I am a fervent believer in government accountability. It is the overarching theme of my vision for the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and it will drive my agenda once in office.
Government accountability begins with the people’s right to access documents that permit scrutiny of public officials. I consider this a fundamental aspect of functioning democracy. Unfortunately, the Center for Public Integrity gives the Commonwealth an F for Access to Public Information. Among other failures, the CPI reports that the Secretary of State does not initiate investigations into government non-compliance with the law.
In 2015, the Globe, Herald, and Patriot Ledger each published editorials in “an unprecedented, coordinated condemnation of Secretary of State Galvin’s rulings on the state’s public records law.” Secretary of State Galvin, the editorials noted, had “made a bad situation considerably worse.”
As the state’s Chief Information Officer, I will ensure compliance with public records law, bringing modernization and transparency to the process.
As Secretary of State, I will ensure that elections are accessible and secure. I will work tirelessly to safeguard the integrity of our most precious right as a citizen: the vote. To that end, I will ensure that our systems are protected against emerging cyber threats and voter fraud. I will oppose extending voting rights to non-citizens, even at the municipal level. At the same time, I am committed to delivering outstanding service to new Americans, ensuring that their transition to full citizenship is smooth so that they enjoy all the benefits of naturalization.
As Secretary of State, I will provide resources to the business community to help it protect itself from the growing problem of business identity theft. I’ll ensure that our state’s businesses--big and small--are free from onerous bureaucracy and armed with the resources they need to establish themselves, grow, and prosper.
I’ll also establish a program by which law enforcement officers may use alias addresses when establishing businesses so that they are able to file public records without fear for the safety of their families.
Historic Tax Credits
The Secretary of State has control over tens of millions of dollars in historical rehabilitation tax credits. The current secretary of state has a history of sitting on millions in these credits while using a secretive selection process to distribute them.
As Secretary of State, secretive selection processes will be a thing of the past, and tax credits will be used to spur economic development via an open process with the public interest--not political advantage--always at the forefront.
Oversight of Lobbyists
The Secretary of State’s office has failed the people of the Commonwealth in its role as the watchdog. The Center for Public Integrity gave Secretary Galvin’s performance another F in this critical role, this time for failing to publicly sanction clients or lobbyists for violating state law, even when other agencies have gone so far as to indict them. As Thomas Paine wrote in The Rights of Man, “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.”
I have a demonstrated track record as a tireless investigator and regulator. I will bring those skills to the office on behalf of the people of Massachusetts to ensure that their interests--not special interests--come first.