The first thing Alan Khazei would like to do as US Senator is to file a new stimulus bill focusing on job creation. Michael Capuano would focus more narrowly on "green jobs," while Scott Brown would take the opposite approach and work for a cap on government spending. And if Steve Pagliuca has his way, the first bill he will file as a US Senator will be to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, which bans same-sex marriage at the federal level.
These candidates have responded to a CW Unbound questionnaire on issues relevant to the special election to succeed Ted Kennedy in the Senate. (Primaries are on December 8, and the general election is on January 19.) We posed 15 questions to all six major candidates for the special US Senate election and will begin posting their complete responses today, starting with the first query.
The campaign of Martha Coakley, a Democrat, acknowledged receipt of the questionnaire 10 days ago. Despite our repeated calls to the campaign, however, it did not respond. Jack E. Robinson, a Republican, was contacted on Tuesday (his campaign did not have a website when the questions were sent to other candidates). Their answers will be added as we receive them.
UPDATE: The Robinson campaign provided its responses on Thursday afternoon, indicating that Robinson's first priority would be a temporary suspension of the capital gains tax.
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Question: What would be the first bill you’d like to file as a US Senator?
Scott Brown (R):
The first bill I'd file or co-sponsor is one committing the Congress to bring fiscal discipline and strong management to Washington by establishing strict spending limits. Overspending on wasteful government programs has led to rising deficits and unacceptably high levels of debt which will make our nation weaker in the long run. It's time for the pendulum to swing in the direction of fiscal prudence and moderation.
Michael Capuano (D):
I am troubled that the Senate lags behind the House in recognizing the urgency of passing true climate change legislation and ending the travesty of a “jobless recovery.” Should I become Senator, I will seek to rally like-minded colleagues in the Senate to solve both issues with serious investment in green jobs.
Alan Khazei (D):
The first bill I would like to file would be a second stimulus package focused exclusively on generating jobs. We need a robust job creation plan centered around a new hiring tax credit, expected to generate between 2.5 million and 5 million jobs; investment in green jobs to create up to 1.5 million new positions; and support for small businesses, which historically account for 64 percent of new jobs. Taken together, these programs would comprise a second stimulus that will not only get Massachusetts back on its feet, but position our Commonwealth to a be a leader in creating the jobs of the future.
Steve Pagliuca (D):
The very first bill I would file would be to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act — it’s a law grounded in intolerance and ignorance. I’m upset that we’ve made little progress on this issue in the past year and that the rights of same-sex couples who are legally married in Massachusetts are not respected across the country. I would work to expedite this important change — equality simply can’t wait.
Once that is accomplished, I would begin to introduce an ambitious set of legislation designed to restructure and regulate our financial system and get America back to work. I have detailed plans on each of these issues, outlined on my website www.stevepagliuca.com, that would form the basis for my legislative agenda.
Jack E. Robinson (R):
"The Jobs Creation Act of 2010 — A Bill to Eliminate the Capital Gains Tax on all Investments Made in 2010." This would unleash trillions of dollars in new investment, create millions of new jobs, and end the recession in six months.