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Cahill calls the two-party system ‘broken’

Candidate defends rally attendance

By Stephanie Ebbert
Globe Staff / April 16, 2010

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Timothy P. Cahill, the state treasurer who won office as a Democrat and is running for governor as an independent, reached out to voters of all stripes yesterday in a live chat on Boston.com, defending his decision to run as a fiscally conservative independent instead of a libertarian or Republican.

“I am running as an Independent because I believe that the two-party system is broken. I don’t think either party has a monopoly on good ideas,’’ he wrote. “I am looking to do what’s best for the people of this state, not advance the tired agenda of a political party.’’

One reader expressed disappointment that Cahill attended Wednesday’s Tea Party Express rally on Boston Common and asked why, as a former Democrat, he didn’t take offense at participants’ signs and accusations about President Obama. Cahill said he finds “extreme elements’’ in any political movement.

“That said, I am pleased to report that the overwhelming majority of the people I saw were moms and dads with their kids, students who are concerned about their future, veterans who had worn the uniform, etc.,’’ he wrote. “I think anytime that people come together to have a frank discussion of the direction of their government, that’s a good thing. I went because I think we need to stop being afraid of talking to people we may not agree with on everything and start talking about how to fix the problems that we face.’’

If elected governor, Cahill said, he would embrace tea party movement principles of “fiscal restraint, smaller government, lower taxes, private enterprise, and greater individual freedom.’’

Asked what specific services he would cut from the budget, Cahill said he would bring “sweeping reform to the way government works,’’ touting his leadership of the state School Building Authority. He also suggested “fundamentally changing the way that health care services are delivered’’ through the state agency that helps residents find health care coverage.

He noted that he has called for medical malpractice reform; letting health insurers compete across state lines; alternatives to fee-for-service payment for treatment; and more focus on prevention and encouraging people with taxpayer-subsidized health care to use limited networks of hospitals in their communities.

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