NEEDHAM--Democratic gubernatorial candidate George Bachrach last night attacked both the Massachusetts Democratic Party and his Democratic opponents at a candidates' forum and town meeting.
"I'm concerned about the course of the state Democratic party," Bachrach said. "In the '80s we decided the party needed to be more like the other guys."
Bachrach, a former state senator from Watertown, accused two of his opponents--state Sen. Michael J. Barrett '70 (D-Cambridge) and state Rep. Mark Roosevelt '78 (D-Beacon Hill)--of adopting policies very similar to those of current Gov. William F. Weld' 66, a Republican.
Bachrach specifically criticized Barrett's "no new taxes" pledge and Roosevelt's support of the death penalty.
"You need someone who will offer a different voice from what we have today," Bachrach said.
Roosevelt, speaking after Bachrach at the forum, said simply, "George is wrong."
Roosevelt said that in order to remain viable, the Democratic Party can no longer offer a government solution to every issue.
"We lost power for some pretty good reasons," Roosevelt said. "There is not a government answer to every problem."
But Roosevelt affirmed his support for the ideals of the Democratic party.
"We're here tonight because we're Democrats," Roosevelt said. "We care about people, but we will not stick our heads in the sand."
Barrett, speaking earlier, echoed the same themes, saying in Democratic gubernatorial candidate must focus on helping the "working but worried" people in Massachusetts.
"We need a Democrat who focuses on the economy, who carries a message based on his background," Barrett said.
Fenton on Judicial System
Little-known candidate Richard E. Fenton also made a rare public appearance. Fenton, who says he represents the "Working people," is a 58-year-old bus driver and photographer from Boston.
Fenton said his first priority, if elected governor, would be to revamp the judicial system.
"If you believe our justice system works well, you and I have a different set of values" he said. "The Justice Department is all political appointments."
Fenton also said he hopes to eliminate the Massachusetts sales tax, end the funding of public education by the property tax, and stop state sponsorship of welfare programs, returning that responsibility to cities and towns.
"Weld and Cellucci are bellyaching about deadbeat fathers," Fenton said. "They should think about deadbeat lawyers and deadbeat judges."
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