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McCarthy runs on platform of fiscal responsibility

Date: 9/28/2010

Sept. 29, 2010

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD -- Thomas McCarthy asked this reporter to go to a map on the Web that shows the level of debt per resident each state has. When he clicked the link on Massachusetts, the sum of $4,606 comes up. The amount of debt incurred by the state government in the Bay State amounts to each person carrying around over $4,000 in debt.

McCarthy said, "That thing right now is enough to clear out the State House."

That is his hope, at least. McCarthy, the owner of Gateway Hardware, is the Republican candidate running for the senate seat currently held by Gale Candaras. He is preaching a message of fiscal and personal responsibility and that current legislators have ignored fiscal responsibility.

"The basic idea is that I believe Gale Candaras and the establishment think we have a revenue problem. They don't believe we have a spending problem," he told Reminder Publications during a recent interview.

For those in "establishment," McCarthy sees they have only one response to a fiscal crisis: higher taxes. He rejects that idea, especially how it applies to businesses.

"The state is all stick and no carrot," when it comes to how it treats businesses, he asserted.

Raising taxes in a recession is bad for business and he said would drive down revenues even farther. He would like to see the current tax rates either left alone or lowered and is in favor of the move to lower the sales tax to 3 percent.

Leafing through a policy book supplied by the state Republican Party that examines the voting record of members of the House and Senate on a variety of issues, McCarthy was critical of legislation that weakens mandatory minimum sentencing requirements and said that Candaras supported that bill.

He charged that Candaras has accepted many contributions from people in the heath care industry, implying that would affect her judgment on healthcare reform issues.

According to the financial report filed with state election officials at the end of August, Candaras has accepted campaign donations from a number of local medical center administrative staff members from both Baystate Health Systems and Sisters of Providence Health Systems, but she has also accepted donations from attorneys, administrators of non-profit groups, unions and owners of private businesses.

He said he is willing to debate Candaras on the issues. Both candidates have been invited to the Springfield chapter of Massachusetts Senior Action Council's candidates' forum, Oct. 27, 1:30 p.m. at the Springfield Hobby Club, 309 Chestnut St.

According to his Web site, McCarthy would support efforts to decrease the nearly $3 billion budget gap by lowering state spending; encourage competition in public schools by starting a voucher system; seek tougher sentences for criminals and dismantle the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. He is critical of the state's current healthcare system and how it is funded.

Currently, he said, "Vision and ideas don't exist [in state government]."

Facing a well-known incumbent would cause some political newcomers a second thought, but McCarthy said of his motivation to run for the senate at this time, "I just can't be me, living my life without getting up to bat."

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