Divestiture

Do you support divesting state pension money from various countries as a pressure tool?

Democrat

The Commonwealth's pension fund investments should reflect the values of its citizens.

As a private citizen, I took a leadership role in the recently enacted legislation divesting Massachusetts pension funds from energy companies that do business with Iran. As treasurer, however, I would have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the funds' value and would be legally obligated to obtain the highest possible returns. I do not believe that these objectives conflict.

In fact, in researching the Iran issue we found that investing in a portfolio of energy companies that are not subsidizing Iran's nuclear weapons program would result in investment returns that are equal to or greater than those for the companies from which we are divesting.

These principles should not be limited to divestment efforts. We can invest our pension funds appropriately in companies that are environmentally responsible and in companies and funds that will create jobs in Massachusetts.

Republican

As a state legislator, I have supported divesting pension funds from companies that do business with terrorist states like Iran. We can't allow public funds to be used to support terrorist activity.

But I also think the issue of divestment is a slippery slope. The treasurer should not use the state pension fund as a way to achieve social justice. Instead, the treasurer's job is to achieve the highest rate of return on our investments in the best interest of taxpayers.

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Impact

How would you give the office a higher profile and have more impact?

Democrat

At a time when people are losing faith in government, I will help restore public confidence as state treasurer by being a champion for transparency, disclosure, openness, and inclusion.

I will put the state's checkbook online so all citizens will know how their money is being spent. I will use the Internet to maximize disclosure of who the Treasury is doing business with, and will insist on fair, open, and regular bidding on Treasury business. There will be no inside deals with Steve Grossman as your treasurer. Moreover, I will actively recruit new qualified firms and people to compete for Treasury business, including those owned by women and minorities.

I have grown a 100-year-old, fourth-generation family business in a rapidly changing competitive environment - and ensuring that my colleagues share in our success. I will bring those same values and high standards to the treasurer's office, standing up for small businesses and helping them create jobs.

Republican

Part of the reason I'm running to be our next treasurer is because I'm worried about the direction our state is heading in.

Now, more than ever, we need a state treasurer who is not beholden to party politics or special interests. That will naturally bring a higher profile to the treasurer's office.

I will be a fiscal watchdog who will be an independent voice of reason and fiscal conservatism - someone who will be willing to stand up and say 'no' to others on Beacon Hill and to be an effective check and balance when necessary.

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Responses gathered through e.thePeople