Senate Candidates Say Clear Differences in Campaigns

The four Democrats running to replace retiring Sen. Fred Berry in the 2nd Essex District stopped by Brooksby Village in Peabody for a candidate forum Thursday.

The four Democratic candidates for state Senate Thursday in a forum at , now just two weeks away from the September state primary.

By the end of the hour-long event, approximately 100 seniors had stopped in to listen to the candidates speak – each person was allotted 15 minutes.

Carroll touts hotel/casino plan

“I’m the only candidate with a plan,” said Salem’s Edward Carroll, going first. He went on to explain his signature campaign proposal for a hotel and casino resort at the site of the Salem power plant instead of Footprint Power bringing in its natural gas facility.

Carroll, a retired Essex County deputy sheriff and one-term Governor’s Councilor, said his plan takes advantage of Salem’s deep-water harbor to encourage cruise ships laden with thousands of passengers each to patronize said resort and attract tourists from around the Boston area.

He said his plan would bring jobs, prosperity and lower taxes to the entire district, not just Salem, and would seek to give first preference on jobs to local residents while setting aside a portion of the resort’s income for property tax relief for homeowners.

The problem with that plan is that current zoning for the site doesn’t allow for such a facility, although Carroll says that could change if the political will exists.

He also said he envisions downtown Salem only accommodating foot traffic and trolleys if his plan came to fruition. He said trolleys could also shuttle back and forth to Peabody, Beverly, Danvers and Topsfield.

Slattery says he has record of success on Beacon Hill

John Slattery
, a Peabody attorney and former city councilor and state representative, was up next.

He said he’s the only one in the race who can hit the ground running if elected, thanks to eight years on Beacon Hill, during which time he filed legislation, built consensus among his fellow lawmakers and saw various bills to fruition. He also pointed to his long record as a trial attorney.

“I’m the only one who has debated legislation all the way through the process and had success,” Slattery said. “I know what it takes to get things done on the Hill.”

Slattery takes credit for a handful of bills, such as securing a raise for personal care attendants, an assault weapons ban, an increase on the child tax credit and an early retirement incentive for teachers. He did not mention, however, his more controversial vote while in office that derailed an effort to reinstitute the death penalty in Massachusetts more than a decade ago.

Slattery said his childhood, part of which was spent in a Lynn housing project, taught him some valuable life lessons, including that “people, no matter how self-sufficient, sometimes just need a break.”

He said that led him to advocate for a raise for PCAs – the first one they’d had in about a decade – and his support of other important social programs and public education. As for senior citizens, he noted he’s a proponent of adult in-home care services, which are more accommodating for seniors and cheaper than nursing home facilities.

“I understand that the middle class is being squeezed…I understand that seniors on a fixed income are being squeezed,” he said.

Lovely says brings experience, leadership, 'grassroots' campaign to race

Joan Lovely
, an eight-term Salem city councilor and an attorney, said she knows what Salem, Peabody and the other communities in the district are going through in tough financial times and said she has both the experience and leadership skills to move forward.

She pointed to 15 years’ worth of city budgets she has voted on, advocacy for important projects such as a new senior center in Salem, serving on the board for the city’s Council on Aging and working with Congressman John Tierney to bring federal aid for flooding to Salem a decade ago.

“I know what Peabody’s going through with downtown flooding,” Lovely said, adding that outside aid is needed to address the problem.

She described her campaign as a “grassroots” effort, noting she has knocked on about 7,000 doors from Salem to Topsfield over the past few months. She said she’s also met with city and town leaders in all five communities to hear their concerns.

As for seniors, she said, she’s aware of their concerns as well, be it the rising costs of healthcare, affording prescriptions or even just groceries. On that subject, Lovely mentioned the state legislature’s recent passage of a health insurance cost containment bill that seeks to reign in skyrocketing healthcare costs in Massachusetts.

She said savings in that area can then free up strapped budget resources for such things as roads, bridges and education. “I want to be part of that process going forward,” she said.

Lovely said she’s also gained some experience on Beacon Hill as well – about a year-and-a-half as a legislative aide to the late former state Rep. Michael Ruane.

Manning pledges to cut waste, pursue reforms

Rounding out the forum was Mary-Ellen Manning, currently the Governor’s Councilor for Peabody and the rest of a 5th District and an attorney as well.

Manning pledges to be a voice for the average taxpayer and said she would bring the same level of scrutiny and tough stances to the Senate as she has to the Governor’s Council over the past 11 years, such as opposing unqualified judgeship candidates and bringing attention to candidates making political donations to state officials in years leading up to their candidacy.

Manning noted she has defeated both Democrat and Republican challengers over the years.

She said the Senate race is about making sure the district’s residents’ needs are placed first and foremost and that the district speaks in a clear unified voice, holding up a hand to signal "enough" on increasing taxes or other financial burdens on residents. 

Manning said she’s the only candidate talking about cutting taxes and waste at the state level, later adding that it’s because of her time on Beacon Hill that she’s only too well aware of rampant waste at the Statehouse.

She said government can still “take care of the people we need to take care of,” preserve investments in important services but still not raise taxes. Manning said the GI Bill for veterans is an important program that benefits families – it was true for the Mannings – and she would like to see more attention on affordable housing for veterans.

“Taxpayers don’t want their [money] to be wasted,” she said, adding that she would continue to fight against “phony disability pensions” and other abuses of the state pension system and vowed to not make special deals for anyone.

“I’m a big believer in earning what you take,” Manning said.

The state primary is Sept. 6 and the winner of the Democratic ticket in the Senate race will face Republican Richard Jolitz in November.

Ed Manoogian August 24, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Slattery's experience on Beacon Hill is NOT a positive. He demonstrated that he is part of the problem, ignoring the wishes of the people to answer to the special interests. He voted against lowering the state income tax, in defiance of a voter referendum. He voted against the death penalty for child abductors/rapists/ and muderers such as Sal Sicari and Mannasseh invictus auric thutmose V, (Charles Jaynes), despite overwhelming public support. He is the worst possible candidate .
Brian LaPierre August 24, 2012 at 05:27 PM
John Slattery is a man of honor, principle and character. He is a strong advocate for working families and senior citizens. He is the most articluate and most qualified candidate in the field. That is why he has the support of so many diverse groups like tecahers, firefighters, seniors, police officers, secretaries, nurses, carpenters and the list is too long to write..Please come out and support Peabody's own John Slattery for State Senate on Thursday September 6. Thank you!
Brian LaPierre August 24, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Sorry, Typo- TEACHERS
Jason Burnett August 24, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Of the four candidates in the race John Slattery is the only one to guarantee that he will not attempt place the financial burden of the MBTA shortfalls fully on the backs of seniors and working families who depend on public transportation for school and work. Cutting waste and fighting against fraud in the state house is extremely important but too many families in the 2nd essex senate district have have far too much to lose to risk voting for anyone without the experience and track record of Mr. Slattery. He is clearly the best fit to replace Sen. Berry.
Marjorie Samolchuk August 24, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Ha. Slattery is on record as saying that he favors raising taxes to bail out the MBTA. In the first Salem debate he mentioned raising the gas tax. He will not consider reform because that won't fly with the union bosses. They want the trough replenished.
Brian LaPierre August 25, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Marjorie: Sorry. Not accurate. He said no matter what we do, it will still be billions of dollars in the hole. The example he gave was that we need to raise revenues to support programs but not on the backs of the elderly, disabled, students and low wage workers that are dependent on public transportation. This has nothing to fo with "union bosses" it has everything to do with creative solutions to complex problems. At least he offers solution driven problem solving ideas. He has the support of many residents from across the district, most of them average, middle class homeowners and taxpayers. He is the voice for working families.
Sheryl Moulton August 25, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Raising taxes is "creative"? That is the FIRST thing hacks like him do. In fact, it's the only thing they do. How is raising the gas tax not a burden on the elderly, students or low wage workers?? Don't you think I buy gas? Go back and check the Salem debate at the Grove street lodge. He DEFINITELY said that. I was a Lovely supporter, and I was there.
Steve Larsen August 25, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Brian LaPierre said: "The example he gave was that we need to RAISE REVENUES to support programs but not on the backs of the elderly, disabled, students and low wage workers who are dependent on public transportation. " So who does he want to tax to get the T out of the hole? And what tax is he proposing? Do you think that "average, middle class homeowners and taxpayers" and "working families" should vote for a guy who proposes a tax increase without saying what type or how much? This is not creative. This is blathering.
Brian LaPierre August 25, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Gee, funny how you twist and manipulate the facts. I do not hear any of the other candidates ideas for closing the budget woes of the T, they probably prefer to "play it safe" by not taking a position on anything. Don't chastise Slattery for stating positions and directly addressing the issues! He does not have the unilateral power to fix billions of debt but he does have the conviction to stand up for us and that takes courage!
Erwilson August 25, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Sounds like someone works for Slattery! Slattery is the man that stated on camera on SATV that the budget has no fat! what a joke!
Brian LaPierre August 25, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Obviously, you folks are in your propective camps as well. At least I can clearly state to those who still may be undecided in this race that John Slattery is the best candidate that will represent the citizens, taxpayers, families with compassion and effectivemess. He will cut in places that need to be cut and find ways to help fund elder prograns like VNA, Meals on Wheels and home health care needs because that's what the seniors in the district are telling John and John's support for seniors goes way back to his days on Beacon Hill. You can distort the facts all you want but it will not detract from the fact that John Slattery stands up for seniors and advocates for the middle class. He is a champion for our elderly, our middle class and working families! Go, John, Go!!! As a matter of fact, he is everywhere in the district. You ought to reach out to him yourself and see where he stands on the issues. He will not duck a question and is a straight shooter, exactly what the 2nd Essex District needs, someone with the work ethic and dedication to get things done like the current Sen. Berry, who I admire and respect as well. Good luck to your respective candidates as well, I wish you the best.
John Castelluccio (Editor) August 26, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Jean and Bob, no personal attacks. Secondly, there are proper channels to report illegal actions or behavior, but making libelous comments here is not one of them. You are more than welcome to email peabody@patch.com if you would like us to look into an issue.
Mira Day August 26, 2012 at 04:27 AM
I attended the forum Thursday with my mother who is a Brooksby resident.. Clearly, the most impressive candidate is Mary-Ellen Manning. She spoke to us. not at us, and was the only candidate willing to discuss the important issues the country faces--jobs, the economy, lower taxes, protecting seniors, less government.. Slattery realy appears to be an arrogant bully, taking orders from the unions and his patron, the not so nice Joyce Spiliotis. Lovely strikes me as a complete bubblehead & my mother sensed a real phony side to her, as if she is running for a beauty pagent or something. Manning was articulate, well spoken and sincere as she talked about how important seniors and returning veterans from Afghanistan, are to her platform of ideas. She was the only one to mention the over 700 billion dollar hit to Medicare that Obamacare will remove -and the importance of reversing it to save Medicare for the future. I have researched her record and am quite impressed that Mary-Ellen has alienated the state party machine--simply because she has been the only democrat to consistently vote no and crticicize the awful judicial nominees of the worst governor ever in Patrick. Slattery wants to tax and spend us and is happy to represent child rapists. Reports are Lovely is completely controlled by salem mayor Kim Driscoll--who merely wants to use Lovely and John Keenan to set up her run for governor in 2014. The best choice here is Mary-Ellen Manning and I'll be voting for her!
Mark Jones August 26, 2012 at 04:58 AM
The more I read about this campaign, the more I get sick and tired of the mudslinging between the Slattery and Lovely campaigns. I have read on The Patch comment board & on other web site and blogs that the 2 candidates really have no shame. The Lovely camp is making a big deal about recent allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Slattery with regard to public employee unions. Same with the Slattery crew--accusations of salem mayor Kim Driscoll oversteping her bounds in pressing people to put up signs fo Lovely. Plus Lovely's recent decision to ram thru the CPA fee and her wild insistence on salem being the only city or town in the country to have an Internet Sales Tax, along with all the additional fees she voted to raise in July is just stunning--given how bad our economy is here in Mass. The 2 camps who have avoided this behavior are the Manning and Carroll campaigns. To their credit, they have focused on issues. I have made up my mind and after reading the on target comments of Lucy Gonzalez and others--I will be voting for Edward Carroll for State Senate. He is the only senior citizen in the race and the only non-lawyer-and I love the idea of a revenue generating casino at the salem powerplant. I hope Salem resdents in particular come out strong for Edward Carroll on Sept 6.
Jean Pinto August 26, 2012 at 05:13 AM
It's a very disturbing trend when candidates and elected officials are allowed to get away with highly unethical & sometimes illegal tactics, simply becuase the media will not do the leg work neccessary to investigate serious allegations! Because of staffing cutbacks and an overwhelming desire by many like the NY Times and MSNBC to carry the left wing agenda--important scandals like family members of Congressmen making huge profits from land deals as a result of legislation passed by those same members of Congress. Drudge will post it--almost all of todays media will not. John, I realize you have a limited staff--but info has been supplied--I hope you will follow-up!
Bob Daly August 26, 2012 at 05:49 AM
Very effective commentary from Mira, Mark and Jean. I would like to see The Patch and other media outlets get back to doing something they used to do years ago before the I Phone and I Pad. Its called investigative reporting but we simply do not see it today. Bob Woodward is still around but is slowing down now. Todays go to guys are Matt Drudge, John Stossel, and the Breitbart web sites. Please for the sake of primary voters,lets see some in depth reporting on the allegations of campaign improprieties on the part of both Lovely and Slattery. The mind numbing pet photo contests here are a complete waste of time and space! Plus I have heard about serious issues involving Joan Lovely's personal life that need to be addressed and clarified for the voting public before the election. I hope the Patch and the audience will ask Lovely some probing questions during the live chat Monday. I was considering her but have since changed my mind after reading posts from my fellow readers and on other sites. I will be voting for the only candidate who has pledged to focus on creating jobs, lowering taxes and less government. I support Mary-Ellen Manning for state senate.
maria lourdes ramos August 26, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I would say Lovely or manning and not just because they are women. I don't like Slattery and his history on crime and taxes. He does not reflect my believes at all. I am worried now that Lovely may want to raise property taxes as I am saving to buy my own place soon. I need to find out more.
maria lourdes ramos August 26, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I am sorry but I don't think Mr.Carroll can win.
Mike Schulze August 27, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Maria,Sorry,but Joan Lovely can not raise your property taxes. The Mayor and the City Council can. State aid to your city and town helps keep them down,Senator Berry and your State reps are there to fight to bring aid to the district.They do this by working with the other elected officials in the area. John Slattery did Peabody well and Joan Lovely has great respect with her City officials. Both would be a great replacement for Senator Berry.He worked well with others and that is why he was so successful.
Jean Pinto August 30, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Everytime I read Mike Schultz commnents, I agree with a previous poster. He sounds just like Sergeant Schultz from Hogan Heroes--"I know nothing I see nothing" Earth to Mike NO ONE wants an elected official to continue the pattern of "go along to get a along!" unless you're a tax and spend liberal nut like you! I really like the idea of an outsider & non-lawyer in this race-I am supporting Edward Carroll for state senate-even more so after Jesse Romans unfair story on him in the salem news. Carroll is the ONLY candidate that is ALWAYS referred to by his age by Roman-he has a big time age bias there!. Roman was very insulting to Carroll--what a complete left wing elitist he is! After the dirty tricks that John Slattery is alleged to have been involved with regarding use of public employees on his campaign, and after phony Joanies summer of non-stop tax and fee increases, bullying people to put up signs, and an illegal absentee ballot mailer, its obvious Edward Carroll is the right guy for state senate!
Mike Schulze August 30, 2012 at 04:53 AM
Dear Jean Pinto,Spell my name right! Ed Carroll has the edge! Replace that power station with a casino! You can count on those Liberal scoundrels to support that.Did you see that Mary Ellen Manning is Pro Choice (with some restrictions) and supports Gay marriage.Darn that liberal leaning Jesse Roman!! Who's side is he on? Oh well back to my planet.Tax and spend!!!Hey you are old enough to know who Hogan's Heros are.Good luck to dear old ED!


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