Monday, October 25, 2010

A Question for the Candidate - Michael Rodrigues

It's a little tough not to think of Mike as an incumbent simply because he has been a State Representative for over a decade. However instead of running for re-election for his Representative seat, he's running for the Senate position that Joan Menard is vacating. We heard from his opponent in the first installment of this series. Of course, we're asking the same question. What is it about his platform, leadership style, and goals that best represent the needs and interests of the people of Fall River? Below are excerpts from his response, with my commentary. The entire unedited response can be read here.

As a State Representative in the city, I’ve had the privilege and honor of representing a third
of Fall River for fourteen years. During this time I have worked with many constituents on a variety of issues and we shared in many successes. I have done my best to make Fall River a better place to live, work and raise a family, and I believe my successes speak for themselves.

Experience is the big theme of Mike's campaign, and the big thing that sets him apart from Derek Maksy. Voters have to decide if they want someone new (something we voters are always crying for...) or if we want someone who is experienced with the issues of the region and with the workings of Beacon Hill.

Over the years I’ve led the transformation of the Kerr Mills Site from a pile of rubble to a twenty first century economic engine which now employs over four hundred people in the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center and at Meditech. I was also able to help transform Dave’s Beach boat ramp from a haven of illegal drug and sexual activity to a clean and safe public access to South Watuppa Pond. With the formation of the Bioreserve, I’ve led the effort to protect Fall River’s most precious natural resource; our drinking water supply. With the help of Senator Joan Menard and Representative David Sullivan we have halted construction of an ill conceived plan to bring an LNG terminal to Weavers Cove. Finally, we built eight new technologically modern schools in Fall River. It was with the help of the people of Fall River that I was successful in accomplishing these victories and many more.

It's tough to figure out where to edit his comments and where to add my own. Again Mike is hitting hard on the theme of experience and here he's reminding us on some of things he has helped achieve. As much as I wanted to excerpt the above it was tough to figure what not to leave in. It's great to see a list of things he's done it begs the question 'what have you failed to achieve?' and it really doesn't speak to what you want to accomplish in the senate. However it's tough not to acknowledge the importance of protecting the water supply, or the role the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center seems poised to play in Fall River's future.

A few weeks ago I drafted the South Coast Jobs Creation plan to help create a positive climate for businesses to grow, expand and provide these jobs. With Representative Patricia Haddad’s help and co-sponsorship, I plan to introduce this piece of legislation immediately upon being elected.

Elect me and look what I'll do! I've heard people comment if he has this great plan why not put it out there now. Well honestly if the legislature were still in session he probably would! I mean why not? It would probably be an even MORE effective campaign bit. Again Mike is sticking with a common theme, experience.

This is why I believe I am the only candidate with the legislative experience, proven track record and dedication to hit the ground running in January and make a positive impact not only in Fall River, but in the entire South Coast.

Um...still hitting home on that same theme. Representative Rodrigues entire response can be read here. When I've reached out to candidates in the past it is usually the underdog who takes the time to respond and the more established candidates tend to ignore my requests, so I greatly appreciate Mike Rodrigues' willingness to respond. That said, I'm a little disappointed in his response. I was really hoping that THIS candidate would tell me more about what he wanted to achieve, especially versus what he has already done. I think part of the disappointment stems from the primary campaign. I was caught up in the appeal of getting new people into office and not someone who has been up in Boston for over a decade, BUT I found it tough to take Mike's primary opponents seriously, mostly because Mike consistently spoke more knowledgeably and had by far the best platform on his website. I guess I was hoping to see just a little bit more of that here.

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