indicator as to how she will vote if elected this November.
A look at her voting record between the years 1991 and 1997 reveals a lengthy history of supporting higher taxes and spending. Her six-year tenure saw her support increasing several taxes, including the tax you pay when you sell your home. She also opposed efforts to repeal the short-lived and ill-conceived expansion of the sales tax to include services and not just goods. This would later be overturned after a significant public outcry by the taxpayers.
Kerans also had a terrible track record when it came to Proposition 2 ½ -- she consistently voted to weaken the law and resisted any efforts put forth to try and protect that property tax relief measure. Proposition 2 ½ has been a safeguard to homeowners and taxpayers since 1980. It protects taxpayers from out-of-control municipal spending. Currently, there is an organized effort by some lawmakers to sidestep Proposition 2 ½ in order to sustain a growing appetite by government officials to spend more.
On issues of good governance and reform, Kerans continues to have a shaky record from her initial service in the House. She was a near-constant vote against the reform agenda of then-Gov. Bill Weld, and she even voted against reform measures that sought to prevent lobbyists from using money to influence members of committees before whom they were testifying. She opposed efforts to impose term limits on the office of Speaker of the House, despite voters calling for term limits in a successful ballot initiative in 1994. Interestingly, both of the Speakers she supported during her time in office, Charles Flaherty and Tom Finneran, would end up resigning in disgrace.
Former Rep. Kerans is certainly effective at accomplishing her goals, but are her priorities what is best for you and your family? The residents of Danvers, Peabody, and Middleton will soon decide that.
With so much information now available in real time, it can sometimes seem like information from a pre-digital age doesn’t exist anymore. The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance has worked hard to obtain and analyze all 1,838 of Rep. Kerans’ votes from her time in the legislature. You can learn more about them by viewing them at: www.massfiscal.org/keransrecord.
Paul Diego Craney
Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance