Paul Caruccio has announced his candidacy for the special election for the 19th Suffolk County Seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a Republican candidate. The following are his answers to the questions poisoned by our reporter.
1. What is my background? Childhood, education, family life?
I was born and raised in Winthrop. I attended Winthrop Public Schools from grade one through graduation from Winthrop High School. I even attended the now demolished Winthrop Center School which was located behind the E.B. Newton School. The Center School with its oiled wooden floors would billow ash from an old coal fired furnace and blanket the school yard with thick black flakes.
I was graduated from the University of New Hampshire at Durham with a B.S. in Business and a concentration in Economics. My degree was valuable in my career as a business owner. However, it has been even more valuable in assessing the impact political legislation has on our communities, state and families. Unfortunately, most politicians do not understand sound business practices or how legislation affects our economy, and it shows in many political decisions.
Family: I have three daughters, and they are my greatest joy and success in life. All three of my daughters also attended the Winthrop Public Schools from grade 1 through graduation from Winthrop High School. One of my daughters received special education attention within the system for a time as well. As a result I understand the power of our schools as well as being able to identify areas which need attention.
All three of my daughters have grown into highly successful professionals in the healthcare industry. They are each an example of what can be achieved by our public schools.
Dad: Any discussion of my family must included a reference to my Dad. My father was Michael Caruccio. Everyone knew him, people still talk about him and he was a larger than life character. He was a postal employee who started selling socks from his car trunk in his spare time. Eventually he opened a store front in the District. He kept growing the business, finally developing Michael’s Mall in Winthrop. There he operated our family’s clothing business for over 50 years.
My Experience: I started working in the family business as a child and I continued there after college graduation. However, shortly thereafter I opened, owned and operated Michael’s Hallmark Gold Crown Shop. Michael’s Hallmark was highly acclaimed for its products, attractiveness, customer service and community focus. I operated my business in our District for 34 years.
I also had a second Hallmark Gold Crown store at the Meadow Glenn Mall in Medford. Currently I occupy my time in private property management, but I intend to devote 100% of my time and efforts to being your State Representative.
2. What made you decide to run for Speaker DeLeo’s seat?
I am running for State Representative because I have persistent drive to promote community and state goals.
I understand that this is the people’s seat and that’s what is important. I really don’t believe any individual should remain in a single office long enough for it to be associated with that person’s name. For this reason I am a supporter of Term Limits for all. This way we insure vigorous representation, Special Interest does not influence legislation and public office is not focused on re-election and retaining a lifetime career.
I am driven to accomplish an agenda which includes:
• Keeping more money in the people’s pockets
• Creating good paying jobs that provide an improved standard of living for our residents.
• Fight gas taxes and other newly proposed taxes
• Protect basic civil liberties
• Provide safe communities by not defunding police
• Ensure all youth, both privileged and the vulnerable, can achieve and succeed the impact of the Covid shutdown
• To safely re-open and unleash our business base
• Add balance to our one-party State and foster debate, compromise and improved transparency on Beacon Hill
1. Why do you think you would make you the best successor for Speaker DeLeo’s seat?
Legislators are supposed to be running the business of Massachusetts. Yet few understand economics or business. I understand economics and the impact legislation will have on our economy, family, job base and income. I will keep more money in residents’ pockets through no new gas taxes, no “Fair Tax,” no soft drink tax, no wealth tax, no dividends or interest tax, reduced tax burdens and intelligent economic policy.
A perfect example is that Massachusetts is losing our high earning residents. It is costing us over $1 BILLION a year in tax revenue. I will reverse this trend and keep our tax revenues strong.
I also have no Special Interest obligations to interfere with sound legislating.
3. What are your thoughts on Speaker DeLeo’s role over the past 30 years?
I am forward looking. My vision is not clouded by the predecessor of this seat. Massachusetts has the fourth largest job losses in the Nation from the Covid shutdown. This district requires immediate focus to address issues from our unemployed citizens to support for our decimated business sector to returning our economy to health.
We must focus on creating new good paying employment opportunities for our residents, attracting new business and retaining our longtime residents. A person with my lifetime of business experience, true economics knowledge and understanding the impact of taxing policies will resolve many of our current problems.
1. What are some of the major issues presently affecting Revere and Winthrop that you think need top priority for Speaker DeLeo’s successor?
Revere: Transportation, transportation transportation. Transportation and congestion are major issues in many areas of Revere with long ignored and obsolete roadways. Traffic engineering studies are badly needed and include Revere Beach Blvd, North Shore Road and all of the traffic circles.
Development: Tight Public-Private partnerships must to be forged to ensure developers address public accommodations and mitigate development with public goals.
Winthrop: Winthrop Beach beautification project. Winthrop Beach is the community’s greatest asset. Yet it will not attract visitors and tourists similar to many beaches up and down our coast.But why not? Winthrop Beach should achieve its potential as a gem on the Atlantic where people flock to its shore and shop our local businesses.
Route 145 at Pleasant and Main at our community’s entrance. This is a major safety and functionality issue which must be addressed with a professional traffic management study.
Hot topics requiring attention is water rates. Residents have long demanded an audit of this account which I whole heartedly support.
Another hot topic is a call for charging fees to collect trash. Alas, one year ago I publicly recommended a preventative measure to immediately review all budgets to preserve funds during this pandemic. This would have reduced the financial pressure to propose this added cost to pandemic plagued taxpayers. I do not support the new fee proposal.
4. What legislation did Speaker DeLeo enact that you would like to continue to lobby for?
This election is about the people choosing new representation. I intend to provide effective new legislation that helps our communities. This is what I have been advocating for:
• Tax relief to save and support our critical small business base by eliminating small business’ annual Personal Property Taxes, freezing unemployment tax rates and exempt businesses from pandemic relief tax liabilities.
• Commission a study to recommend and visualize improvements and enhancements to our 180 day public school template. Let’s consider new opportunities for hands-on learning, application of concepts learned in traditional lecture settings and utilizing educational learning trips.
• Voter Integrity. Nothing can be more important to a Democracy than free and fair elections. A Cal. Tech. Study found 39% of voters questioned the integrity of our electoral process. Whether real or perceived this must be addressed. I pledge to work to return voter confidence and election accuracy in our electoral system. This important goal will benefit all Americans.
5. What legislation did Speaker DeLeo enact that you might like to see changed?
• Again, forward looking only. Illegal behavior by anyone must be punished. However, law enforcement keeps our communities and families safe. I believe the police reform bill is misguided, and it would most hurt our vulnerable residents, our minority residents and our economically disadvantaged.
• Our military and our veterans deserve preference in public housing and public services. Currently, we will serve our military population after illegal immigrants. This has the impact of blocking our veterans from the housing they have earned with their service to all of us.
• Addiction strikes even the best families, and no one is untouched by this scourge. It also drains money, productivity and lives from our community, neighbors and families. I believe our unfortunate addicted community members must be able to immediately access recovery services.
• Housing Crisis. Looking forward, I fear a crisis in the housing market coming out of this pandemic. We must act now to study ways to avert this potential crises oncemortgage and rent forbearance measures are removed.
6. What other information would you like to include in the article?
We are blessed to live in the most beautiful ocean front District anywhere. We must be driven to preserve it and allow our residents to continue to be able to afford to stay in our community. To keep it safe, strong and secure we must reverse the trend of:
• $ BILLIONS in lost tax revenues every year by residents fleeing the state.
• 4th highest Covid job loss in the Nation
• 6th highest tax burdened state in the Nation
• 1st highest per capita debt in the Nation.
Sound management of our state is like smart management of any enterprise. Unfortunately, most politicians do not understand the basic principles of business and economics. So we continuously overspend, over tax and underperform. We must reverse this trend with leadership that understands what it takes to revive our state and provide an ever improving standard of living for our residents. Together we can:
• Create Jobs and revitalization business
• Provide Safe communities
• Protect civil rights
• No defunding police
• Fight gas taxes
• Advocate for Term limits
• Fight “Fair Tax,” new taxes, wealth tax and over spending
7. Do you have a website or Twitter handle related to your campaign?
-On Facebook: Paul Caruccio Campaign