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Senate Candidates Debate — Is It Called Taxes or Revenue Enhancement?

The four Democrats seeking to win the party's nomination for the Second Essex District seat in the Sept. 6 primary debated at Beverly High School on Thursday night.

Is “revenue enhancement” a code word for taxes?

That was one of the questions up for debate on Thursday night by the Democratic Party candidates for state Senate in the Second Essex District, which includes Peabody. It also encompasses Salem, Beverly, Danvers and Topsfield.

“You’ll be hearing that a lot tonight,” said Mary-Ellen Manning, after fellow Democrat John Slattery said, in response to a question, that the state needs to invest more in public transportation.

Manning said she is against raising taxes to increase funding to important programs.

"I don't think that's the first solution, I think that's the last solution," she said, later adding that she instead favors eliminating duplicate services and pork-barrel projects.

But Slattery fired back. In answering the next question about education, Slattery said, Manning had suggested spending more for English as a Second Language classes for adults. 

“I guess it’s OK in education but not in other areas,” Slattery said.

The four Democratic candidates for state Senate — in addition to Manning and Slattery (both are from Peabody), includes Joan Lovely and Edward Carroll (both of Salem) — spent about 75 minutes on stage in the newly renovated auditorium at Beverly High School. The debate was hosted by the Salem News and BevCam, Beverly’s public access TV channel, and hosted by Salem News Editor David Olsen.

All four candidates will be on the ballot for the Democratic primary on Thursday, Sept. 6. The winner will face Republican Richard Jolitz in the general election in November.

The debate remained civil, with the candidates at first standing, and later sitting, at a table together on the stage.

Taxes later became an issue, this time from a question to the candidates that came from a Salem News reader.

Lovely suggested that the state’s income tax rate should be rolled back to 5 percent, which the voters had backed in a referendum.

“The legislature should listen to the people,” she said, later adding: “I think we are collecting enough taxes.”

When a tax cut went before the legislature, and Slattery represented Peabody in the House of Representatives, he said he did not back the full rollback because “the entire state would have come to a halt; It wasn’t workable.”

Instead, he said he favored a plan where the tax rate would be lowered — which it has, to 5.3 percent — based on increasing revenue.

Manning said Slattery’s notion that government would have come to a halt — and that there would be no money to build bridges or pay teachers and police officers — was incorrect.

“Come on,” she said.

Carroll said his plan to bring a resort casino to the Salem power plant property would help lower taxes be devoting 1 cent from ever dollar of revenue at the property to local government.

“My plan is the only one with jobs and lower taxes,” he said.

But also at issue — perhaps surprisingly — was racial profiling. The candidates were asked about their position on the Secure Communities Act, a federal law recently enacted in Massachusetts where law enforcement checks the immigration status of people who are arrested.

Carroll said from 25 years working as a jail guard — “Profiling works; body language talks.”

“I believe it is racial profiling,” he said. “It works and it will keep us safe.”

The other three candidates all said they oppose racial profiling.

“Racial profiling is simply wrong and we shouldn’t have that in Massachusetts,” Slattery said.

Carroll said that the fact the other three candidates agree with each highlights one of the things that makes him, as a former jail guard, different from his opponents.

“That’s the answer you’ll get from an attorney — that profiling is wrong,” he said.

This story was clarified after being initially published to add the sentence: Manning said she is against raising taxes to increase funding to important programs.
"I don't think that's the first solution, I think that's the last solution," she said, later adding that she instead favors eliminating duplicate services and pork-barrel projects.

Julia Gentile August 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Of course "revenue enhancement" means raising taxes. Where else does the government get money??? This guy Slattery wants it both ways. Promise the unions that the money will keep flowing from the state but refuse to say how, (or refer to it in oblique code words). Call it what it is....don't be a sneak....You want to raise taxes then say so. If you want to cut then say so. I was at the debate and I can tell you that Slattery is clueless when it comes to the realities of the average working taxpayer.
T Mavrogeorge August 17, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Independent voters need to get to the polls on Thursday September 6 and Vote. Independents have a strong stake in the results of this democratic primary. Slattery will support increased taxes in exchange for the support of public union bosses. They provide him with money and a ready made single issue voting bloc and he returns the favor by supporting increased taxes to pay for growing their membership and funding their superior health and retirement plans. This is not good for the rest of us. It's time to say that this has grown out odf hand and everyone has to make sacrafices in a poor economy.
Stephen Raymond August 17, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Great post. You are correct on all points.
Stephen Raymond August 17, 2012 at 02:46 PM
How about a little discussion on ethics from these candidates too. People are tired of corruption on Beacon Hill. I'd also like to see the legislature cut its own pay and benefits before they talk about cuts to working families. Why is it that WE always have to tighten our belts but they cruise along towards their pension and bennies?? Best part time job evah!
Chris Chatzi August 17, 2012 at 05:54 PM
“The legislature should listen to the people. . . I think we are collecting enough taxes.” Then, Joaney, why is the Salem City Council considering voting on the Community Preservation Act AGAIN when the people voted against the tax in 2007??? More phony baloney I guess.
Russ August 17, 2012 at 08:02 PM
I attended last night's forum. It clearly was not a debate. "Houston:" We have a SPENDING problem!! Will someone tell the candidates. The ONLY candidate that understands that is Mary Ellen Manning! "Judges and political friends collect non-contributory pensions" Thanks to our state reps. and senators. Time for change. John, Why did you continue to stand up last night. You didn't for the death penalty.
Jason Burnett August 18, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Actually, as Mr. Slattery pointed out, Ms. Manning also stated that we should "invest" in our public schools which was the same word Mr. Slattery used in defending our seniors from having to have the full weight of inevitable rate hikes placed on their back. The MBTA is 5.6 billion dollars in the whole and simply "cutting waste" is not going to get us of that mess. Even if we fired every last employee of the MBTA it would only cut $500 Million so simply claiming we can "cut waste" and get the MBTA back on track is rather unbelievable. I would like to see the supportors of "waste cutting" put some actual numbers in front of us so we can see where the waste is and how much we can cut back. I am all for cutting of the fat but my guess is we will continue to see postings about waste and overspending but no numbers stating exactly how much we will save and what SPECIFICALLY we can cut. The reason for this is that they are well aware they have no idea how to get the MBTA solvent again just by cutting back services. On a side note I have attended both debates and if everyone that posted in the patch saying they were there actually showed up at a debate they would have been much larger audience. lol
Lucy Gonzalez August 19, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Serious problems with the Lovely campaign! Went to dinner after the debate with 3 of Lovely's volunteer's. They told me how angry & upset they are that the master of ego & intimidation-salem mayor Kim Driscoll & her STORMTROOPER aide-Jason Silva have completely hi-jacked the campaign! Joan moves her lips but Driscoll actually does all the talking for her, & because Driscoll has forced city of salem workers to show up for all Lovely events-ol phony Joanie has allowed herself to get stepped on. Driscoll has taken COMPLETE CONTROL of Lovely & her crew, as she prepares to run for governor in 2014! She has demanded Lovely give all the state aid to Salem if she wins-none to the other cities in the district -so the nasty & arrogant Driscoll can firm up her base & hand out more political goodies! The Driscoll-Lovely team are bullying, intimidating & in some cases BRIBING homeowners with CASH to put those obnoxious signs up with Joans ugly face all over over them! The Nazi in the dark suit the other night, rudely demanding all the signs back from volunteers was especially disturbing! These 3 Lovely folks have had enough of the Gestapo tactics of the horrific Driscoll/Silva duo & are sickened at how Lovely has turned into a total zombie-incapable of uttering an original thought! They have jumped ship & are now supporting the only non lawyer & senior citizen in the race in Edward Carroll Please reflect on this important info & support Edward Carroll for state senate!
Linda Toby August 20, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Joan Lovely's campaign taking on serious water! Lucy is correct in stating Joan has many volunteers about to quit her campaign because they cant stand the Gestapo tactics of the real ugly power behind Lovely-Kim Driscoll and Jason Silva. Driscoll says jump-and phony Joanie says-how high! Do we really want a tax and spend zombie, completely controlled by a corrupt left wing fascist mayor-just because that mayor wants to solidify power before running for governor in 2014. I think not!. I am votting for Edward Carroll for state senate-hope you will too!
Janet Marino-Johnson August 20, 2012 at 08:14 PM
When is Joan Lovely going to come clean and be honest with the voters. She and the evil duo of Kim Driscoll & Jason Silva are running roughshod over people--using illegal strong arm tactics to force people to put up signs for Lovely. I just read on-line that the US Attorney has already begun an investigation on this terrible practice! Plus word is they are investigating another criminal act-Lovely's illegal use of absentee ballots-that I saw myself. Telling people"I am expecting a low turnout and really need your vote" You can not use absentee ballots in this manner-for political purposes! Voters can only request them themselves if they are going to be away or there is an ongoing medical issue. Edward Carroll is a man of honesty and integrity and would never resort to such hateful and illegal tactics. Vote Edward Carroll state senate1
Katie Curley-Katzman August 20, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Please remember our terms of use and focus on the issues. Personal attacks against any of the candidates or other readers are not going to be tolerated here.
Sally Brooks August 20, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Critical comments on Joan Lovely and troubling way she is conducting her campaing should be investigated & reported not deleted. It is all over the area about the terrible tactics of forcing people to put up Lovely signs against their will. Volunteers have had it with the over the top control of the campaign from Kim Driscoll and Jason Silva. The voters have the right to know this stuff, as well as whether Lovely has a problem with alcohol! I am waiting for her public response to these issues!
Katie Curley-Katzman August 20, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Sally, critical comments are not deleted but comments that violate the terms of use/are personal attacks are! If you have a news tip, feel free to send it along to us but accusing any candidate of something without evidence to back it up, is a personal attack.
TJ August 20, 2012 at 08:41 PM
There is an old adage that fits perfectly here. "Where there is smoke-there is fire!'" That describes perfectly the Joan Lovely campaign which looks likes its going up in smoke! Lets see Joan "not very" Lovely has a debt of over 10,000 dollars to union print shops and has refused to pay that bill-and has never denied it! According to 2 of her former volunteers-salem mayor Kim Driscoll and her hatchetman aide Jason Silva want Lovely to establish a base for her run for governor in 2014. They already have rep John Keenan as part of the scheme! So knowing how weak and mentally challenged Joan is, they have taken to making her a puppet. She speaks but all the words come from Driscoll/Silva. These 2 folks told me today, they left the campaign after word got out of the tactic to threaten people with building code violations if they didnt agree to put up Lovely signs. Plus the illegal mailing and coercion of people on the absentee ballots is just wrong! Edward Carroll for state senate!
Bob Daly August 20, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Katie, we are all average folks who try to pay attention to what is going on but we are not professional journalists like you. TJ is on to something here-I would like to see you and John C do some investigative work to see if these troubling reports on the activities of the Lovely campaign are true! We do KNOW that she put out an absentee ballot mailer that was highly unethical & likely against the law. She has never denied the large sum of money she has owed to a union print shop for many years-a court case reportedly is about to take place. Knowing the ambition of Lovely & the ruthless nature of how Kim Driscoll runs things in Salem--plus Driscoll is reportedly obsessed with being governor in 2014--I really believe there is something to the story of people being threatened with made up bulding code or health code fines if they dont agree to put up Lovely signs. No one oustide Salem ever heard of Lovely before now--why are there suddenly so many more signs for her than any of the other candidates? I am undecided on the race. but I can not vote for Lovely. I hope the Patch will do some digging on this important issue. Thank you!
Evan Weinberg August 20, 2012 at 10:10 PM
After doing some research on line and talking to a number of people in the area,,there is no question that Joan Lovely and her campaign have some explaining to do amid serious allegations of campaign misconduct. I can vouch for the fact that a couple of residential real estate owners spoke to me in person, stating they were threatened with building code violations unless they agreed to put up signs for Joan Lovely! They have retained attorneys and have agreed to issue a press release after they have filed formal criminal charges. This a very serious matter and the silence from the Lovely camp is defeaning! I too received the highly unethiical absentee ballot mailing and I have filed a formal complaint with the state Office of Campaign and Politcal Finance, the State Ethics Comimssion and the Secretary of States office. I am happy to provide an update to the Patch on these investigations. Please remain vigilent!
Mark Jones August 20, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I had to chime in on Joan Lovely-someone I have absolutely no respect for as she is completely controlled by the ruthless tandem of Kim Driscoll and Jason" 2 tax payer jobs" Silva. She highly offended me twice within the last week. First, one of her door to door goons woke my 90 year old mother out of a sound sleep at 630am last Sunday and scarred the living daylights out her & was rude to her, when she said she didnt understand what the guy was talking about! Then Saturday when I was on the computer and refused to answer the incessant door bell ringing, I looked out the window and saw ol Joanie herself and 3 other people-walking right across my newly seeded front yard! She will be getting a bill from me if my grass doesnt come in okay! I generally dont vote-but will NOT be voting for Joan Lovely. I hope others will do the same!
Mike Schulze August 21, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Katie Curley-Katzman! Personal attacks are deleted?What Patch Blogs are you reading?The posts on Patch are organized by as you see the same names against and for the different candidates.To allow these personal attacks against Joan Lovely and John Slattery and Eileen Duff are not right and not good Journalism. Opinion is fine,but these WILD charges from extremists and unsubstantiated factoids does nothing to enhance a blog.You don't see any personal attacks here? Just my opinion,I am voting for John Slattery as I have seen his work as a constituent , David Eppley as a friend,and I would have no problem voting for Joan Lovely or Eileen Duff should they win the Primary. Fred Berry was the most valuable person to the entire North Shore, Salem Beverly,Danvers,Peabody and later Topsfield.We need to replace him with someone who can get along with the rest of the legislature. The voters will decide and they are not swayed buy these loony accusations.Even the Salem News would print these letters! I really wish the Candidates these people are backing would come OUT OF THE CLOSET! and agree with or disagree with these people. Click your heels Dorothy! Back to Kansas!
Bob Daly August 26, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Is Mike Schultz any relation to that great character from the Hogans Heroes TV show of yesteryear Sergeant Schultz? Remember his signature line "I know nothing, I see nothing!' That sounds just like the Mike Schultz that constantly posts on the Patch!

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