QUESTION OF THE WEEK: State Representative Candidates Weigh In on Ballot Question #2

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In an effort to help voters decide which candidate to select in the Nov. 6 election, WestfordCAT News is asking a question each week of those candidates who will represent Westford. The responses below come from state Rep. James Arciero, a Westford Democrat and the incumbent, and Republican candidate  Kathy Lynch. The two are vying for the Second Middlesex District seat, consisting of 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Ballot question #2 seeks to create a citizens commission that would advance an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to limit the influence of money in elections. It would also establish that corporations do not have the same rights as human beings.
Are you in favor or against ballot question #2? A Yes vote would create a citizens commission. A No vote would not.
Here is the complete text of the question:

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: 

James Arciero. COURTESY PHOTO

James Arciero. COURTESY PHOTO

 

STATE REP. JAMES ARCIERO — Westford Democrat

I will be voting yes on Question #2.  I voted twice for resolutions to Congress and for legislation to enact reforms to address the Supreme Court’s unfortunate 2012 Citizens United v. FEC ruling.  This decision determined that corporations and other artificial entities are “people” with the same political free speech rights as citizens, with the ability to spend money directly on political elections. I do not believe that corporations should have the same political rights as individual American citizens.

This ruling has opened the floodgate to unlimited amounts of “dark money” in our elections from undisclosed sources which will have a negative effect on the election process. In my own campaigns, I have always been transparent and all of my contributions and expenditures have been publicly available. I believe passage of Question 2 will be a step forward in eliminating unaccountable dark money from political campaigns and make the democratic process more transparent and accountable to all participants.

Kathy Lynch. COURTESY PHOTO

Kathy Lynch. COURTESY PHOTO

 

KATHY LYNCH – Westford Republican

While limiting corporate money may seem good on the surface, doing so does not address the over-influence of unions. Many voters are unaware that, currently, there is an unfair advantage to unions over businesses. The current Massachusetts union loophole bans political contributions from corporations while allowing unions, including out-of-state unions, to contribute up to $15,000 to a single candidate.

Individuals can only donate up to $1,000 per calendar year. Allowing that much power in the hands of unions puts unfair influence on elections. Under current law, unions may also contribute via political action committees (PACs), while PACs supported by corporations are prohibited. There is no indication that any effort would be made to close this loophole. Furthermore, attempting to rewrite the Constitution sets a dangerous precedent of eroding it. For these reasons, I will vote No on ballot question 2.