and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Barbara's Column
October #5

Few things scarier than
Democrats dominating Beacon Hill
by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Wednesday, October 24, 2006

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love my flickering pumpkin, caramel apples, spooky music, and rereading Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes," while waiting for trick-or-treaters at the door.

But this year I'm scared. I'm afraid that after the children are gone, when the porch light is out and only the jack o'lantern is lighting the porch, the other, bigger creatures will come. Knock knock.

Horrors! The front yard is full of moonbats, wearing "Vote for Deval" buttons. Do zey vant to suck my taxpayer blood?

Is that the Vampire Letstax there, under the pine tree?

Hi guys, would you settle for some caramels?

In their midst, a wombat named Christy. More comical than scary, if it were alone. Go awaaaaayyyy!! And leave my Healey-Hillman sign on the lawn.

A caller to a talk show expressed confidence in "Muffy, the moonbat slayer". This would be very funny if some people hadn't created an unfair "preppy" image of Kerry Healey, whose background is hard-working middle-class like mine.

Some voters, most of them women, think they don't like her because they've read somewhere that they shouldn't - even though they've never met her. Then, incredibly, they decide that even though they agree with her on the issues, they are going to vote for the candidate with whom they don't agree because he's "nicer." Did the October zombies steal their brains?

I think men are smarter than women about politics. I refer not to activist women, on either side of the issues, or to older women who have been around long enough to know someone is trying to manipulate them. I'm talking about those younger, independent women who don't follow politics closely and think it's all for real. Men in general are more likely to know that politics is a game, and has to be played with the brain, not the heart, or they lose.

I won't vote for someone I agree with if I really dislike them, either. But the candidate has to earn my dislike - I won't let pollsters, pundits, and political TV ads feed it to me.

For instance, I dislike and would never vote for Scott Harshbarger, Tom Reilly, Martha Coakley or Jane Swift, because they persecuted the Amirault family, the innocent victims of the Fells Acre Day Care "witch trial." That's a reason, not a response to political propaganda and mischief.

I've known Kerry Healey since she ran for state representative in Beverly on a platform that included support of the income tax rollback. And I like her.

But what is strange for me, who has become cynical about most politicians, is that I admire her. When she started out as a candidate, she seemed a shy public speaker; now she is one of the best I've heard. As lieutenant governor, she has grown into the job of governor.

It's not a Republican thing. One of the scarier politicians I've known was Republican state senator Bill Saltonstall of Manchester-by-the-Sea, who is supporting Deval Patrick this year. I remember asking him to sign my Proposition 2 petition in 1979 and him telling me "I do not approve of Proposition 2."

The other North Shore "Republican for Deval," Frank Hatch, supported a graduated income tax.

Hope these guys aren't on my porch come Halloween!

I know the Healey campaign is being criticized for its scary "rapist in the parking garage" ad. I would agree that it's over the top, if I didn't remember the Dukakis years with the weekend furloughs for vicious criminals and one prisoner's taxpayer-funded sex-change operation.

People complain about Mitt Romney being out of state while testing the presidential campaign waters; well, Dukakis was actually swimming in them! He ran for president - a full-time national campaign - in 1988 on "the Massachusetts miracle," which he created with fake revenues and unpaid bills.

When he returned to the fiscal crisis he created, he demanded a tax increase. When the Legislature refused to give it to him, he threatened to let the prisoners out of the county jails! I remember this because it scared me too.

All of us - legislative Republicans and angry Democrats, Citizens for Limited Taxation, business leaders - agreed to a doubling of the deeds excise, with part of the new revenue dedicated to the jails. No one wanted to be responsible for innocent citizens being robbed or raped by early-released felons.

This is why it is important, though the questions seem unfair, to determine exactly how Deval Patrick feels about criminals before we elect another liberal Democrat.

There are scarier things than a Democratic Legislature with no Republican governor's veto. I'm reading Steven Pinker's anthology of "The Best American Science and Nature Writing," and there's an article by Gregg Easterbrook called "We're all gonna die!" Along with killer asteroids, germ warfare, shifting magnetic poles and super-volcanoes, he writes about atom smashers capable of creating a black hole that would scarf up the globe in moments. But we can't do anything about that right now.

All we can do is watch the debates, read newspaper articles about the issues, and use our brains to make an intelligent gubernatorial choice - if the zombies don't get them first, on Halloween!

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her syndicated columns appear weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle Tribune newspapers; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette; and occasionally in the Lowell Sun, Providence [RI] Journal and other newspapers.