Karyn Polito and Steve Kerrigan

Recorded live on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at the Small Business Candidates’ Night, hosted by MassLandlords.net at Worcester Technical High School.

Karyn Polito and Steve Kerrigan for Lt. Governor

[Start 0:00:00]

Raymond Mariano: Okay. Welcome to our fourth and final debate of the evening, our candidates for lieutenant governor.

Steve Kerrigan has served the Commonwealth for more 20 years as an elected leader in his hometown of Lancaster, an aide to US Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and Attorney General Tom Reilly and served senior roles for President Barack Obama heading the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte and the Presidential Inaugurals in 2009 and 2013. He now serves as president of Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, a nonprofit that supports families of fallen heroes.

Karyn Polito is the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. Karyn is a former member of the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen, a former State Representative of the 11th Worcester District representing Shrewsbury and Westborough, and a small business owner. Karyn is a lifelong resident of Shrewsbury where she is raising her two children with her husband, Steve Rodolakis.

We will begin with our opening statements. We had our coin toss, and Mr. Kerrigan will go first. You have 2 minutes.

Steve Kerrigan: Thank you, Mr. Mariano, and thank you all for gathering here this evening and sticking it out for the last of these forums. I do appreciate it. We’ve been waiting. I’ve been campaigning for a little over a year and a half now, and right after I became the Democratic nominee just a few weeks ago, I challenged Karyn to a series of six regional debates across the Commonwealth. I’m grateful for the fact that we’re on the stage together this evening because I think the voters in the Commonwealth deserve a good opportunity to hear what both of us have to offer the Commonwealth in the job for the next lieutenant governor. I’m glad you’re here. I would love to see you at least five or six more times around the Commonwealth in the next 27 days. Hopefully we will strike a deal in the next 25 minutes.

Steve Kerrigan, running for Lt. Governor on the Martha Coakley gubernatorial ticket, during the MassLandlords.net Small Business Candidates' Night 2014.

Steve Kerrigan, running for Lt. Governor on the Martha Coakley gubernatorial ticket, during the MassLandlords.net Small Business Candidates’ Night 2014.

 

Karyn Polito: That will be like 20 or 30 more times [unintelligible 0:02:06] opened the way.

Steve Kerrigan: God willing. I am glad to be here. I’m running for lieutenant governor because I want to get government back in the business of solving problems. I’ve spent my life in public service. I was born right here in the City of Worcester, and against my will three days later, I was wrested from the great city of Worcester Hahnemann Hospital and brought to Lancaster Mass where I was born and raised with my family.

I’ve had the chance to see government do great things in people’s lives. My old boss, Sen. Kennedy, used to always say, “An awful lot of great things can get done if no one cares who gets the credit.” We’ve got to get government back in the business of solving problems. We’ve got to give you, all of you, a government that’s worthy of the sacrifices you make.

People want government to do what it says it’s going to do. We’ve gotten away from that. The mayor brought up a little earlier the corruption and lack of trust that exists. We’ve been talking about this for the entire campaign. We’ve got to get people believing in government again because I know throughout my career, I’ve worked with the private sector, with the nonprofit world, and with government leaders at all levels to solve people’s problems, be it investing in schools and early childhood education, investing in regional economies, investing in our people. That’s what Martha Coakley and I believe in and believe the best hope for our future are the people of Massachusetts. I look forward to serving as your lieutenant governor come January.

Thank you very much for having me this evening.

Raymond Mariano: Thank you, Mr. Kerrigan. Miss Polito.

Karyn Polito: I just want to say thank you very much for coming tonight. It is a great privilege for me to be in my hometown area. This is where my family began its history here in Worcester when my great-grandfather came to this country from Sicily, began his business that I own and operate today, and I’m very proud to be here with the chamber of commerce, with the realtors, and the property owners as I have an interest in all of those areas.

Karyn Polito and Steve Kerrigan, each seeking election as Lt. Governor, at the MassLandlords.net Small Business Candidates' Night 2014.

Karyn Polito and Steve Kerrigan, each seeking election as Lt. Governor, at the MassLandlords.net Small Business Candidates’ Night 2014.

Certainly for me as I come to this forum tonight, I think about those that served from this area before, and I come here to just say how excited I would be to continue the voice that people like Paul Cellucci, who is here in my heart. Although he’s not physically with me in this campaign, he mentored me through all of my public life. Someone like Paul Cellucci and Tim Murray who always gave the Worcester area a strong voice, and in my own service having started as a selectman in my hometown, wanting to come back to an area that was so good to my family, where my roots are planted to just give back and to be elected five times to the state legislature, serving as a member of the regional caucus here. We worked hard with my friends like Rep. Pedone, who no longer serves across party lines as a caucus to really make sure that the needs of our area where met then and what a privilege it would be for me to continue along those lines.

[0:05:04]

I am running with Charlie Baker. We are a formidable team, having public experience, private experience. We have been laying out our plans and our positive vision for our Commonwealth, many of those issues that we’ll touch upon tonight. Elections matter, experience matters, and I am asking for your vote. Four weeks from today, it will be all over, and I hope that I am your lieutenant governor and Charlie Baker is your governor.

Raymond Mariano: Thank you. The first set of questions is broad questions, and we’ll give the candidates 2 minutes to respond. The first question goes to Miss Polito. It’s about affordable housing. Most housing authorities across the state have very lengthy waiting lists. In Worcester, the housing authority has more than 12,000 applicants, many of them homeless and some who have been on the waiting list for more than a decade. What would you do to reduce the backlog and help those families find housing?

Karyn Polito: Well, I just want to thank you, Mr. Moderator, for serving in that role tonight, but you also serve in a very different role, which is as the director of Worcester Housing Authority. Recently I read about a program that you started there, and I called you and asked if I could come to the Worcester Housing Authority and meet with you, and you were very generous to allow me to meet with your staff and for Charlie and I to meet with residents of the Worcester Housing Authority.

With 12,000 people waiting, these are people that are in poverty, that have very difficult circumstances, we cannot allow five generations of family to be growing in Worcester housing, and this man right here, Ray Mariano, has started a plan called the A Better Life Program. He gave me this badge. It’s called a champion.

I stand with Ray Mariano as a champion for every resident of Worcester Housing Authority to have a path to a better life. This is a program that will require that you learn how to save your money, pay your bills, get your GED, and learn how to work. This is what brought my family to this country, and this is the spirit that Ray Mariano and myself as a champion and Charlie Baker embrace. We want to see that program adopted, not only here in Worcester but across the board.

Charlie Baker and I have a lot of plans to help people in public housing find a way out. We, first and foremost, want to make sure that the public housing that we have is available for legal residents and for veterans, and we want to make it truly a transitional experience, so that people can earn their way and be successful and be proud of their achievements in life. We will certainly make that a goal of our administration, working with partners like Ray Mariano and others in Worcester Housing Authority to replicate the success that they are achieving there every day.

Raymond Mariano: Thank you. Mr. Kerrigan, same question, 2 minutes.

Steve Kerrigan: Sure. Thank you, Mr. Mariano. This is an issue that directly addresses you everyday but it addresses all of us and impacts all of us every day. We look at housing from the issue of homelessness all the way to home ownership, and we believe that a state policy on housing has to be that comprehensive. We have to find ways to get folks out of homelessness. We’ve got to address the issue of chronic homelessness and families who are living in homelessness and in our shelters. We’ve got to double the number of vouchers that are available so that folks can get into housing and get off the streets. We’ve got to stop the program or at least stem the tide of the program that’s putting families in hotels and motels.

I look at this as sort of an accordion of housing options, and we’ve got to expand that so that we can get folks off the waiting list and into affordable housing, and yes, get folks out of affordable housing and into market-rate units. Then get folks, who are in market-rate units who are getting a chance under a Coakley-Kerrigan administration to get more skills and to get more opportunities and to grow their own personal economies and get a job to then move on to home ownership.

We believe it’s got to be a holistic approach that goes all the way from homelessness to home ownership. We’re committed to doing that. We want to work with great champions like yourself on issues of affordable housing because some of the things you’ve done have been really remarkable as has been done across the Commonwealth with by the way very few resources and sometimes not a lot of support.

But you know as well as I do as a former mayor and as a former selectman from Worcester County and someone who worked with you when I worked in the federal government, we need partners at all levels of government. We need the business community and we need the nonprofit world working together to solve these problems. That’s the only we’re going to do it. That’s what I’ve done my entire career. That’s what Martha Coakley has done her entire career, and that’s what we’ll do as governor and lieutenant governor.

Raymond Mariano: Thank you, Mr. Kerrigan. The next question is on economic development. It goes to Mr. Kerrigan. What specific plans would you propose or support to spur economic growth in Greater Worcester?

[0:10:06]

Steve Kerrigan: I appreciate the question. Actually, we talk about this a lot. I came from Worcester County –  by the way, we’re incredibly lucky. I’ll say this for Karyn as well. We’re incredibly lucky that Worcester County is going to have a lieutenant governor from Worcester County. Isn’t that great? We should give Worcester County a round of applause for that [applause]. But I certainly hope it’s me. I just want to be very clear on that. I would like it to be me.

Martha and I believe in an economy that’s not just focused around 128 and inside of Boston. Being raised in North Worcester County ‑ Martha was raised in Berkshire ‑ we understand that economies outside of Boston have played a critical role to our economic future. That’s why we’ve unveiled a plan to invest $500 million over the next 10 years, $400 million of it in infrastructure programs and $100 million of it in grants that will go to 16 different economic regions all across the Commonwealth to allow them to prioritize their programs, to invest in a way that the community wants to. Rather than having Boston and Beacon Hill dictating how you’re going to spend it, where you’re going to spend it, when you’re going to spend it, I give more regional authority to the economic regions all across the Commonwealth. That’s what’s important.

We’re also going to grow our economy from cradle to career by starting to invest in our kids in early childhood education. There are 17,000 kids right now, low-income children, who are on a waiting list to get access to early childhood education. Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito do not believe that early childhood education is the right tool to move our kids into our school system and give them a better opportunity to grow. We believe we’ve got to start there.

Every study will show you kids who have access to early childhood education end up through life earning more, learning more, higher home ownership rates by the way, lower foreclosure rates by the way, lower crime rates, again higher-earning. That opportunity, that investment in those kids will create an opportunity from cradle to career where we will provide more affordable public higher education and investment in our communities. We’ve got to look at it across the board‑

Raymond Mariano: Time.

Steve Kerrigan: And that’s the approach we have. Thank you.

Raymond Mariano: Thank you, Mr. Kerrigan. Miss Polito, same question.

Karyn Polito: Yes, on the question of economic development, before that on the issue of early education, Charlie Baker and I obviously do support a good strong start for all of our children across the Commonwealth, but we disagree with our opponents who believe in a one-size-fits-all approach, and we have a much more strategic approach to that. Having said that, economic development, you’ve heard a lot of politicians talk a lot about it, but let me just tell you what our specific plan is, and Charlie Baker and I haven’t just made this up this final month. It’s been something that we’ve been talking about over the course of this year.

Karyn Polito and Steve Kerrigan, each seeking election as Lt. Governor, at the MassLandlords.net Small Business Candidates' Night 2014.

Karyn Polito and Steve Kerrigan, each seeking election as Lt. Governor, at the MassLandlords.net Small Business Candidates’ Night 2014.

First of all, we have got to get this economy moving again in Massachusetts. That means you have to send a signal to the business community that we will hold the line on taxes. We will get our state government functioning again and hold the system accountable to get results and to look at the regulatory structure and reduce the barriers in terms of growth for businesses across the board. As a small business owner, there is a whole lot that we can do to help small businesses incubate and grow in this Commonwealth.

Having said that, the question is in reference to the Worcester area. Having grown up here and having served on the chambers of commerce, both in Worcester and in the Corridor Nine area, I know firsthand working with local officials, working with Tim Murray, who is the head of the chamber of commerce, the things that we’ve been successful at like I voted to support the courthouse at downtown Main Street, like reorganizing CSX so we have commuter rail, like making sure that Kevin O’Sullivan’s MBI incubator is funded in the legislature, and I did override Romney to get that money back to Worcester.

But what’s the next step? Turning around our auditorium, perhaps making it an art center; reforming the old courthouse; using the Brownfields legislation to look at that Route 20 quarter to make pad-ready sites, making maybe express trains a possibility for Worcester. How exciting would that be and certainly continuing the success at our Worcester Airport and making JetBlue even more successful everyday here in central Massachusetts.

Raymond Mariano: Thank you. The next round of questions will give you each a 1-minute response. These are property- and property-owner related questions. The first one goes to Miss Polito. Massachusetts is the only state or one of the only states in the country that requires landlords and property managers to wait 30 days to assess late fees. House Bill 1670 would allow a late fee to be assessed after 10 days. Do you support this bill? Why or why not?

Karyn Polito: I think this issue obviously pertains to property owners. I’m a commercial property owner. I understand the value of having rent paid on time and the bills that a business owner has to pay. In the area of rental property for tenants here in Worcester, this is obviously an issue of great concern and you need to balance the rights of a property owner who has to meet their obligations, to maintain the property, and pay their bills to the City of Worcester with the tenant who might be struggling with paycheck to paycheck to make their payments to the landowner. But we’ve got to balance this.

[0:15:13]

We’ve got to put it into a fair situation, certainly as Massachusetts is an outlier. Some other states do allow the imposition of fees after 10 days. Some also allow the agreement between the parties to rent, but let’s have that conversation. Let’s make sure that the property owners and the tenants’ organizations have a seat at our table and that we resolve this issue. Sometimes you need balance on Beacon Hill and checks and balances in the system to make sure that stuff gets done and that’s exactly what Charlie Baker and I will bring to state government in what is sorely needed today.

Raymond Mariano: Mr. Kerrigan.

Steve Kerrigan: I won’t say this often probably, but for the most part, I agree with Karyn. There has to be a balanced approach because there are needs for those who own properties may not be large properties, but they have a mortgage to pay nonetheless, and they need their tenant to pay their rent on time. And so there does have to be a balance between that and making sure that we’re not burdening that person who is working paycheck to paycheck. I will just say though I will take the opportunity – Karyn did point out that we need to get our economy moving again. First of all, we’ve got to be moving. We’re working hard at it. Massachusetts has come out of the recession quicker than other places. There are still a lot of jobs that need to be filled here.

Steve Kerrigan, seeking election as Lt. Governor, at the MassLandlords.net Small Business Candidates' Night 2014.

Steve Kerrigan, seeking election as Lt. Governor, at the MassLandlords.net Small Business Candidates’ Night 2014.

Worcester Voc-Tech has done an amazing job of making sure we’re training people for the skill sets that are out there and the jobs that are available. But under this divided leadership that she referenced, when we had 16 years of Republican governors, we ended up 47th in the nation in job growth. Gov. Patrick has taken us out of the worst recession since the Great Depression, and we have a 25-year high in job growth. It’s not enough, and we’ve got to keep growing, but getting our economy moving again is exactly what Democrats have been doing since they took the corner office and that’s what we’ll do under Martha Coakley.

Raymond Mariano: I’m going to change this up just a little bit. We’re doing property-owner related questions, but I’ve got a couple of questions here from property owners, which I think are pretty interesting, so I’m going to change this up a little bit. Mr. Kerrigan, this question goes to you. Explain why we need a lieutenant governor.

Steve Kerrigan: I’ve never had that question asked of me. That’s so strange. I’ve been asked by that guy about nine times I think. During the primary campaign, I had the chance as I am during the general election but to travel the entire Commonwealth. In the primary, I was endorsed by 17 mayors all across in big cities and small and local elected officials, selectmen, school community members. Those folks miss having that access, and I’ll tell you having someone to call. Tim Murray, whom I’ve known for great many years as I know Karyn has, was a great resource for people, for mayors and local elected officials. I run a small nonprofit called the Mass Military Heroes Fund that supports the families of fallen service members from Iraq or Afghanistan that we’ve lost over there.

Tim Murray, in the role of lieutenant governor and working on veterans’ issues, was our go-to person when we needed to facilitate some successes for families who [unintelligible 0:18:04] thanks to our state government. He did a tremendous job for us in that role.

We do need a lieutenant governor because they play a valuable role in the administration, and the most important thing to consider about the question is that we are electing one. One of the two of us will become lieutenant governor in January, and we need to make sure that as a Commonwealth, we elect the right person as governor and lieutenant governor. Thank you.

Raymond Mariano: Same question, Miss Polito.

Karyn Polito: Actually over the past 14 years, the job growth in Massachusetts has been about 1 percent. At the national level, it’s been 5 percent. Massachusetts, with the universities and the college system that we have, we should be killing it on all levels. There should be jobs everywhere in the state. Our unemployment should be very low. You need two people: Charlie Baker and myself who are ready on day 1 to get to work. We are a formidable team. We have known each other. We are friends. We have a common vision and a common energy to get going with the state.

First of all, we both have connections to the business community – Charlie on the larger business side, having turned around Harvard Pilgrim from failure to number 1; myself as a small business owner. Both of us served at selectmen, and both of us have served in state government in the legislative branch and in the executive branch. We know on day 1 what we need to do. We will roll up our sleeves and we will get to work. That is a unique and valuable asset much like Paul Cellucci and Bill Weld brought to you, and that we will continue that kind of leadership‑

Raymond Mariano: Time.

Karyn Polito: For Massachusetts.

Raymond Mariano: All right. Thank you. Another question from the audience. This one goes especially to Miss Polito. When will you remove the tolls on the Mass Pike?

Steve Kerrigan: I’m glad that started with her [laughter].

Karyn Polito: Well, let me just talk about it in terms of a lot of issues. I mean I am not obviously a big fan of tolls and taxes, so you can see that the idea of maintaining our roads is very important, and certainly, Charlie and I will have a plan to do that. It was promised that we would remove the tolls. Bill Weld was the one that started that process in removing the Western tolls, and we will have further conversation about that.

[0:20:06]

Karyn Polito, running for Lt. Governor on the Charlie Baker gubernatorial ticket, gets introduced at the MassLandlords.net Small Business Candidates' Night 2014.

Karyn Polito, running for Lt. Governor on the Charlie Baker gubernatorial ticket, gets introduced at the MassLandlords.net Small Business Candidates’ Night 2014.

Let me just relate this to the gas tax. Question 1 on the ballots is a question that involves not only the inflator on the gas tax. It’s a $0.03 increase in the gas. That does not change. That goes to fund roads and bridges in the state. It’s the inflator that Charlie Baker and I are opposed to. We would invite you to join us in opposing the inflator in voting yes on question 1 to repeal that. Charlie Baker and I have a plan to invest through the operating budget money every year to invest in our roads and bridges‑

Raymond Mariano: Time.

Karyn Polito: To maintain them, and we are committed to doing that.

Raymond Mariano: Thank you. Mr. Kerrigan, same question.

Steve Kerrigan: I hate to keep revisiting the previous questions, but she mentioned 14 years the job growth was slower than necessary. The first 6 years of that were under Gov. Romney, and by the way Gov. Swift. I will cede that they did not do a very good job of growing jobs in Massachusetts. And then the first couple of years of Gov. Patrick’s administration, we had the worst recession since the Great Depression. Since then, we [unintelligible 0:21:09] had a 25-year high in job growth, but I’m glad we brought up transportation because Charlie Baker had a chance when he was finance secretary when he designed the Big Dig financing plan that left our Commonwealth with $1 billion annual shortfall in transportation funding. He designed a financing plan that none of you would do with your budget or your business where until the legislature acted last year, for every dollar we paid as [unintelligible 0:21:33], it costs us $1.75 because he put it on their bonding authority and not on their operating budget.

That for me is not the kind of leadership that I want in the corner office. We need someone who’s investing in our roads and bridges to make sure that eventually we can answer that call to take that up.

Raymond Mariano: Thank you. The last section will have minute and a half responses from each of the candidate. First question goes to Mr. Kerrigan. There have been several tragic examples of failure by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). What needs to be done to ensure that this agency operates effectively and that vulnerable children are protected?

Steve Kerrigan: Yeah, you described it as tragic. It’s a terrible thing to happen. None of us wants to see the most vulnerable among us left in such a condition, and that’s what government is here for, right? We’re supposed to provide protection for the most vulnerable among us, for those who need our support and our Commonwealth. There is no doubt that what happened is a tragedy and that we need to invest in DCF, make sure that we are running a more efficient and effective government.

The entire campaign, I have talked about finding ways to make our government more efficient and effective so we can put those resources towards our social safety net, toward programs like that. But you know last week, the National Republicans issued a Super PAC ad against my running mate, Martha Coakley, attacking her on her record on child protection, which I found disgusting and offensive.

Charlie Baker then said that he was proud of his record at HHS as the secretary there. We looked into that record, and under him as secretary, we had record high case numbers. He had a report of 273 pages put on his desk two weeks after he became secretary, and in answer to that, the legislature gave more money to him. What did he do to fulfill a campaign promise that Gov. Weld had made? He returned $2 million to the legislature, to the general fund to make it look like they were giving back money and getting a tax cut rather than taking that money.

Right now, there was one candidate running for governor right now who had a chance and the resources and the authority in government to protect those kids back in the 1990s, and that’s Charlie Baker, and he chose instead to return that $2 million to the general‑

Raymond Mariano: Time.

Steve Kerrigan: Fund, and I believe that was the wrong choice.

Karyn Polito: That’s one of the big‑

Raymond Mariano: Miss Polito.

Karyn Polito: That’s one of the big differences between my opponent and where we are. They are focused on 20 years ago. We need to focus on today. Now 4 years ago, there was a lawsuit filed against Massachusetts by a children’s rights group, and they filed that because Massachusetts was the fourth of worst in the country for the maltreatment of children in the foster care system. These kids were abused. They were hurt. They were set back. I have read that brief. If you’ve read about these children, you will see how harmful the situations were that they were in, and we need to fix that.

We have said that that lawsuit needs to be settled, not litigated. We need to make sure that there is proper management of our Department of Children and Families so that we get this right. It is not acceptable to any one of us that Jeremiah Oliver fell through the cracks. He went missing, and he is dead because of the failure of our system. This is something that can be managed.

Charlie Baker is the only one that proposed a plan in January. When hearing of this, he said we need a regional plan, a regional audit. We need to know what the data says. We need to drill down deep and provide the resources to the social workers to get this job done. There is no pointing the finger. There is only getting the job done for our kids, and in fact, the independent group that Deval Patrick called in to help us this year is the same group that gave Charlie Baker an award‑

[0:25:20]

Raymond Mariano: Time.

Karyn Polito: For the work that he did during the Weld-Cellucci administration.

Raymond Mariano: Time. Okay. Timekeeper, we’re going to change these last two questions to 1 minute only all right so we stay within the time limit. We go to Miss Polito for the next question. Last year, the legislator passed and the governor signed a welfare reform bill. Are there additional steps that should be taken to protect against fraud and abuse of public benefits?

Karyn Polito: Well first of all, let me certainly say that is an example with the legislature working with the executive branch in a bipartisan manner to get something done that had to get done. The welfare reform bill was a good step in the right direction. Certainly putting a bureau in place with audits that need to be done on a regular basis to remove the waste and the fraud and the abuse from our public system. That money needs to be used for the safety net. We need to make sure that our safety net works for the most vulnerable people in our state. When we have people cheating it and abusing it, it takes away from that obligation that we have. In addition to the fact, building on what Ray Mariano started here in Worcester, we need to help people get on their feet and make sure that the public system is not a permanent end for them, that is truly transitional so that they can get the support through education, learning how to work and get on their feet, so that they can step out of the system in a much more flexible way than exists today. Right now, it’s either all-in ‑

Raymond Mariano: Time.

Karyn Polito: Or out, all-out, and we want to help people get on their feet and transition out to a better life.

Raymond Mariano: Mr. Kerrigan, same question.

Steve Kerrigan: Well, first Martha Coakley actually did have a plan that she announced in January as well before Charlie did about creating a child protection bureau within DCF that focuses just on children, but on the issue that we’re talking about, the best social program, the best welfare program for anyone is a job. We have to work hard yes to make sure we run a more efficient and effective government, to make sure that dead folks aren’t abusing the system. Absolutely! We’ve been talking about this for the entire campaign. I welcome a debate on that issue if you’d be willing to do it.

That’s a critically important thing, but getting folks back to work and making sure we provide better education, better access to training dollars, making sure that regional economic opportunities are there and people have a chance to grow their own economy and their own family’s economy. That’s the most important thing so they can have the pride of having a job and going to work each and every day and providing for their family. That’s what this is about. We have absolutely have to run a government that people can be proud of and that is worthy of the sacrifices all of you make each and every day. We have to absolutely be 1,000 percent focused on getting people back to work. Thank you.

Raymond Mariano: Final question, Mr. Kerrigan and then Miss Polito. Mr. Kerrigan, tell me an idea proposed by your opponent that you would consider adopting if you get elected.

Steve Kerrigan: I honestly haven’t heard many that I would adopt. Our focus in this campaign is focused on making sure that we provide opportunity, as I said earlier from cradle to career. Karyn alluded earlier that Charlie of course supports kids, but he has said many times that he does not believe that early childhood education that is the best pathway to our future and to improving people’s lives is an opportunity.

They also are against earned sick time and making sure that we don’t give the 1 million people, 1 million people in Massachusetts who woke up this morning without 1 minute of earned sick time. I think that’s travesty for families who have sick kids who have to make difficult choices about what to do because their kids are in early childhood education and they’ve got to make a decision when their child is sick or when a loved one is sick.

Karyn Polito and Steve Kerrigan, each seeking election as Lt. Governor, at the MassLandlords.net Small Business Candidates' Night 2014.

Karyn Polito and Steve Kerrigan, each seeking election as Lt. Governor, at the MassLandlords.net Small Business Candidates’ Night 2014.

I believe that our Commonwealth has to stand up for those of us who need that help. That’s who we are. We are a Commonwealth. We support each other, and together through that, we create economic opportunity and the skills and the workers to fulfill that and to really make Massachusetts‑

Raymond Mariano: Time.

Steve Kerrigan: Shine. Thank you.

Raymond Mariano: Thank you, Mr. Kerrigan. Miss Polito.

Karyn Polito: Well, I do look forward to the next two debates that we already have scheduled so that I can highlight the details of the plans that we’ve been talking about over the course of the year. But there is one thing that you did say recently that I thought was really good, and it’s your pledge to tackle the issue of violence against women on college campuses and universities. That is an issue that is obviously something that we have to pay a lot of attention to with these many college students we have here in Worcester and myself having a passion for victims’ rights and advocating for children and being the lead sponsor of Jessica’s Law in the legislature. There is no shortage of energy and commitment to advancing women and obviously children with better protection in their lives, so I applaud you for wanting to tackle that on, and I also agree that we need to do more in that area.

[0:30:14]

Raymond Mariano: Well, I think you’ll all agree with me that we have two outstanding candidates for lieutenant governor. How about a nice round of applause [applause]?

Steve Kerrigan: Thank you [unintelligible 0:30:29].

[End 0:30:38]

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