October 17, 2012

HOPKINTON – State Representative Carolyn Dykema participated in an hour-long debate with her challenger Monday evening. Sponsored by the Hopkinton Independent and Hopkinton Cable Access Television (HCAM) the event was moderated by Chuck Joseph. The candidates were presented questions by panelists Michelle Murdock of the Hopkinton Independent and Tom Moroney of Bloomberg News.

During the debate, Representative Dykema demonstrated her broad knowledge of the issues including jobs and the economy, education, casino gambling, and bi-partisan governance. She highlighted that as a state representative, she has successfully collaborated with Republicans and Democrats to bring government costs down and keep taxes sustainable through reforms on pensions, addressing Medicaid fraud and working to decrease healthcare costs, especially those that strap our municipalities. Her thoughtful, pragmatic leadership style and history of bipartisanship were cited as the reason for her legislative successes.

Representative Dykema illustrated her responsiveness to her communities by highlighting her proven record of legislative accomplishments and tangible outcomes that have resulted including: facilitating a public-private partnership with a local company to improve efficiency in state government, preventing large toll increases for commuters and developing crucial infrastructure.

She cited her success in bringing $2.7 million of sewer construction to the Hopkinton-Milford sewer line, resulting in 100 new jobs, as an example of her efforts on behalf of her constituents. Municipal health care reform signed into law earlier this year will reap millions of dollars in savings for our towns.

When asked by the panel about the passage of the law to allow expanded gambling, Rep. Dykema reiterated her opposition, citing her “no” vote despite strong backing by party leadership. Representative Dykema assured viewers that she would continued to fight for the district to make sure abutting towns would have a voice in the on-going discussions about a resort-style casino in neighboring Milford.

In a discussion about education, Representative Dykema highlighted that she voted for a budget that fully funded the Special Education (SPED) circuit breaker for local schools, bringing much-needed relief to local school budgets.

Representative Dykema said as a legislator, she studies each issue and avoids “bumper sticker” bills that make good sound bites but are not fully thought out. Dykema cited how crucial it is to understand all sides and potential impacts of legislation.

As an example of her advocacy for the district, she highlighted her successful opposition to a Mass. Turnpike toll hike which would have placed the burden of paying for Big Dig debt on commuters from the district. Dykema insisted on a more fair and balanced approach, always keeping the needs of her constituents a priority. “So there were very hefty toll increases proposed at that time in order to pay our debts on the Big Dig,” said Dykema. “What the sales tax did, and what we ensured when we passed the legislation, was that a large percentage of that sales tax increase went to offset and prevent toll increases and in fact spread the cost of the Big Dig and Big Dig debt state-wide – which is fair and which is what I clearly heard from residents of this district that they expected.”

She credited her common sense approach to taxes and fiscal reform to her business education and decades of experience working in small and large local companies.

In discussing the current political trend of making pledges, Representative Dykema cited her record of successful bipartisan relationships in the legislature. She stated that signing pledges would make her beholden to special interest groups rather than the residents of the district, tie her hands and prevent her from working collaboratively to find creative solutions to the problems we face. “The one pledge that I will always make, and it’s only one – is that I will pledge to do what’s in the best interests of the residents in this district.” said Dykema.

“Carolyn’s record of public service and thoughtful legislation is unassailable,” said Hopkinton resident Barbara Berke. “She is an ideal elected official – professional, accessible, responsive, a coalition-builder, and dedicated to the interests of her constituents.”

State Representative Dykema was elected in 2008 to represent the 8th Middlesex District: Holliston, Hopkinton and precincts in Southborough, Westborough and Medway. If re-elected she will continue to be the voice of the residents of the 8th Middlesex, vowing to work in her next term to combat Medicaid fraud, continue her work helping veterans in the district, and making sure taxpayers dollars are spent efficiently and wisely.

State Representative Dykema was elected in 2008 and has been a strong voice for the 8th Middlesex District ever since. If re-elected she would commit to continuing to be the voice of the residents of the 8th Middlesex, vowing to combat Medicaid fraud, continuing her work helping veterans in the district, and making sure taxpayers dollars are spent efficiently and wisely. Further information can be found on her campaign website at http://www.dykemaforrep.com/.

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