GOP Agenda – Open Thread

( – promoted by Cool Cal)

I put this in the comments of Angel’s post on ideology, but since this is what the Republican legislators call their “statement of principle and purpose,” I thought it was worth giving its own post and inviting comments from one and all.

The Republican caucus is committed to building a better Massachusetts by improving the lives of people who live here at the most basic levels.

Every man, woman and child in Massachusetts should have the same opportunity to be happy, healthy and successful. Everyone defines success differently, but there are basic needs that we believe every person should enjoy.

We should all have a comfortable place to call home.

We should all be able to find a job that fulfills us and allows us to pay our bills.

We should all be able to work hard and reap the rewards of our efforts without government getting in the way through excessive interference or taxation.

We should expect that our government will spend taxpayer money responsibly and recognize that public resources belong first to the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Our children, no matter what neighborhood they live in, should be able to go to good schools. And we should be able to feel safe allowing our children to play outside without fear of hidden dangers lurking nearby.

We should all have access to affordable, quality medical care, and we should all be able to grow old gracefully and with dignity.

We should be able to feel secure as we go about our daily lives,knowing that there are plans in place to protect us if disaster strikes.

We should be able to expect that those who break our laws will be brought to justice.

And we should expect that our elected officials will be at all times accountable to those they serve. When the voters speak their elected representatives should listen, and the democratic process that values their right to be heard must be encouraged and protected.

As Republicans, we believe that government can and should work to ensure that these basic needs are met. We believe this task is best accomplished by providing everyday citizens with the opportunity to succeed and the freedom to pursue the lives they desire for themselves and for their families.

Massachusetts is a great state, built upon a strong foundation of hardworking, visionary and optimistic citizens. It is through their vision that we can best reach our highest potential as a commonwealth.

Though our caucus is small in numbers, we are ambitious in our ideas and strong in our belief in the values of personal responsibility, personal freedom, fiscal restraint and accountability to those we serve.

And it is as a constant voice of balance in the Legislature that we intend to pursue and perpetuate these ideals.

About wavemaker

  • nomad943

    lol ..

    I will ponder on this some but what jumps out at me right from the start is this overwhelming feeling that I got that this was a statement of a government entity that was trying to portray itself as the solution to all ills.

    I think I would have tried to word this in more passive shades but I understand that this is the commonwealth.

    I’ll be curious to see what other check in with for comments.

  • republicanvoices

    To further this discussion, I will post my scanned copy of the 2006 Mass. GOP platform (which should definitely be on the MassGOP site). The MassGOP website used to feature the 1998 platform and probably the 2002 platform (I will check):

    2006 Platform

    Respectfully Submitted, April 29, 2006 by the

    Massachusetts Republican Platform Committee:

    Evan Slavitt, Chairman

    Christina Bain, Manchester

    Patricia Barrett, Norwood

    Darrell W. Crate, Beverly

    Linda Jewell, Franklin

    Kevin Jourdain, Holyoke

    Ronald Kaufman, Boston

    Matthew Kinnaman, Lee

    Arthur Larrivee, Dartmouth

    Lance May, Lunenberg

    Monica Medeiros, Melrose

    John O’Keefe, Charlestown

    John Souther, Jr., Malden

    Cynthia Stead, Dennis

    Debra Tucker, North Attleborough

    Fred Van Magness, Reading

    Jeffrey Wilson, Groton

    Matthew B. Wylie, Cambridge

    Preamble

    Six years into this new century, Massachusetts prepares to face new challenges and provide its citizens with new opportunities. The Commonwealth, prosperous and secure for over 15 years, is demonstrating its resolve to improve the lives of all citizens. Most recently, under the leadership of Governor Mitt Romney and Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, our commonwealth has continued to take steps to improve its finances, reform its operation, and to make this state a better place to live, work, and raise our families.

    Massachusetts still faces the problem of legislative domination by one party, dominated by special interests. Massachusetts Republicans support a real, two-party system not only to ensure meaningful debate, but to allow the legislature to hear the voice of the citizens and make laws that truly reflect the values and ideals of the people. Now, more than ever, it is time for the core Republican beliefs in liberty, equality, responsibility, opportunity and community to be heard and understood in the political arena and the legislature. At a time when the nation must unite against a borderless foe that considers liberty not a virtue, but a vice, we as a party reaffirm our commitment to these values for our commonwealth and the United States of America.

    Economic Development

    Massachusetts Republicans believe that economic growth benefits all people. We understand that economic growth will create new jobs and a healthy, self-sufficient community.

    Governor Romney and Lt. Governor Healey have shown a strong commitment to grow and diversify our economic base. The success that Massachusetts has enjoyed since the 1990s has been a direct result of Republican Governors cutting burdensome regulation and taxes. By lightening the load on businesses, there is a better chance that they will stay and expand in Massachusetts.

    Be it hereby resolved, the Massachusetts Republican Party:

    Affirms that sustainable economic growth is the result of individual investment and risk taking.

    Affirms that small business is the single greatest engine of economic growth and employment in our state. We support efforts to create a climate that is favorable to small business development.

    Supports efforts to diversify our economic base so that the impact of cyclical recessions on the Massachusetts economy is lessened.

    Supports efforts to stimulate economic growth by cutting regulation, fees, and taxes for all individuals and businesses.

    Believes that economic activity, free from excessive or capricious regulation and taxation, will develop on its own, without the aid of government subsidy.

    Believes that tax and regulatory policies should be uniform, fair, predictable, and minimal to support economic stability and growth.

    Fiscal Policy and Taxation

    Massachusetts Republicans understand that in order for a government to run, it must collect money through taxes. We believe, however, that our citizens have the right to demand that the funds be used properly and efficiently.

    We also think that the government should not take more than it needs. If there are extra funds in the budget, they should be given back to the taxpayers in the form of a refund. Government spending should only grow at a rate that is appropriate to keep it going as a small, efficient, and effective body.

    Republican administrations have reduced the tax burdens on our families and businesses. They have worked hard against a tax and spend legislature that knows no bounds. From the Tax Rollback initiative of 2000 to the forty-two tax cuts implemented during the past sixteen years, Republicans have taken the lead on alleviating the tax burden on Massachusetts’ working families.

    Governor Romney, Lt. Governor Healey and the Republican members of the House and Senate fought to eliminate a retroactive tax increase on capital gains that would have cost 40,000 taxpayers $150 million. 1/3 of the individuals who would have been hit with this tax earned less than $70,000 per year.

    Be it hereby resolved, the Massachusetts Republican Party:

    Opposes any efforts to increase taxes by delaying or repealing the voter-approved tax rollback, which returns the state income tax rate to 5%, where it stood before the fiscal crisis of the Dukakis years.

    Supports limiting the growth of government spending to the rate of inflation, and soundly rejects the notion that government spending should grow at the same rate as tax revenues.

    Strongly supports the preservation and protection of Proposition 2/2.

    Rejects the notion that government should use punitive tax policy to influence individuals’ economic decision-making.

    Supports a Constitutional Amendment requiring a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate to increase Massachusetts’ taxes of any kind.

    Rejects graduated income taxes.

    Government Reform

    Government should encourage individual initiative within a set of common rules and assumptions. Too much government can be a destructive force, stifling individual initiative. History has shown that reliance on government as the primary driver of economic growth or social betterment does not work. Improperly used, governmental power can destroy wealth and opportunity, dissolve and isolate families, give rise to despair and violence and grind progress to a halt. Government, a key element to structure and maintain civil society, cannot be the principal vehicle used to propagate a just and prosperous society.

    Massachusetts Republicans support a limited role for government in our society, and we believe that our state legislature has strayed from this mandate. The primary principle of democracy is that government exists to represent the citizens, not rule them. Further, if families are expected to stick to a budget, then the government should as well; Republicans have demonstrated that government can spend within its means. For example, facing a $3 billion deficit in 2003, the Romney-Healey Administration smartly balanced the budget without raising taxes. Government’s responsibility is to the people it serves and the greatness of America rests on the achievement of the individual.

    The Republican Party and its leaders will continue to press for sensible reforms that will hold the government accountable and improve the quality of life for all citizens of the Commonwealth. This goal can only be accomplished by taking the legislature back from special interests and electing leaders who hold these ideal paramount.

    Be it hereby resolved, the Massachusetts Republican Party:

    Embraces individual rights and responsibilities over the demands of any group.

    Values the success of private institutions over government agencies to address and overcome many social challenges.

    Encourages private enterprise over government subsidies and initiatives to facilitate economic development.

    Favors lower taxes rather than over-expansion of the state bureaucracy.

    Supports a law requiring the General Court to enact a balanced budget at the beginning of each fiscal year and to suspend, without reimbursement, legislative salaries at any time the Commonwealth is operating without a full-year fiscal spending plan.

    Rejects the Commonwealth’s interference in political parties’ internal governance.

    Crime, Law Enforcement and Public Safety

    The Republican Party strongly stands for the protection of fellow citizens from crime and violence. We have consistently demonstrated our commitment to make certain that the rights of the people always stand above the rights of criminals while supporting the public safety of those who are working to keep us safe. The party has been a strong advocate of reinstating capital punishment for the most heinous crimes; following truth in sentencing guidelines; and the quick, efficient exercise of justice in our legal system.

    Be it hereby resolved, the Massachusetts Republican Party:

    Honors the men and women in the public safety community who risk their lives on a daily basis to protect the citizens of Massachusetts and supports efforts to ensure that such individuals are adequately equipped and compensated.

    Supports the imposition of capital punishment for convicted first-degree murderers, major drug traffickers, and killers of public safety personnel including police officers, firefighters, corrections officers and EMTs.

    Strongly supports efforts to combat domestic violence and child abuse.

    Supports “Truth in Sentencing” guidelines.

    Advocates the removal of judges who demonstrate a habitual callousness to the victims of crime and who fail to perform their duties effectively and efficiently.

    Supports keeping dangerous sex offenders off of the streets through the civil commitment process. Governor Romney and Lt. Governor Healey have made sure convicted offenders’ pictures and addresses are available on the Internet and that paroled offenders are monitored with GPS devices.

    Healthcare

    Massachusetts is fortunate to have one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the entire world. Patients come to Massachusetts from every state and every nation to receive care from our renowned teaching hospitals and healthcare facilities. Governor Romney and Lt. Governor Healey were able to pass first-in-the-nation healthcare legislation, which will ensure every Massachusetts citizen has access to affordable healthcare without excessive governmental intrusion or control.

    The healthcare legislation will serve as a blueprint for other states and possibly the federal government. But, it will only be effective if individuals and businesses take responsibility for their share of usage and if the prices of coverage remain affordable. The Romney-Healey Administration was able to pass this without raising taxes, creating an employer mandate or forcing a government takeover.

    Be it hereby resolved, the Massachusetts Republican Party:

    Advocates applying market-based solutions to achieve greater healthcare access, lower patient costs, and improved quality.

    Supports innovations to increase consumer choice in healthcare such as promoting tax credits for healthcare costs and allowing employers to offer healthcare dollars to employees to spend as they choose, rather than offering health insurance through a single provider.

    Supports efforts to find ways to decrease healthcare costs by reducing administrative burdens as well as malpractice insurance premiums on healthcare professionals.

    Supports federal initiatives to lessen the time and cost of bringing new pharmaceuticals to the marketplace, and thereby lower the cost of drug purchases.

    Education

    There is no more important gift we can give our children than the opportunity to receive a good education. Our commitment to education has been a driving principle of Massachusetts since its very earliest days. And there has been no time in our history when that commitment was more important than it is today.

    Republicans have been the leaders in the effort to make our state’s schools better by implementing education reform, insisting on accountability and higher standards from teachers and administrators and encouraging more parental involvement.

    From the groundbreaking 1993 Education Reform Act, to the expansion of school choice through the formation of charter schools, to the creation of the MCAS system of testing to measure accomplishment, to the establishment of free tuition at state universities and colleges for the top 25% of Massachusetts students, it has been Republicans who have done the most for the students and parents of Massachusetts by standing up to the special interest groups who put their narrow demands ahead of the important commitment of education in Massachusetts.

    These reforms have made our state national leaders in education policy. And in the latest national testing, Massachusetts students are leading the country in most levels of achievement.

    Be it hereby resolved, the Massachusetts Republican Party:

    • Supports a quality public education for every child in the Commonwealth.

    • Honors and respects teachers and remains determined to ensure that they are adequately compensated.

    • Supports financial incentives for teachers who perform exceptionally well.

    • Supports Charter Schools and efforts to expand their number in the Commonwealth.

    • Opposes the practice of “social promotion” which fails to provide students with skills necessary to succeed in life.

    • Supports the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) as a means to improving academic performance among our students. Republican leadership has helped us to require students to pass the 10th grade English Language Arts, Mathematics, and now Science MCAS exams as a requirement to receive a high-school diploma.

    • Supports the continued efforts to teach English to all non-English speaking children as soon as they enroll in school.

    • Believes principals should have the authority to replace teachers who are neglectful in their obligations as educators.

    • Supports the rights of parents to have a meaningful voice in their children’s education and encourages parents to fulfill their responsibilities in that process.

    • Supports the system of quality public higher education that has been one of Massachusetts’ great traditions. Our community colleges, state colleges, and the University of Massachusetts are among the finest in the nation. Republicans are committed to continuing this legacy.

    • Supports the Abigail and John Adams merit-based scholarship, which provides scholarships to Massachusetts state colleges for students who score in the top percentages of their MCAS tests, allowing more Massachusetts students to attend college.

    Anti-Poverty

    While we live in the most prosperous times in the history of our nation, it is undeniable that poverty and despair still exists in all of our communities. The best and most proven method of curtailing poverty is through a good education system, equal opportunity, personal achievement and economic growth. Government must ensure an environment that nurtures the growth of private business and entrepreneurial enterprise. Good jobs are the bedrock of strong families and communities. Our government must promote quality jobs for all citizens. Government must help prepare our workforce for the challenges of our new century with adult education and job training initiatives for displaced workers.

    Republican administrations have demonstrated a strong commitment to breaking the addiction to welfare that gripped our state in earlier decades. The welfare reform initiatives of the 1990s have been successful in lowering the number of our citizens receiving public assistance. This commitment is not over. Republicans are dedicated to seeing that our fellow citizens lift themselves up and out of unfortunate circumstances to lead productive, independent lives.

    Be it hereby resolved, the Massachusetts Republican Party:

    Supports a requirement that persons who can work do so before receiving governmental benefits of subsided.

    Supports a limit in total welfare benefits payable to any one person.

    Supports the changes in welfare policy that have fostered the value of work, self-sufficiency, and two-parent families.

    Opposes any efforts to weaken the welfare reforms of the 1990s and supports welfare reform initiatives proposed by the Romney- Healey Administration, which have yet to be acted upon by the Democratic legislature.

    • Rejects a separate state fund that could be used to shelter welfare recipients who do not comply with the new federal law, which requires a certain percentage of recipients to work.

    • Opposes the dehumanizing aspects of paternalistic government. Massachusetts Republicans affirm their faith in their fellow citizens to overcome obstacles in their path.

    • Supports spending taxpayer dollars to the extent that it helps individuals help themselves.

    • Supports strict enforcement of child support orders to ensure that both parents fulfill their responsibilities to their children.

    • Affirms that cash grants alone will not alleviate poverty in our Commonwealth. We support funding for services such as day care, health care, public transportation, job training, housing and education that reduce or eliminate barriers to self-sufficiency.

    • Supports efforts to empower private organizations to undertake more work assisting our citizens’ efforts to achieve self-sufficiency.

    Social Services

    Massachusetts Republicans believe that society has a responsibility to provide services for those who cannot help themselves. We understand that sometimes, beyond the control of anyone involved, people need help to get back on their feet. Public assistance must be there as a safety net, not as a way of life. This is especially true for the oldest and youngest members of our society. Senior citizens, who have contributed so much to our state and our nation deserve our respect and support, and the children of our state need our special attention and protection.

    Human services need to be carried out with compassion and respect. They also should be done in an efficient manner, ensuring that every dollar spent is used properly. We believe that private and community-based programs are the best way to reach out to people in need. Our government needs to be there to pick up where the charitable contributions fall short. It is in this manner that Republicans feel vulnerable populations will receive quality social, educational, health, vocational, and residential services best suited to their individual needs.

    Be it hereby resolved, the Massachusetts Republican Party:

    Acknowledges that there are members of our population who cannot care for themselves and need assistance.

    Applauds efforts by private individuals and institutions to alleviate human suffering in our communities through the generous commitment of both time and financial resources.

    Affirms a commitment to provide quality human services to vulnerable people.

    Honors the men and women in the human services professions, and further seeks to ensure that these individuals are compensated adequately.

    Supports the charitable giving tax deduction, which was repealed by the Democrat controlled legislature over Republican veto, which would make it easier for individuals to contribute to private charities.

    Asserts that social services should, to the extent possible, be provided and controlled at the most local level possible.

    Advocates the privatization of social services whenever possible in order to maximize the use of community-based and grassroots programs to meet client needs.

    Civil Rights and Individual Liberty

    We, as Republicans, enjoy the liberties guaranteed to us by the State and Federal Constitutions. Individual freedoms are the building blocks of our community. We understand that by promoting individual rights, we create a successful society.

    Be it hereby resolved, the Massachusetts Republican Party:

    Affirms the right of the Commonwealth’s citizens to be secure in their homes and their communities.

    Affirms that each citizen of Massachusetts is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    Opposes all efforts to limit free speech and the orderly gathering of people to voice their concerns.

    Affirms that each of us is equal before the law and supports efforts to move our society towards one that rewards individuals based on the merit of their deeds and abilities.

    Supports the enforcement of existing firearms laws and rejects attempts to weaken the rights of law-abiding individuals as granted in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

    Affirms that Government is the servant of the people and never otherwise.

    Family, Community and the Environment

    There is nothing more important to the fabric of society than family and community. We know we must do everything in our power to protect these institutions.

    Our local communities are where we live and work and so it makes sense that local governments be supported. Local government has the closest ties to the community where the decision makers are a part of everyday life. Locally, citizens are more likely to spot government waste or abuse of power than in the massive bureaucracies on Beacon Hill and in Washington.

    Be it hereby resolved, the Massachusetts Republican Party:

    Supports efforts to strengthen families in Massachusetts.

    Supports efforts to reduce the tax burden on working families.

    Supports efforts of our local governments to retain as much authority as possible over their policies and spending.

    Supports efforts to encourage home-ownership for working families and the expansion of affordable housing stock. Republican leadership has worked hard to make housing more available and affordable in an effort to keep citizens and businesses in Massachusetts.

    Recognizes the value of our environmental heritage and supports regulations that acknowledge this and promote responsible stewardship that is based on sound science. We also support advocacy for and access to reasonable incentives for the active management and development of Massachusetts’ renewable and non-renewable resources.

    Our Federal Union

    Massachusetts Republicans are proud of our Federal Union. The sons and daughters of Massachusetts, with leadership from Republican Governors, made great sacrifices in the Civil War to ensure that our Union would be preserved and to rid the scourge of slavery from our land. Our nation is the most prosperous and advanced civilization in human history. Our success as a nation is a blessing attributable to liberty and the industry of our people.

    We take enormous pride in our sons and daughters who are so bravely fighting for our freedom, both at home and overseas and support all efforts to help veterans as they return home. We are eternally grateful for the sacrifice they and their families are making to keep us safe and to fight terrorism throughout the world.

    The MRP 1998 Platform

       Preamble

           Abraham Lincoln, the founder of the Republican Party, noted that government ought not to do for the people those things which they can do for themselves. While government may promote opportunities for all, the Republican Party believes it is the individual who can best determine his or her own destiny.

           Government does not create wealth: only productive private enterprise can do that. The activity of government must be supported by the wealth created by private enterprise and individuals. When bureaucracy grows, a large government sector has to be funded by the productivity of a small private sector, and less wealth is created for the society as a whole. Thus the competitiveness and prosperity of the entire society suffer.

           It is the Republican view that good jobs are created by private business small and large – while jobs created by government programs only redistribute tax dollars taken from the productivity of private business. It should be the role of government to stimulate job creation by the private sector, through policies conducive to business activity, and to preserve precious taxpayer dollars to do only those things which people cannot do for themselves.

           The Republican Party believes that the way to a prosperous Massachusetts is through limited government, limited taxes, limited government spending and an emphasis on individual freedom and personal responsibility.

           It is this vision which the Republican Party again offers the people of the Commonwealth now, to provide leadership into further prosperity for the next four years.

           ECONOMY – TAXES – STATE BUDGET

           Massachusetts residents are enjoying the best of times. Businesses are growing, more people are working in this state than ever before, and unemployment is now under 4 percent.

           Cutting taxes, balancing budgets, creating business incentives, and slashing red tape, has produced a vibrant economy and helped create 400,000 new jobs since the last recession.

           By reducing the size of state government, eliminating needless regulations, and balancing eight budgets in a row, the state is fiscally fit and in the black. Republican administrations have created a business-friendly environment by reducing the non-tax burden: reforming unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation.

           The Republican Party believes that raising taxes is the wrong way to create jobs. The citizens of Massachusetts are subject to some of the highest tax rates in the nation.

           The Republican Party firmly believes that lower taxes, less spending and a state budget that is balanced should be the core of sound fiscal management.

           BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, the Massachusetts Republican Party insists on the reduction of the state Income Tax to 5%, which is a return to the pre-Dukakis tax rate; and reducing the state’s highest in the nation Savings and Investment Tax by conforming to the income tax rate. We support the pending bill and the tax cut referenda, designed to attain the aforementioned tax reductions.

           BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Massachusetts Republican Party ardently opposes the Finneran Tax increase on long term Capital Gains recently passed by the House of Representatives.

           HEALTH CARE REFORM

           The challenge of beneficial health care reform is to provide the availability of affordable health insurance to all Americans, while maintaining consumer choice and the excellent quality of medical care offered by our current health care system The Massachusetts Republican Party believes that everyone, especially senior citizens, must have access to health coverage, without exclusions for pre- existing conditions and without fear of insurance loss in the event of job change or loss.

           The Republican Party also believes that those goals can only be obtained through market-based incentives, without raising taxes, rather than through the creation of a huge, inefficient government bureaucracy.

           Reforms supported by the Republican Party have reduced the rate of growth in Medicaid expenditures while providing improved care for the Medicaid population through enrolled primary care physicians.

           BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Massachusetts Republican Party advocates achieving health care reform through instituting competitive options including privately-run managed care; encouraging competition among health care providers and among insurers; achieving cost reduction through tort reform, reduction of administrative costs, paperwork reduction, and emphasis on preventative medicine; and providing tax incentives to businesses and individuals to purchase health insurance, as well as financial assistance to the working poor to obtain insurance.

           Massachusetts is an internationally renowned leader in medical care, research, and medical education. The Massachusetts Republican Party opposes any health care initiative that will negatively impact our state’s health care industry and jeopardize the thousands of health-related jobs in the Commonwealth

           WELFARE REFORM

           Proper implementation of welfare reform is critical for the future of our society as we head into the 2lst century. While hard-working parents deserve our support, and our admiration, the single greatest determinant of poverty for children is whether there are two parents in the household. Children born into single-parent families do not have the same opportunities to succeed as those born into two-parent families. Government must not subsidize the single-parent Lifestyle. We must also end generational dependence on welfare. Although legislation cannot solve every problem associated with breakdown of the American family, we must hold current fathers and mothers, as well as potential parents, accountable for their behavior.

           The Republican Party supports the welfare reform law that requires all able-bodied recipients with school-age children to work, imposes a mandatory two-year limit for benefits and a family-cap to discourage out-of-wedlock births. This law has produced dramatic and lasting results.

           Continued welfare reform in Massachusetts will help more parents work their way off the rolls, find hope in their lives and unexpected promise in themselves. The welfare rolls have dropped every single month – by over 35,000- since welfare reform legislation was signed into law over three years ago. The state is spending almost $200 million less on welfare per year than It did a few years ago. Massachusetts has tough and innovative welfare reform policy that has become a model for the nation.

           BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Republican Party continues to support changing the welfare system to encourage the values of work, self-sufficiency, and two~parent families. The Republican Party supports eliminating the traditional cash grants to able-bodied welfare recipients and instead providing work-supporting day care and health care. The Republican Party also supports strict enforcement of child support orders to ensure that both parents fullfill their responsibilities.

           The Republican Party believes that private and community-based organizations are often better suited to help people than government. Government should provide the proper incentives to help these organizations fullfill their missions to help people.

           BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Republican Party supports the continued implementation of welfare reform, and WOULD REJECT ANY LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS TO WEAKEN IT.

           EDUCATION

           The Republican Party affirms its belief that excellence in education and continued education reform are essential to our state’s social, economic and political future. The Republican Party, since its inception, has stood for the worth of every person and we believe that access to quality education is key to unlocking the potential to achieve that exists within individuals. In turn, an educated, informed, and active citizenry is fundamental to any other efforts to improve and revitalize our state.

           The Republican Party reaffirms its beliefs that parents are entrusted with the primary right and responsibility for educating their children; we also recognize that in today’s increasingly complex society, responsibility for developing and delivering quality education has extended far beyond family.

           BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Republican Party supports reforms that will fundamental change the way our schools operate. We support programs and reforms that promote choice, access, opportunity, competition and accountability in education for all citizens, regardless of race, ethnic origin or gender. Our party supports school choice because it empowers every parent and child regardless of income, to choose the best school We also support creating more charter schools, which allow enterprising teachers, organizations and individuals from all walks of life to open a new generation of public schools which will promote innovation and accelerate the drive for improvement in every school As long as there is one child on a waiting list to enter a charter school, then we need to have more charter schools

           For over three centuries our state has served as a leader in both education and educational reform The Republican Party believes that by developing and implementing meaningful and comprehensive educational reforms our state can lead the nation into a new century.

           Today, only four out of every 10 public school employees are teachers. The Republican Party supports initiatives to change this ratio and dedicate more public school resources to teaching students.

           CRIME

           Government has no greater role to play than upholding the public safety. The ability to maintain peace and safety is the primary purpose of government and without it, all the other freedoms we enjoy are meaningless.

           The Massachusetts Republican Party is committed to supporting laws cracking down on criminals including truth-in-sentencing, a tough Juvenile Justice Bill that punishes those who commit adult crimes with adult sentences and bail reform The focus of the state’s efforts to combat crime must be a tougher response to persons who commit crime Tougher sentences and a no-nonsense attitude toward repeat offenders will in the long run save money as well as life and property.

           The Massachusetts Republican Party is committed to combatting domestic violence having become the first state to have a computerized domestic violence registry, passing a stalking law, implementing model guidelines including mandatory arrest for violation of a restraining order, and now, pushing legislation to keep batterers from getting custody of their children.

           The Massachusetts Republican Party believes that there are criminals in Massachusetts for whom punishment and incarceration or the death penalty are the appropriate responses.

           The people of Massachusetts want a death penalty, and the Republican Party speaks for them in supporting it wholeheartedly.

           BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Massachusetts Republican Party supports capital punishment for convicted first-degree murderers, killers of law enforcement personnel, and major drug traffickers.

           BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Republican Party does not support the proposed Sentencing Commission guidelines, such as lifting mandatory, minimum sentences for drug dealers, that would undercut all the progress made in this state to stiffen penalties and reduce crime in our state.

           The Republican Party also believes that we have a moral obligation to all citizens of Massachusetts to respond forcefully and swiftly to all wrongdoing, so that crimes against the public safety are duly punished.

           PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION

           The medical procedure known as “Partial-Birth Abortion” goes beyond the basic debate on abortion. Organizations such as the American Medical Association and the Physicians Ad Hoc Committee for Truth including former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop have stated that the procedure is never medically necessary. Accordingly, the Massachusetts Republican Party strongly supports and urges a ban of “partial-birth abortion” at both the state and federal levels.

           BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Massachusetts Republican Party strongly opposes the procedure known as “Partial-Birth Abortion” at both the State and Federal levels and &rtlier supports tile bill passed by Congress and vetoed by President Clinton which prohibits “Partial-Birth Abortion” except to save the life of the mother.

           GOVERNMENT REFORM: TERM LIMITS

           The Democrats have controlled both houses of the Massachusetts Legislature for nearly forty years – longer than Castro has controlled Cuba. Their entrenched power has produced a Legislature which is arrogant and out of touch, hopelessly entangled with lobbyists wielding undue influence and certain individual legislators enjoying perks and privileges of elected office.

           Too often, public service has become a perpetual run for relection. Incentives for office holders to exercise fiscal restraint are disappearing, while the pressure to erect wasteful pork barrel projects to ensure re-election increases. As a result, a lack of choice in our elections has become too common.

           BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Republican Party reaffirms its support to restore accountability to Massachusetts representative democracy; that among the changes needed are a legal limit on the number of terms served by elected officials. We decry the flawed decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to void the people’s right to vote to reinstate term limits via the 1998 ballot.

           ABORTION

           Because of the non-partisan and highly personal nature of the abortion issue, there is no uniform Republican position, any more than there is a uniform Democrat position.

           BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Republican Party of Massachusetts leaves it to individuals, and individual candidates, to form and clearly articulate their own position on the issue of abortion.

           INCLUSION RESOLUTION

           Whereas, at the last National Republican Party Convention, the Party, in accordance with an earlier resolution of the Massachusetts Republican Party State Convention, eliminated non-voting “auxiliaries” from the Republican National Committee. and

           Whereas, the National Republican Party has filed to eliminate a pattern of “bonus” delegates to the Republican National Convention that skew the apportionment of delegates to less populous states at the expense of the more populous states; and

           Whereas, the new Rule 34(f) of the National Republican Party Rules calls into question the Massachusetts Presidential Primary System, stating, that ‘~o state law… shall be observed… if state law.. provides for the selection of the nominee of the Republican Party in violation of this rule…, unless a state party rule provides specifically to the contrary”.

           BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that in accordance with The Republican National Party’s Rule 34(1), the Massachusetts Republican Party affirms the right of Massachusetts Voters to select their Presidential Nominees though our state Presidential Primary laws. This affirmation shall be considered and have the effect of a “state party rule” under said Rule 34(f).

           BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Massachusetts Republican Party calls for elimination of National Rule 34(1) as inconsistent with Republican desires for respect of the rights of states to determine their own Presidential Primary process.

           BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Massachusetts Republican Party calls for the elimination of the “bonus” delegate selection system that skews the ratio of apportionment of a state’s delegates to the National Convention in favor of less populous states and insists on a return to the apportionment of delegates based solely on the Federal Constitution.

  • Vote3rdpartynow

    We should all have access to affordable, quality medical care, and we should all be able to grow old gracefully and with dignity.

    That assumes something other than a free market system, doesn’t it?  Healthcare is not affordable, and in many cases it is not quality.  If it were affordable and quality we would not have a healtchare problem.  So what the statement says is that we have a right to something that nobody currently has – unless you are wealthy.

    Doesn’t make sense.

  • republicanvoices

    Here’s the link for the 2002 platform – pretty much the same as in 2006: http://web.archive.org/web/200

  • wavemaker

    that NOBODY WOULD WANT TO READ THEM.

    They are inaccessible. Clumsy. Pretentious. Stultifying. Unreadable.

    These ideas have to be bolied down into bullet points with a brief paragraph describing each one. Something bite-sized, consumable.

    And especially the legislative agenda, I don’t even know what they’re saying! It’s almost like they had a contest to see how many words they could use without taking a firm stance.

    “We should all have a comfortable place to call home.” What does that stand for? A government mandate for fireplaces?

    I volunteer for the drafting subcommittee.

  • I think that everyone needs to reacquaint with what the proper function of government is here in the United States. Then lets discuss the party platform. Needless to say the proper function of government has been grossly perverted.  

  • Renee

    Personal tidbit… just an observation

    Where I live in Lowell nothing makes a parent prouder, who doesn’t have a high school degree/no education then hearing there teenager has passed the MCAS. While it maybe a basic expectation in the suburbs, passing the MCAS is a very big deal for these teenagers and a very good thing. It’s objective, meaningful, and a realistic goal for anyone who says they have the credentials of graduating high school.

    My problem lately is seeing these commercials telling children that ‘they can go to college’, and it bothers me. It’s been well over a decade since I was at UMass Dartmouth and UMass Lowell and I remember disadvantaged students taking remedial courses in college in hopes that they would succeed. Sure the state or whoever gave them an opportunity, but how realistic that this student will graduate in five years? Four years is a long time for the average qualified student.

    We always hear about the possibility that one student will graduate, but what about the countless other young adults sacrificed and demoralized in the name of opportunity and a dream. It isn’t a negative thing to say not everyone is meant for college. It’s a real situation, that even a good student in high school coming from educated upper middle class homes might even experience.

    For many with unstable family backgrounds here in Lowell and the like, they need to see obtainable secure job opportunities sooner then the average young adult that can live on their parent’s dime for four years even with student loans. What I would like to see is more transitional/vocational/apprenticeship programs partnered with private businesses. When you see such high levels of unemployment in specific neighborhoods, to build a strong work ethic in a 16/17 year old teenager and something tangible on their resume, like work experience in the real world would means a lot more then offering the hope to get a four year degree immediately after high school.

    Standards and expectations matter. Hopes, wishful thinking, and dreams don’t.

    I realize that the urban poor are the least likely of voters, and many selling points of the GOP past were ‘getting people off welfare’ to voters who aren’t on welfare. The GOP needs a realistic plan to transition individuals to having truly achievable goals that are most at risk of living in poverty.

    The democrats are offering me the world on a platter, it seems with the guarantee of housing, health care, education… and somewhere down the line a job. I want the Massachusetts GOP platform to offer a route to personal independence to those that are offered that dependency is a better option, not simply saying ‘nay’ to whatever the dems are doing

     

  • Knightbrigade

    The current website has nice warm fuzzy things, it’s just FLUFF….spun to wrap things in a nice bow.

    No big deal jeeez 13% of the legislature, give em a break.

    The 98 and 06 platforms are good, but mechanical and a little scattered.

    The first thing would probably be to simplify the breakdown of categories. What and how many, and maybe combine some categories using the 06 version as a template.

    That’s the easy part—The hard part will be defining/debating WHAT the POSITION OF THE PARTY IS GOING TO BE ON EACH ISSUE..