Dems Hold Scholarship Fundraiser and Straw Poll
Tierney and others speak, and a poll finds support for spending Stabilization Fund.
Despite a rough 2010 election cycle, Democrats are marching forward at the federal, state and local levels.
On Sunday, the North Andover Democratic Party hosted a scholarship breakfast fundraiser at the North Andover Country Club. Dozens of well-known Massachusetts political figures lined up for eggs, French toast and sausage links before speaking about issues they see affecting voters this year.
Proceeds from the breakfast will go towards supporting a scholarship, which is annually awarded to a graduating senior at North Andover High School.
The Treasurer Sings
One surprise of the morning was when State Treasurer Steve Grossman led the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Charlie on the MTA." Afterward, he sang his own version of the song with lyrics about the state's various ice cream shops.
His performance was met with cheers and Mark DiSalvo joking, "Grossman, keep your day job.
Grossman was elected to the treasurer's office in November after Democrat-turned-independent gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill declined to run for the office again. With only a couple months in office, Grossman said he enjoys the job even though it hasn't been easy.
"If I didn't love the job, something would be wrong with me," Grossman said.
Anti-Tea Party Rally
When Congressman John Tierney spoke, he focused on Washington and called for Democrats uniting against the 'tea party' faction of the Republicans in Congress. He lashed out against their proposed cuts in spending for domestic programs and pointed at tax cuts for the wealthy and two wars as the real source of the budget shortfall.
"Obviously we're in a country club, we're not against people who are well-off," Tierney said. "This is not an attack on the wealthy or corporations. This is a plea for them to step up and do the responsible thing."
Straw Poll Supports Stewart and Using Reserve Money
After the breakfast, a straw poll was conducted regarding various local and state candidates and local issues.
The winning selectman candidate in the straw poll was Don Stewart with a stunning 45 percent. Incumbents Rick Nardella and Tracy Watson received 28 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Stan Limpert and Brian Gross tied for the School Committee.
When asked if the town should utilize its Stabilization Fund to help cover its budget shortfall, a resounding 84 percent said yes. This was an issue of contention among selectmen candidates at last week's debate.
Lawrence Regional Technical School Representative
Should the town utilize up to $600,000 of its $2 million in Stabilization Funds to help mitigate cuts in town and school services?