Gubernatorial candidate makes case in Marblehead against incumbent
Democrat gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez made a case against the lack of leadership by incumbent Gov. Charlie Baker while speaking to members of the Marblehead Democratic Town Committee at the town Community Center Monday, Jan. 22.
“He’s satisfied with the status quo,” Gonzalez said of Baker. “There’s a difference between popularity and leadership. We need leadership under a president who’s taking us backward. Even before Trump, he defended states flying a Confederate flag and stayed silent on transgender rights. He had to be dragged into signing legislation. He was silent on it until it was on his desk and was against it before, when he ran against Deval Patrick for governor.”
Gonzalez worked for Patrick as secretary of administration and finance, a position Baker held in the Weld administration. He also lives in Needham, where Baker once lived.
“I had the same job and we’re also both tall,” he joked before saying Baker’s argument for being governor was “not leadership but his being a good manager, but he’s failed on that as well. He’s cut funds for programs that need them. Government is our instrument, not our enemy. It is not good enough to accept the world the way it is and try to manage it. We should be working constantly to improve management but he acts like that’s all we need to do. I know state government; I know how it works. It takes listening and understanding people’s positions.”
Among other things, Gonzalez criticized Baker for his positions on health care.
“Access to health care is a human right but we’re not close to accomplishing that,” he said. “It’s too expensive and not what it should be.”
Despite having been a health care executive in New Hampshire, Gonzalez is in favor of a public single payer system. He said the current system “has none of the attributes of a functioning market; it not financially sustainable” in part because numerous agreements with numerous providers at different levels are inefficient and wasteful.
“Costs are crushing everything the state does,” he said.
He also feels problems with the transportation system need to be treated as an emergency not through a 15-year improvement plan proposed by Baker, which he called unacceptable.