With the three Democratic candidates now selected for a primary and Charles Baker
on the Republican side of the ballot, Massachusetts voters may not be aware they have independent choices for governor and one of those is Evan Falchuk
Falchuk is an entrepreneur who was part of the management team of Best Doctors Inc., a Boston-based health care company. He has put $2 million of his own funds into establishing the United Independent Party, which he hopes will be an alternative for Commonwealth voters who believe the two major parties aren’t listening to them.
Speaking during a campaign swing in Chicopee to Reminder Publications
, Falchuk summed up his party’s platform simply: “protect civil rights and spend money wisely.”
Falchuk is reluctant to label himself, but when pressed he said he is “socially progressive and fiscally conservative.”
He added with a smile, “I’m happy to play the word game.”
He is an engaging person who seems to enjoy discussions on the issues and said, “I will sit down with anyone and talk about anything.”
He is running not for his own “self-aggrandizement,” but out of the frustration of seeing “the two parties that don’t take people seriously.”
He said there needs to be a new political framework in Massachusetts and noted that 60 percent of the Legislature running for re-election is unopposed.
He sees two principal issues that are blocking the solution for better economic growth in the state: the cost of healthcare and the cost of housing.
Falchuk said that for the past 20 years the practice of allowing hospitals to merge to create monopolies have helped to drive up healthcare costs. According to his campaign website (www.falchuk2014.org
), 72 percent of the Massachusetts is controlled by large hospital systems. If elected Falchuk would stop future mergers and establish a fee schedule that would apply to all hospitals, which he believed would return millions of dollars into the hands of consumers.
He said the cost of doing business in the state is also tied to the cost of housing. There is a demand for new housing in many communities, but he noted that often times that demand from municipal governments is for seniors who do not have school age children. Falchuk dubbed the idea of building housing in order not to have an impact on school size is “bad public policy.”
Instead he would work to increase state aid to schools, so that improved school systems will attract new people, which in turn will spur housing starts and job development.
“I don’t think people at the state level are thinking about these issues on those terms,” Falchuk said.
Falchuk supports "The Way Forward," a transportation plan from the Patrick Administration that includes a study for the expansion of commuter rail service from Springfield to Boston.
When asked about the movement to repeal the casino legislation, Falchuk called Attorney General Martha Coakley’s effort to block the referendum question “thin and silly.” He is against the repeal but he believes it should go before the voters in November.
Falchuk’s running mate is Angus Jennings
, a land planning professional and small business owner, who is a Wilbraham native. The need to re-examine how land is used and developed is vital for the future, Falchuk stressed.
Current land use has resulted in sprawl, especially in the Boston area and Falchuk said, “It’s not representative of any strategic idea of what we could be.”
A gubernatorial run is one thing, but Falchuk said his goal to is have members of the new party in the Legislature in 2016. He wants to see “meaningful representative change.”
Falchuk has collected 17,000 signatures – 10,000 are necessary – to be on the November ballot.
“The first step is getting on the ballot, the second is becoming an official party and the third is winning,” he said.