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Mass. Senate

Editor's note: Massachusetts voters go to the polls on Tuesday, June 25, to pick a new U.S. senator. As a service to our audience, we invited both candidates to present their best case for why they should be elected. Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez makes his case here. A link to his opponent's counterpoint can be found below. In this photo, Gomez makes a point during a debate with Democratic Congressman Edward Markey, Tuesday, June 11, 2013 in the studios of WGBY in Springfield, Mass. (Dave Roback/AP, Pool)

I’m running for Senate because Washington badly needs change, and I’m the only candidate in this race who can bring it. My opponent can’t change Washington because, after 37 years there, he is Washington. We’re not going to fix any of our big problems by relying on the same D.C. politicians who caused these problems in the first place.

As a father, husband, businessman, child of immigrants and former Navy SEAL, I feel we can do better. I feel we have to do better. My opponent and some in the media say I’m not an experienced politician, and they are right about that. I’ve spent my adult life serving my country in the military and working in business. If you want a career politician, then my opponent is your man. If you feel we could use a change, then I ask for your vote and pledge to serve you honorably as your senator.

As your senator, I’ll be an independent voice for Massachusetts, beholden to no party. I’ll work to reduce our crushing $17 trillion* debt, a debt load that imperils our children’s future. I’ll work with anyone in any political party to produce more jobs in our state.

I will put you, the voters and taxpayers of this state, before the agenda of any political party.

My opponent has no track record of reaching across the aisle, so if he is sent to the U.S. Senate we can only expect more gridlock. On the other hand, I’ll work with President Obama when I feel it is in our state’s best interests, such as to prevent the mentally ill from buying firearms and to ensure effective background checks for gun purchases. And I won’t be afraid to oppose the president when I feel he’s off track, such as with the medical device tax that harms a key Massachusetts industry.

I’m running for Senate because of the concerns I hear from people every day in every corner of this state. They love this country like I do, but they are worried that we may be losing the freedoms and economic vibrancy that have always been our hallmark.

Have you followed the recent disturbing news out of Washington? An IRS that illegally targeted Americans based on their political leanings. A surveillance state that is alarming Americans worried about government encroaching on their privacy. An American ambassador killed by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya and yet all we get is confused finger-pointing in D.C. And yet my opponent’s entire career has been about finding ways to hand more power to the federal government, such as having the IRS administer key portions of Obamacare. If you think the answer to all of our problems is to give more power to Washington, then my opponent is your candidate. If, instead, you’d like to empower our citizens and businesses, then I ask for your vote.

Of course, the number one issue facing us today is the economy. Our economic recovery is being held back by excessive regulation and high taxes. Too many in our state are out of work, under-employed or have given up looking for jobs. And yet the Washington, D.C. region is in the midst of an economic boom, having never experienced the “Great Recession.” This is the result of a government that works well for lobbyists, lawyers and career politicians, but not for most regular people. This isn’t acceptable. As your senator, I’ll work to improve the business climate in this country, allowing our entrepreneurs and workers to prosper. I’ll make sure our troops have the support they need, and that our senior citizens can retire with dignity and financial security.

While serving overseas as a Navy SEAL commander, I adopted the SEAL “team first” ethic as my own. I still believe in “team first” — but now my team is Massachusetts. I will put you, the voters and taxpayers of this state, before the agenda of any political party. My opponent votes with his party 99 percent of the time, despite the diverse views of this state. Can he say he’s putting Massachusetts first?

I ask you for the opportunity to serve my country one more time, this time as your U.S. senator. I won’t let you down.

Related:

Edward Markey: Vote For Me Because I’ll Work To Preserve The American Dream

*Correction: An earlier version of this piece misstated the U.S. national debt in billions.

Tags: Mass. Senate

The views and opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the writer and do not in any way reflect the views of WBUR management or its employees.

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  • J__o__h__n

    Nothing new here. 37 years . . . Navy seal . . . business experience (but no details) zzzzzzzzzzz

    Which party ran up the deficit to fund two wars and tax cuts for the rich? We had a surplus under Democrat Bill Clinton.

    Which party is requiring 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate? How will giving Mitch McConnell another Republican vote end Republican caused gridlock?

  • rd

    I agree with John. In addition, why should we expect independent action from a man trained to follow orders without question — even when those orders include aiming at someone’s head from hiding and pulling the trigger? Aye-aye, sir.

  • RW2718

    Right. We’ve seen how independent Republicans are. The only argument within the party is how far (far, far) to the right they can go while denying science, telling women they’re too stupid to make their own medical decisions, and creating complete legislative logjams (except for when they vote, for the umptieth time, to try to repeal Obamacare or take away women’s rights). America’s response to these nuts should be to get rid of every one of them until they decide to come back to this planet.

  • Sandy2118

    I am voting for Ed Markey precisely because of his independent thinking and the positions he has taken, over the past 37 years, in the House. It is wrong to equate him with what is not working in Washington.

    • Bob in Boston

      He was asked several times during the debate if he had ever voted against his party on anything, and he effectively said “no”. How is that “independent”?

      • Sandy2118

        Independent thinker. He dives deep into issues and dares to be the first to propose change, rather than being a sheep and following what everyone else is doing. I especially admire the positions Ed Markey has taken with regard to the environment.

  • mixnmatch

    In this article, Gabriel Gomez says he will be an independent voice for Massachusetts and then echoes key partisan talking points about the IRS illegally targeting Americans based on their political leanings (the Inspector General’s Report on I.R.S. Audits says it was a bureaucratic bumbling) and the IRS administering key portions of Obamacare (not true based on several factcheck.org articles including this one: http://www.factcheck.org/2010/03/irs-expansion/). All it took was a couple of paragraphs to go from independent to partisan.

  • http://www.justinlocke.com/speak.htm Justin Locke

    Dear Mr. Gomez,

    You seem like a nice fellow and I certainly respect your contributions as a soldier. However, in case you read this, a few points:

    First, I assume you mean a 17 trillion, not 17 billion, dollar debt. Assuming the latter, we don’t have truly good data as to whether or not this is an issue. Yes, in the long term, we have to address it, but austerity measures, in my view, are an attempt to skimp to greatness. We would be far better off at least in short term, to allow the fed to borrow more money and spend it on fixing the crumbling bridges. I am in the Paul Krugman camp on this. We are not a corner store, we are not Greece, we are a monetarily sovereign nation, and we cannot go broke unless to we vote to do so, as the republican party has come close to doing on several occasions.

    I am sad about the death of the Ambassador but I do not see his death as being more important than the deaths of soldiers in Afghanistan. This strikes me as an attempt to toss mud at Ms. Clinton, I’m not a big fan of hers but this smacks of political gamesmanship, not a real policy issue worth my time.

    Lower taxes? Means little to those who have no income. And the wealthy in America are enjoying the lowest tax rates ever. It’s not the tax rates, the real trick is to get the money circulating. And when so much cash is concentrated in so few people, they just can’t buy enough stuff to sustain the economy. If they were taxed at a higher rate they might be motivated to spend more of it on new projects in order to dodge taxes, as we did in the 50′s. And one big clog in the system is that no one can make any big plans, because there is so much uncertainty about what will happen next in Washington. It’s not just me, there are an awful lot of folks who claim the republicans see their task as simply obstructing whatever the dems try to do.

    Please don’t blame Obama for “Obamacare,” we wanted a simple single-payer like every other country with decent healthcare, and instead we got “Senate-o-care,” something cobbled together that no one but the insurance companies (who support various congressmen) wanted.

    How to do feel about Mr. Lessig’s proposed campaign finance reform?

    Again, you seem like a nice fellow and I would love to support you, but all I see here, from both candidates, is more of the same party line divide-and-conquer in-fashion-right-now hot button issues. I don’t want someone to work for me or fight for me, I want a senator who will wheedle and cajole and horsetrade for me. What can a freshman senator do beyond that? And if the republican party is supporting you, what do you owe them for that? How can you say you are independent? I am confused.

    Anyway, good luck– -jl

  • Bob in Boston

    I’m voting for Gomez because he seems like he would try to shrink the Federal government, and that’s the ONLY thing that’s going to save this country. Right now the Federal Government is out of control and needs to be shrunk down to what the Constitution authorized. You could close down 75% of the three letter agencies in the Executive Branch tomorrow, and 99% of citizens wouldn’t even notice, as most of the stuff people interact with on a daily basis (roads, bridges, infrastructure) is actually implemented at the State level, despite what the Feds would like you to think. The Feds take our money, and then decide how much they want to give back to our states. No thanks – I’d rather pay slightly higher State taxes and abolish most of the self-serving Federal government.

    This isn’t a partisan thing – it’s great that Clinton had a budget surplus. But how does pointing that out help us now? Since Clinton we’ve had Bush and Obama, both of whom have completely exploded the budget. Both major parties are bad – the Republicans bankrupt us with wars (war on terror, war on drugs) and the Democrats bankrupt us with social programs. You can get rid of either of them and we’ll still end up bankrupt until we just take the money out of their hands altogether.

    Since other countries of the world who practice Keynesian Economics are dropping like flies, it’s obvious that it’s just a matter of time before the United States falls as well – you can’t borrow your way out of bankruptcy. We need to shrink the government down to something we can actually afford (while dropping federal taxes) so we can actually get money flowing in the PRIVATE sector again. That and reduce government regulation so people can start new businesses again. It’s just a shame that the radical liberals have gotten us to the point that people who speak of sticking to the constitution are called the extreme ones!

    • maraith

      Bob, the US Deficit is shrinking, shrinking, shrinking to the smallest annual shortfall since 2008? Maybe they are successful at distracting you from the fact that this President is well on the way to fixing what the last one screwed up with unpaid for wars.

      • Bob in Boston

        You say this as he’s about to get us into ANOTHER war with Syria, despite the fact that the President technically doesn’t have the power to commit military forces to an engagement – that authority belongs to Congress. (yes, Bush did it too, but so what? He was terrible too)

        And the Deficit has been shrinking, but is projected to start rising again once Obamacare starts to kick in. It will rise more if the current proposal for Immigration Reform passes. And if we go to Syria? Forget about it.

        So I’d prefer to just shrink the Federal government altogether, and let the states handle things. There are VERY few departments in the Federal government that aren’t redundant with what’s done at the State level. If you want to see what the Federal Government *is* authorized to do, it’s easy – just look at the Enumerated Powers clause of the Constitution – that is literally EVERYTHING the Federal government is authorized to do. Everything else is left to the states or the people.

        Take a look at the list of Enumerated Powers and compare it against the current list of Federal agencies and see how many should not even exist. My guess would be 40-50% are completely unauthorized, but I haven’t done the homework yet…

        • massappeal

          For the record, the Congressional Budget Office just released an analysis that showed comprehensive immigration reform would reduce the federal deficit.

          • Bob in Boston

            Yeah, except they screwed up the analysis and count the social security taxes the immigrants pay as “revenue”. It’s not revenue – it’s eventually going to be paid out to those same immigrants. If you take away the social security tax ‘revenue’, then the immigration bill LOSES money.

          • massappeal

            Thanks for the reply. Actually, the way Social Security has always worked is that the taxes—also known as revenue—paid by current workers are (generally) paid out to current beneficiaries. (Which is why Ida Mae Fuller and other retirees were able to collect full benefits in the 1940s despite having paid in to Social Security for a handful of years.)

            Since the 1983 reforms based on the work of the Greenspan Commission, Social Security ran huge surpluses for a few decades as baby boomers paid both for the improved benefits of their parents’ generation, and built up a surplus to pay for part of their own retirement.

            Adding 11 million or so additional legal residents or (or approaching) working age would help pay for the retirement of the boomers.

          • Bob in Boston

            Except that some number of those 11 million illegal people will start drawing from it shortly (13 years) after they become citizens, and ALL of them will now draw from it eventually. Which means that 100% of their SS taxes should be “banked” in the Social Security “Trust Fund” to handle their payouts later – none of it should be considered “revenue”.

          • massappeal

            In some alternate version of the USA—the one in which Social Security was set up in the late 1930s and all revenue was “banked” until that generation of workers reached retirement age—your argument makes sense.

            In the world as it is, Social Security has always functioned as an a form of inter-generational social insurance, in which (to a significant degree) each generation’s FICA taxes pay for their parents’ generations’ retirement.

            More to the point, the CBO analysis in this case is utterly standard and nonpartisan. It’s the same accounting method that’s been used since Social Security’s inception (and since the CBO started producing studies of it).

          • John

            Yes, forgive Bob, he operates in an alternate version of the USA, like you said. He’s so committed to his right wing politics, he just can’t acknowledge the most basic facts of reality.

    • GlennBo

      Are you aware that the deficit is going to be around $600B this year? That’s way less than where we were 4 years ago. Not only has there been progress, but with healthcare costs shrinking the deficit issue may already be solved.

      Despite what deficit hawks like Pete Petersen say, the jobs crisis is WAY more important than the deficit and I don’t see the Republican House or Senate pushing any jobs legislation. Gomez would be more of the same.

      • Bob in Boston

        The deficit is projected at $600B this year, but what about next year after Obamacare starts to kick in? Healthcare costs shrinking? What planet are you from!

        According to CBO projections of the deficit, it starts going right back up again after 2014/2015.

        http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/02/cbo-deficit-to-decline-to-24-of-gdp-in.html

        And even the CBO’s projections work with some “funny” numbers, like for example their analysis of the Gang of 8′s Immigration Bill had it being a net gain in revenue, but they were actually counting the Social Security taxes the new immigrants would be paying as a net positive into the economy. Ummm… That money theoretically goes into the “Social Security Trust Fund” to pay for THOSE NEW IMMIGRANTS, so it’s not a net positive at all. If you take the “new revenue” out of the proposed immigration bill, suddenly it’s yet another huge deficit leader. How many other programs like that are being manipulated to make it look like they aren’t adding to the deficit when they really are?

        Forget about it – just start shrinking the federal government – it’s the only way to get things back under control and bring taxes down to a more reasonable level.

        • GlennBo

          Healthcare costs are slowing, not shrinking. The trend curve is definitely bending downward and it’s not just because of the recession.

          The CBO makes a bunch of suppositions which largely depend on what happens in the interim. For instance, if there’s no bill to hire people to take care of our roads and bridges, if there’s no bill to help people retrain, if there’s no bill to incentivize hiring, then I agree with the CBO since hiring the unemployed is the best way to reduce the deficit.

          Actually the Social Security Money will pay for the current recipients. The immigrants will only be eligible for Social Security after they become citizens which may take 13 years. There are many other benefits to immigration but I would rather not get into that now. There is a net positive though.

          Shrinking the federal government is a great idea if you agree that we don’t touch education, healthcare, retirement benefits, and instead remove the corporate welfare. The federal tax rates are at historic lows. I would like to see another tax brackets for those that make over $4M where the tax rate for either dividends or salary are much higher as they were from the 1930s to the 1980s when we started all this trickle-down insanity.

        • Boxer36

          I don’t see anything in your comment that differs from the GOP propaganda machine. The quick way to complete collapse would be to follow your thoughtless suggestion. I’m not going to think it through for you. You simply don’t understand how an economy works.

    • http://www.justinlocke.com/speak.htm Justin Locke

      well i agree with you generally, except that much of the economic upheaval of late (here and abroad) had to do with the lack of govt intervention (does that qualify as keynesian?) in terms of their no longer restricting what commercial banks could do. Those lifted restrictions were bought and paid for. We could get into specific this or that, but I think we are missing the point, which is the corrupting influence of campaign funding. I suggest the #1 priority is to get Lawrence Lessig’s changes enacted, i.e, real democracy via real campaign finance reform. Once you and I have actual representatives again, I think we could solve a lot of problems together.

      • Bob in Boston

        I think much of the lack of the *right* regulation was due to a lack of controls on lobbying. Professional lobbying should be illegal, *especially* for ex Congressmen.
        And I think we also have to remove money from the justice system somehow – I mean, how is it that there hasn’t been a single prison term for the bankers who drove the economy into the ground? Most of the major banks actually took our taxpayer money from the bailouts and paid their officers BONUSES, which seems impossible considering if the executives did their jobs they wouldn’t have needed bailouts, and yet that’s what happened.
        I think one of the other keys to getting our system of government fixed would be overturning the Citizens United decision. I can’t possibly understand how any Justice in their right minds could conclude that corporations are “people”. Yes, they are made up of many employees, but the limit of what that company can donate to a political cause should be the sum of what all the employees can legally donate – if you can get everyone in your company to donate to one cause then great, but the company itself, as an entity, shouldn’t be able to donate any money..

        • http://www.justinlocke.com/speak.htm Justin Locke

          well overall I agree with you. Unfortunately the red vs blue dissemination of mistrust keeps us squabbling and disorganized. Again, I recommend Larry Lessig’s campaign for finance reform, otherwise we are just re-arranging the deck chairs: http://boingboing.net/2013/04/07/lessigs-ted-talk-on-fighting.html

          He was also on Bill Moyers recently.

          • Bob in Boston

            I’ll read that – thanks for the info!

    • Vandermeer

      Hi Bob, It’s hot today… perhaps stay home and read up on what the real facts are. I don’t hear your candidate giving specifics about how he intends to make government smaller. Cutting government spending is weakening our country’s infrastructure, job growth and education. If you checked lately, countries with austerity are in real economic trouble.

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      Nor can you cut your way to prosperity. It always concerns me when we have people who caused the crisis protected by one party and a large chunk of another, then supported wholeheartedly by the one party. Then they tell us that WE’RE the ones at fault, we need to expect less and give more to them.

  • GlennBo

    Scott Brown claimed to be independent and yet, prior to Elizabeth Warren entering the 2012 race, he had voted with Republicans over 90% of the time. I have no doubt that Gomez would provide similar “independence”.

    • X-Ray

      And Warren doesn’t vote with the Democrats 100% of the time.? By that criteria she must not be thinking at all.

  • KOVAINANBAN

    I am an independent thinker except that I don’t think much……………..

  • sjw81

    just the fact he is not a career politician, and especially compared to markey, feeding off the public for 35 years plus…that is what the founding fathers set up for us, limited govt and short terms, not indefinete careers forever re elected unaccountable to public…he has my vote

    • massappeal

      By all means, vote for the candidate of your choice. For what it’s worth, the Constitution had no term limits for elected officials, allowing the voters to elect any candidate they wanted for as many terms as they wanted.

  • Boxer36

    Having never held office, his message gives him a staggering sense of his own importance. He promises to “Change the way things are done in Washington.” Is he really that naive? If he challenges his party message, he would end up in an office buried among the pipes of the subterranian steam tunnels.
    That is IF he would challenge his party, which is doubtful, once he understands how Washington works.
    Massachusettes doesn’t need an ignorant, bumbling, arrogant Freshman senator buried in the basement, or thrashing around in public view while learning on the job–learning how to become another obstructionist.

    • rph57

      Precisely. He lost my vote because of his naïve statements. If he won, he would be a junior senator, one of 100, not a chief executive. He didn’t seem to understand that.

  • Vandermeer

    Gomez is not an independent thinker… he mouths the Republican mantra and talking points on important issues. We need more gravitas in the US Senate not this guy.

  • donniethebrasco

    Competence in Massachusetts doesn’t matter. It is all about the D.

    I killed a woman who was pregnant with my baby I didn’t want to have. Oh, you are a democrat and a Kennedy, you have my vote.

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