LEICESTER, Mass. — On Nov. 6, Leicester residents will decide whether to re-elect John J. Binienda (D-Worcester) for state representative, or support Republican challenger William LeBeau, who hopes to bring a necessary change to the 17th Worcester district.
Who do you support for state representative, John Binienda or William LeBeau?
The Daily Voice spoke to LeBeau about his candidacy.
What would you do to support local business?
I think there are ways to help the business community by working on a real jobs bill, which hasn't been done for several years at the State House. We just spent $8.4 Million at the top of Mount Wachusett while we have businesses that are hurting and public safety that needs to be improved, and I think we need to work on jobs first, then lowering taxes and lessening regulations on businesses.
What would you do to help veterans in this district?
The stuff they're doing at the state house is handouts, not hand-ups. When we have veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, we don't have enough jobs for them. We need to do more to get them to work, and the Valor Act was a lot of hype, but when you look at the finer details, we have an extra $25,000 to a non-profit group that is going to hand out the money unregulated and with no oversight, but we don't know where it's going. Most of the veterans in Massachusetts are not eligible for these benefits because the rules are so restrictive.
What can you do as a legislator to create more jobs?
We need to get common sense into the State House and have reasonable-minded people, no matter what party is next their name, come together.
I think we can look at ways to make the environment in Massachusetts better for business, and that means you don't threaten businesses with higher taxes, you don't come in with heavier regulations in a down economy, and you don't make it so difficult for the workers to live here that they feel they have to move to Arizona or Texas.
How do you hope to address unfunded mandates?
The state should not be sitting there mandating the towns and cities that we have to do this and that, and not funding it, especially when they're spending a lot of extra money in Boston. We have that money, and we need to start going after it and prioritizing how it's spent. Unfunded mandates should be abolished and fought hard against, and we need a representative that's going to do that.
What do you bring to the race that your opponent doesn't?
It's not just my opponent. Collectively, Boston has been slowly and surely over the last 20 years getting more and more out of touch with the voters, because we have such a super-majority and legislators stay there for term after term. It gets stagnant.
There's people at the State House that I know personally, on both sides of the aisle, that I know I can work with. We can form coalitions outside the main leadership and have some common sense approaches.