OP-ED: With Colleen Garry, The Joke’s On Taxpayers
Feb 23, 2018 01:38PM ● Published by Brian Genest
Have you heard the one about State Rep. Colleen Garry? It’s a real gut-buster: She’s a “conservative” Democrat.
There’s no bigger joke or phonier political folklore in Dracut and Tyngsborough!
Let’s set the record straight about some of the fairytales, fiction and fake news about Colleen Garry.
Colleen Garry isn’t conservative when it comes to taxes. She has voted to raise taxes by billions of dollars.
Colleen Garry claims she voted against the automatic gas tax, but that’s an absolute lie. She flip-flopped: Colleen Garry was against it, before she was for it. In the end, she voted to override Gov. Deval Patrick’s veto of a transportation package that contained $500 million in new taxes and automatic gas tax hikes linked to inflation. It’s right there in black and white, from three separate sources, yet Colleen Garry denies it to this day.
Remember when Colleen Garry voted to block the income tax cut to 5%? She’d probably like you to forget.
Colleen Garry isn’t conservative when it comes to state spending. The state budget for fiscal year 2018 is a record $39.4 billion. There’s only one small problem: the state doesn’t have the money.
Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed $320 million in spending, but Colleen Garry and her Democrat colleagues in the House voted to override the vetoes.
Colleen Garry couldn’t cut less than 1% of the budget! As a result, the state will be deficit spending hundreds of millions of dollars for the third year in a row.
Colleen Garry isn’t conservative when it comes to her voting record. In 2017, Colleen Garry voted 89% of the time with House Speaker Robert DeLeo. Think he’ll be featured in The Great Book of Great Massachusetts Conservatives? (P.S. Have you seen Colleen Garry’s score from the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance?)
Speaking of which, Colleen Garry isn’t conservative when it comes to supporting House leaders. Charlie Flaherty, Tom Finneran and Sal DiMasi make it three disgraced Democrat speakers in a row. So far, DeLeo is a survivor, even despite being named an unindicted co-conspirator in the state’s Probation Department scandal.
In related news, Colleen Garry isn’t conservative when it comes to term limits. She voted to eliminate term limits for the House speaker and make DeLeo speaker for life.
Colleen Garry isn’t conservative when it comes to accepting political donations from the special interests. She took a $500 campaign donation from DeLeo’s PAC, “bankrolled by scores of unions, lobbyists and current and former lawmakers.”
About 25% of the total donations on Colleen Garry’s year-end campaign finance report for 2017 came from unions and PACS. Colleen Garry’s campaign finance report for the first-half of 2017 includes just 38 donations from the usual characters: her own little special interest group of townies, millionaire business owners and current and former elected and appointed town officials.
[Related: Who’s your state legislator taking money from?]
BTW, Colleen Garry isn’t conservative when it comes to following the rules. She’s had some “bookkeeping” and other issues. Colleen Garry was fined $5,000 by the Office of Campaign and Political Finance for violating the campaign finance law. According to the state: “The Committee has acknowledged that it did not maintain adequate records and did not accurately disclose receipts and expenditures for an extended period of time. The Committee’s pattern of not accurately disclosing its activity, particularly its expenditures, grew more problematic and compounded each year.”
Colleen Garry isn’t conservative when it comes to paying her taxes. She failed to file state income taxes two years in a row. Based on her comments and actions, the Boston Herald asked “Glibness, arrogance and hypocrisy are quite the combination, eh?”
Colleen Garry isn’t conservative when it comes to her taxpayer-funded salary. She recently got an 11% pay raise. The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance has the details about the pay hikes on their website, along with documents showing the House raises and Senate raises for each legislator. (State Sen. Barbara L’Italien, who represents Andover, Dracut, Tewksbury and Lawrence, got a 62% raise!)
Here’s an idea: Make legislative raises proportional to local aid increases. Colleen Garry would be able to collect her 11% raise – as soon as she delivers an 11% increase in local aid to Dracut and Tyngsborough.
(Ditto for Barbara L’Italien and her huge payday, considering she’s currently busy raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations while running for Congress in a district she doesn’t live in. Can you say carpetbagger in bought-and-paid-for high heels?)
[Related Video: Follow the money in Dracut]
Colleen Garry isn’t conservative when it comes to public safety and law enforcement. She has consistently voted against the death penalty, including for terrorism and killing police officers.
Coleen Garry isn’t conservative when it comes to fining the people of Massachusetts. With all the problems facing our state, Colleen Garry is focused on higher penalties for jaywalking.
Last, but certainly not least, Colleen Garry isn’t conservative when it comes to freedom of speech. She filed a bill to shred the First Amendment, silence her political opponents and make sure no one hurts her feelings. But it backfired.
Colleen Garry caused an outcry of opposition, with the Lowell Sun, Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, Boston Herald and Boston Globe all coming out against her unconstitutional, anti-American and completely silly proposal.
Remind me, again, how is Colleen Garry conservative? LOL!
(Brian Genest is a member of the Dracut Republican Town Committee)