Kerry opponent Beatty says he would have voted against bailout

Donna O'Neil

Jeff Beatty, the 56-year-old Harwich Republican who is making a bid to unseat incumbent U.S. Senator John Kerry, said he would not have voted for the economic bailout package.

“It’s more of a package of political cover than recovery for families and Main Street,” said Beatty.

“Kerry voted for it so that he can kick the can down the street a little past the election,” he said, noting that Massachusetts Democratic representatives William Delahunt and Stephen Lynch voted against the bailout.

“Kerry voted to protect his friends and his financial interests - to protect his $2 million in AIG stock,” Beatty said. “He’s not protecting families and jobs. Look at Wall Street. Wall Street didn’t like the bailout. That is obvious.”

Recently Beatty walked in a parade in Roslindale. He said there were two issues parade goers were most interested in — the bailout and the energy crisis.

In a recent interview, Beatty pointed out four specific issues that he will work to resolve, if elected, now that the bailout package has been passed.

“We have to get the money back from the executives — the tens of millions of dollars they took while they were building their houses of cards,” he said. “The $700 billion represents $7,500 per household or $2,500 per individual. That’s a lot of money that we are on the hook for now. We need to get the money back.”

Beatty noted that if the Department of Defense did its job the way the Treasury Department does, this country wouldn’t be having the successes we’re having in Iraq.

“We need to reform the alphabet agencies,” he said, “Oversight on these agencies is a problem. I will fix that. This area needs reform.”

Beatty wants to investigate the bailout package.

“We have to investigate how this happened. It doesn’t just happen,” he said referring to the bailout package as passed by the legislature.

“Out of 400 pages, do you know how many words there are concerning the FBI? — 34. There are 100,000 words [in the 400-page bailout document], but there are only 34 words that deal with investigation. This bailout restricts the FBI’s investigation [of the circumstances which lead to the creation of the bailout].

The fourth issue Beatty feels strongly about is conflict of interest.

“I live in a small town. We have a board of selectmen. If there is a conflict of interest they will recuse themselves,” Beatty said.

Elected officials who have personal interest in a matter are required by law to remove themselves from the voting process or recuse themselves when the matter is brought forward for a decision.

“Why do we have senators who are voting on issues worth hundreds of billons of dollars that protect their investments? We need to do something about conflict of interest that advances contracts. I see way too much of this from Sen. Kerry,” he said.


Beatty’s not your parents’ Republican.

“I’m not a party animal,” he said, “I believe in lower taxes, less government and strong national defense. If you are spending like a drunken sailor, I will be on your back.”

He bucks the Republican platform a little with his views on education. His plans are to make excellence in education a national priority. The Republican party platform promotes a limited role of federal involvement in education.

“Education is the cornerstone of economics,” Beatty said.

He believes an educated workforce provides economic well being.

“Jobs create tax structure,” he said. “We are not providing a quality workforce. Investing in education is a must. Education is better for business, jobs and the future of the people.”


Beatty believes a comprehensive energy plan is a must. He also believes in a multifaceted approach to this country’s energy needs.

He states that two or more oil refineries or a minimum of 25 percent increase in capacity of domestic oil production is one factor in a solution to this country’s dependence on foreign oil.

Beatty also suggests U.S. oil refineries should be strategically located and not centrally located to avoid both the hazards of natural disasters and national security issues. Where storms could cripple some refineries, he states that others should be strategically located to pick up the slack.

He didn’t offer any specific locations, but said that he encourages drilling and expansion in places where there is still access to crude.

“We need an uninterrupted flow of product,” he said.

Referring to statements that it could take up to 10 years to get a rig to produce oil, “I don’t care if it takes 10 years to get up and running. It is typically between two and 10, but I don’t want to be sitting here in 10 years saying, we should look at increasing our oil refineries. We should have been making the decision 10 years ago that way we wouldn’t be sitting here now,” Beatty said.

Beatty is a firm believer in the installation of wind farms.

“I love wind farms,” he said.

“Hull has installed a couple of turbines. They are able to generate three-quarters of a million dollars a year in electricity. [Hull is] buying less from the grid. They [have the option to] either reduce their tax burden by this amount or keep tax savings and offer more services,” Beatty said.

“I wanted to support the Cape Wind project, but was reluctant because the cost to the average consumer will be more than the return,” he said. “I can only support wind projects when they help reduce cost of electricity to people affected by them.”

He is not in favor of the LNG facility in Fall River, although he does support the idea of an LNG facility located elsewhere.

“Citing a facility is important,” he said. “It needs to be away from the populated areas. We wouldn’t want it a nuclear plant in the middle of a metropolis would we?”

With regard to the LNG plant, Beatty said he would rather see it away from a populated area and offshore.

“I think this is a public safety hazard. I have walked the property. I have talked to the citizens and attended meetings and rallies,” he said.

“When I am senator, I will push for public safety impact statements. We have environmental impact statements. [Fall River] is a populated area and, God-forbid, something goes wrong. I have concerns for the public living within a radius of the plant.”

Health care

“I think the Massachusetts [health care] model needs to be modified and with a couple of years more of experience, then we could look at taking it national,” Beatty said. “Massachusetts has a good start, but even the chief architect of the program, Mitt Romney, has offered a list of changes to the model.”

“There are some high costs associated with administration. Cape Cod Hospital officials estimate that 30 cents of every $1 is spent on administration costs. They believe this is due to filling out forms. Right now 30 people work there filling out forms. They estimate that the number could be cut to five or six if forms were standardized. This is an 80 percent reduction,” said.

Decriminalization of marijuana

“I am not for it,” he said. “For the simple reason that I have seen a few accidents. I have pulled people out of vehicles and provided first aid in cases where it appeared that intoxicants were a factor. I never want to be a part of something that would make it OK to operate a vehicle on a public road where public safety could be at stake.”

Constituency services

When asked how he would manage his constituents in Massachusetts from Washington, Beatty said, “I have been all over the commonwealth for the past year and a half, moreso than Mr. Kerry has. Our actions speak for themselves.”

“My opponent has five houses. Forty percent of them are in Massachusetts. If he spends an equal amount of time in each house that means he only spends 40 percent of his time in Massachusetts,” Beatty said. “I have one house in Massachusetts. It’s pretty obvious. I will be here more than the current incumbent. I figure I will spend three days per week in D.C. and three days in the district, in different parts of the state. I will be in each congressional district at least once every month,” he said.

“I have a lot of respect for constituent services from Sen. Ted Kennedy’s office. When I am elected, I plan to send my staff to Sen. Kennedy’s office to learn what they do for constituent services.”

A relative unknown no more

Beatty responded to the question about his chances of unseating Kerry with a resounding, “Very good and getting better everyday.”

“You see examples on the 6 p.m. news every night of financial concerns and that the current senator votes for a bailout bill for billions of dollars while having a conflict of interest in that vote,” he said. “The average voter gets it. We are within striking distance of him. He is primarily campaigning with lots of money. From what I can see, he didn’t get half of the votes from Democrats who voted in the primary. [Edward] O’Reilly and the blanks exceeded the votes for Kerry. It’s capital equity [Kerry] versus human equity [Beatty].”

“We have one senator who gets an A+ for his constituency services and one that doesn’t. My goal is to have two that do A work. The voters deserve that,” Beatty said.

“In the Beatty camp, there is a lot of interest in human equity. We’re getting the word out to the voters. Where is John Kerry? We are reaching the mainstream masses.”

Wakefield Observer