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Meet the Candidates: Dan Murphy and Claire Cronin

The candidates are running for the 11th Plymouth District State Rep seat, which represents Precincts 1-5 in Easton.

Easton Patch recently sent candidates for the 11th Plymouth District a list of questions regarding their background and certain issues affecting the district.

The district represents precincts 1-5 in Easton and parts of Brockton.

Republican Dan Murphy, an Easton Selectman, is challenging Democrat Claire Cronin, an Easton resident and mediator.

Here is a look at the answers they sent back:

Why are you running for State Representative?

 Murphy:

I think that a business perspective is sorely lacking at the statehouse. Jobs and the economy are the number one issue facing us and I believe my experience as a small business owner, and one who deals daily with other business owners, is a needed voice. Also, I am concerned about the impact of unfunded liabilities on our cities and towns and want to begin fixing these problems.

Cronin:

I have always been an active participant in both Easton and Brockton, the communities that make up the Eleventh Plymouth District.  Like many people in the district, I believe that our government can work more effectively.   I believe my understanding of the issues facing our district, together with the skills I have acquired as a successful mediator will allow me to work with other legislators in building consensus to achieve solutions to the issues we all face.  I am hardworking and passionate about  serving our community . 

Why do you feel you are qualified to represent the people of Easton and the rest of the district?

Murphy:

I am in my second term as a selectman and served for one year on the Finance Committee. These positions have provided invaluable experience and insight.

Cronin:

I grew up in Brockton and I work in Brockton.  I live in Easton and we have raised our children in Easton.  As an engaged member of the community, I am acutely aware of the needs of each community.  I understand the issues facing working families, small business owners, veterans, the disabled and our elderly.  I understand the challenges we face in educating our children and the struggles families face in trying to pay for the high cost of a college education.  My life experiences, together with my professional experience as a legislative aide to Governor Ed King, as a mediator and as a small business owner, make me uniquely qualified for the position. I believe that my commitment to devote myself to serving as a full time representative will correlate to achieving results.

What are the biggest issues representing the district right now?

Murphy:

The economy and looming fiscal issues. I have proposed specific strategies to spur job creation, most notably, a credit against unemployment tax for businesses that add jobs.  This will lessen the burden on the strained unemployment system and get people back to work.

Brockton and Easton have a combined $800M, and growing, unfunded liability for future health insurance costs. Without a plan to address this, the taxpayer is going to take the hit.

Cronin:

The number one issue facing us is the need to strengthen our economy and to create and retain jobs in the district.  As a small business owner, I am committed to reducing the barriers faced by small businesses.  We must strive to reduce excessive regulations and work to create a more favorable tax structure to attract businesses to the area.

What is your stance on the South Coast Rail?

Murphy:

I do not want the train to come through Easton, but agree with the decision to not spend money fighting in court. We have more pressing financial issues. Currently, Easton is fighting for mitigation for its residents and I think this is where our resources are best spent.

Cronin:

I opposed the South Coast Rail based on fiscal, environmental, safety and traffic concerns.  The benefits of extending the rail do not outweigh the detriments to the community, particularly in light of existing rail options in Brockton, Stoughton, Mansfield and Sharon. Since Easton has chosen not continue the fight against the rail, we must work hard to mitigate the impact, focusing on traffic, noise, safety and water quality concerns.

What is your stance on a possible casino in the area?

Murphy:

I support a slots parlor in Raynham. The development around that project will create construction jobs and long term jobs for Brockton and Easton residents.

Cronin:

I support casino gambling in Massachusetts. I believe that we can benefit from both the jobs created and the construction of casinos, as well as the jobs created in the operation of casinos. We are losing revenue to our surrounding states. As with any major project, it is always prudent to look at the impact on surrounding communities and mitigate the impact where necessary.

What would you do to improve education in the district?

Murphy:

Advocate for more local control and local aid As a selectman, I’ve seen the impact, to the schools, of reduced local aid. By eliminating waste elsewhere, we will be able to provide the necessary resources for our schools. My experience with the school system has been outstanding. As my children continue through the system, it is imperative that they are on equal footing with those in other communities.

Cronin:

I serve on the board of FEEE (Foundation for Educational Excellence in Easton),which raises money for technology and innovative grants in our schools.  In addition, as a member of the Old Colony YMCA board, we are working on developing initiatives to lessen the achievement gap that occurs over the summer months.  I am committed to working to keep our schools globally competitive.  I will work hard to increase local aid to support our schools.  The Massachusetts Teachers Association has endorsed my candidacy.

I will file legislation to enhance the existing state tax deduction for parents that contribute to their child’s college education so that middle class families will benefit as well.

Do you have a plan to expedite job growth and/or boost the economy?

Murphy:

Yes. I will propose the previously mentioned tax credit for employers that hire. I propose loosening the independent contractor rules in order to give more people opportunities. I am actively working for a sewer solution at the Easton Industrial Park that will allow more business development for both communities.

Cronin:

My husband and I both own small businesses, so I understand firsthand the difficulties that businesses face and the need for a business- friendly environment.  Since job growth emanates from small businesses, Massachusetts must work to make it easier to form and operate a business.  As a state representative, I will work to increase the state investment tax credit.  This will assist in creating and retaining manufacturing jobs in the area. I will work to reduce the cost of health insurance and to increase workforce development programs.  I will advocate for tax credits for businesses that hire veterans

You would be representing a diverse district with different communities and different needs. How do you plan on meeting the needs of the entire district?

Murphy:

I’m running to solve big problems and address big issues. An improved economy and sound fiscal policies will benefit both communities. I’ve proven to be responsive in my current position and will be as your state representative.

Cronin:

I do not see the needs of Easton and Brockton competing with each other.  I believe my two top priorities, economic growth and education, are concerns in both communities.  I believe that there is a correlation between time and effort invested and results delivered.  I have committed to putting my legal and mediation career on hold in order to fully devote all my effort toward representing the constituents of this district.  I believe I owe that to the taxpayer.

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