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In 2006, the Democrats swept to total control of the commonwealth behind Deval Patrick. This ended 16 years of Republican control of the governor’s office, and the resulting checks and balances in state government. Part of Gov. Patrick’s appeal was that he promised local property tax relief and money for the basic government services of schools, police and fire by increasing local aid and revisiting unfunded state mandates.

Gov. Patrick and the Democrats did not keep their promises. Unrestricted local aid, including support for our schools, is actually down despite the fact that state revenues are at record levels. Unfunded mandates are more difficult to quantify, but they are certainly not down, and there is zero effort on the part of the governor and his party to control these mandates.

Where does all the money go? A look at the recent scandal in the Department of Probation gives us a really good clue. Democrats used the Probation Department as their employer of last resort — a place available to provide state jobs to their supporters.

Massachusetts Democrats are also not shy about helping their friends in the private sector. The Boston Globe recently discovered that Attorney General Martha Coakley filed suit against Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for refusing to sell properties in foreclosure to nonprofit groups that want to resell them to the original owners. Sounds like a good idea, but it turns out the only nonprofit that qualifies is run by Elyse Cherry, Coakley’s campaign finance chair and long-time contributor. By the way, Cherry pulled nearly $600,000 from this “nonprofit” just last year.

How do they get away with this? Massachusetts Democrats rely on obfuscation. Do you want to watch the Groton-Dunstable School Committee? No problem, they are on TV and you can watch their old meetings online. How about a committee at the state level? No way, you can’t even go to a meeting and record them on your cellphone. Did you know that the Democrats voted not to consider any Republican measure to increase local aid (Massachusetts Republicans always support increasing local aid)? Did you know that our State Auditor Suzanne Bump, elected with Gov. Patrick, has never met the minimum requirements for the number of audits required by state law? Did you know that Open Meeting Laws that we are required to follow as a town don’t apply to the governor or Legislature?

If you want more chronic underfunding of our schools, police and fire, by all means vote for the usual suspects with a “D” after their names. If you want a more balanced approach, join me and other Republicans. Take a look at our candidates for statewide office and for your local state Senate and state Representative races. Restore transparency and balance on Beacon Hill — and basic fairness to our local cities and towns.

Jeffrey Wallens

Vice-chair, Groton Republican Town Committee

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