Ross Not Impressed with Heroux's Campaign Vow

The Democratic challenger says he would donate his travel stipend to residents in the form of MBTA passes. His opponent, Rep. George Ross, says he already donates "thousands of dollars" to the city.

Paul Heroux said if he wins the Nov. 6 election for a seat in the state House representing the 2nd Bristol District (which includes most of Attleboro), he would use his travel stipend to purchase monthly MBTA passes that would be distributed to locals in a lottery. After hearing about this plan, Heroux's election opponent, Republican incumbent George Ross, said the Democrat is "quite late to the party" when it comes to making financial contributions to the community, and that he has been making them since 1978.

Heroux wrote in a press release that district residents who could prove they are regular MBTA commuters would submit their names to the lottery.

"At regular intervals, I will purchase monthly roundtrip tickets, and randomly select submitted names, and donate the tickets," he wrote. "Everyone would have an equal opportunity, regardless of political party. I plan to distribute 100 percent of my stipend in this fashion."

He continued, "I believe that one of the obligations of elected officials is to give back to the community they serve. By not taking the stipend, money paid by district taxpayers would be disbursed statewide. Here is an opportunity to give taxpayers their tax dollars back to them."

This campaign promise came one day after The Sun Chronicle reported Ross had received a $2,520 stipend for travel, meals and lodging during 70 days of work in the 2012 legislative session. State law allows legislators to receive a daily stipend based on how far they live from the State House. Ross can receive up to $45 per day on top of his regular salary. Had he taken the full stipend, he would have collected $3,150 this year.

"My stipend is returned to this city many times over, and I've never had to issue a press release to brag about it," Ross wrote in an email to Attleboro Patch in response to Heroux's announcement. "When you can do that, then you will know what it is like to be part of the fabric of our community. Mr. Heroux has barely scratched the surface and I encourage him to give more."

Ross wrote that since 1978, he has "given thousands of dollars to this city for every charitable activity possible." Among the recipients are a 4H club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth activities, baseball teams, Christmas is for Kids, the YMCA, veterans organizations, churches and religious groups.


Gretchen Robinson September 20, 2012 at 01:44 AM
RWL: I think that you can make your points without insulting and mischaracterizing someone's comments. We can make these discussions more civil but everyone has to keep it on that level, or at least to try. Then we might just learn from one another. At first on Patch I was often not civil but I'm learning how to communicate without putting others down. Not perfect but it's a practice and I'm learning.
Richard W. Lunt September 20, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Gretchen That is hard to accomplish when some people on here aren't completely honest and are telling mis-truths and giving mis-information about a candidate, just saying....
Gretchen Robinson September 20, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Richard: again, that is your opinion. Whether people are completely honest or not--or deliberately giving mis-truths or misinformation is something that becomes clear to everyone over time. We can have discussions here and in time people will learn who to trust and who not to. That means we can discuss things past this election and learn from one another's worldview and opinion. But only if we are civil (not saying you were uncivil--and as I said, I've had my moments of incivility).
Ellen September 20, 2012 at 06:05 AM
Richard, You keep saying people arn't being honest on here. The fact seems to be that if they don't agree with you they arn't honest. Nothing on here I have said is not accurate in my opinon. If he held meetings in Lifecare, fine, that's great... It's just my opinon..I dont have to agree with you about his competancy. I do not think he has been a good Rep... MY OPINON only! I like like the way he handled the MBTA or Bath Salts to name two. just my opinion... have your own..that's what makes this a great country
Mac September 20, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I want to know how much Ross is paying RWL. Just my opinion:)
yerkillinme September 20, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Mac, probably not as much as Paul is paying Gretchen, Lauren (is that his sister Lauren btw?) and Ellen Lol.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) September 20, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I don't think any of the regular contributors to Patch need payoffs to motivate them to post comments. I believe you both are capable of a more advanced conversation. Attack the issues, not the people. Thank you.
Amy September 20, 2012 at 02:50 PM
My mind was made up when I saw Heroux signs with Kennedy and Warren. No thank you. If that little group wasn't bad enough, he seems to be all about the giant debt sink hole called the MBTA.
Richard W. Lunt September 20, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Mac, To answer your question, I'm not getting paid to blog on here; however, I will say that as a conservative Republican which I'm proud to stand up and say that I am, I'm passionate about my conservative beliefs and the candidates that I support, including George Ross and sometimes my passion can be viewed as being negative when I feel that the those on the left are attacking or not telling the truth when it comes to the issues. We are all entitled to our opinions and I thank you all for voicing your opinons, that is what makes this a great nation, the fact that we can debate the issues. I must admit, I do find alot of mis- truths and lies in politics, such as our President when he said that he would not tax the middle class, and Obamacare turned out to be the biggest tax increase on the middle class.
Gretchen Robinson September 20, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I am a democrat, a liberal, and a supporter of transgender rights, but I am 100% against the judge's decision ordering the Commonwealth to pay for Kosilek's surgery. It's unjust. If you kill someone (a wife!) and are adjudged sane to stand trial, if you are convicted, then you have no right to unnecessary surgery. I regret that this became a cause for some transgendered persons. Most "trans" people struggled mightily in order to become they person they know themselves to be. It's not an easy life and for them I have compassion. Kosilek harms all 'trans' people and makes their struggle for acceptance harder. Kosilek's legal 'win' is a different thing entirely. In truth, many transgendered persons never fully 'transition' physically, that is, they don't have sex change surgery. They don't feel it necessary or can't afford it. Kosilek does them a disservice with this pathetic appeal for medical attention and public pity (he deserves no pity). Why Kosilek feels this exercise in self-indulgence it necessary, and why his/her doctors/lawyer think it necessary should not be of public concern or the cause of further public expense. He/she should have enough healthy shame to forgo his further harm to society. Foisting surgical costs on the Commonwealth is adding insult to injury for those who mourn the death of his/her wife.
Gretchen Robinson September 20, 2012 at 03:42 PM
It is a smear against Paul Heroux, his candidacy, and to voters to say that someone who comments here is somehow in league with Paul Heroux. I expect rebuttal not smears out of you. In particular, "yerkillin me" needs to clean up his (?) act! He(?) attacks three women at once, none of whom (I presume) he knows. You need to know that women won't be silenced anymore by such nonsense. You need to get over yourself. 'This woman (me!) has a mind of her own, a strong voice, a social witness, and an intellect. And I am going to use it to the best of my ability. And if you don't like the effectiveness of what I write, write comments that are effective yourself. Don't pick on other writers (bully?) and smear and go negative and repeat the same points and charges that have been made a hundred times already. Boring! For the record, I am drawn to Heroux's stands on some issues. I like the way he wants to stick with the issues. Mostly, I'm fed up with George Ross' smugness and assumption that he owns the Rep's job and I find his disdaining of more than one debate baffling. Ross' refusal to debate more than once won't resonate well, methinks, with voters.
Richard W. Lunt September 20, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Gretchen, I've known George Ross for years and one thing he is not is smug, and that's just my opinion. He cares deeply about the issues facing our city and I think that will resonate with the voters.
Gretchen Robinson September 20, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Okay, I retract the 'smug' remark. That was uncalled for on my part. Thank you for correcting my opinion with your witness to his character. I think he cares about issues our City faces but this election for City Rep. is for who can best serve the community. That is why voters get to choose who will speak and advocate and serve the community and Commonwealth. Who will make the best leader?
Paul Heroux September 20, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Hi, Amy... That is a very interesting way to vote for or against someone. But I think a better approach would be to talk to me, the actual candidate. Please Email me at info@paulforattleboro.com and I will knock on your door to make my case. But if you insist not to speak to the person who is running, feel free to take a ride down county street and you'll see my signs next to a Scott Brown and Sean Bielat sign, too. And then take a ride down North Main Street and you will see a Ross sign next to Kennedy and Warren.
yerkillinme September 20, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Gretchen, what does their being women have to do with anything? You don't know if I'm a man or a woman. Why couldn't it be that I "attacked" three people? So according to you, in a humorous post replying to Mac's assertion of a payoff (which I also presume was done in jest) my mere mention of three individuals names, who also happen to be women, amounted to: "Attack" "Bully" "Smear" "Go Negative"? Really? Do you read what you write before you hit the Submit button Gretchen? Jonathan, are you going to let that stand? I saw your post on the subject and have no quarrell with what you said about Mac or my posts regarding the payoffs, but Gretchen going off on a rant like this? Using words like that because I mentioned three other anonymous people's names on a message board?
Lauren September 26, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Is there only one Lauren in Attleboro allowed to comment?
Mac September 26, 2012 at 02:45 PM
My opinion, he hasn't done a whole lot. He rides on the Poirier wagon. Bath salts and a sprinkler, really? Lots of ribbon cutting and showing up for anything he thinks will get his picture in the paper. As I talk to people in Attleboro I hear more and more how they had called Ross for one reason or another with no results. Yes, I believe Ross cares, but only for himself; not the people. I believe a vote for Ross is a vote to pay his large pension when he resigns for health reasons.
Dennis Naughton October 16, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Starts to look as if Richard W. Lunt is an alias for George T. Ross..just saying.
Dennis Naughton October 16, 2012 at 04:51 AM
You won't get more than one debate Lynn, because it is clear that George. Ross is ducking Paul Heroux. That's probably a good political move on his part, because if you followed his first term in the House as I have, you would know that he accomplished nearly nothing and knows that this will come out. Ross also knows that he will look bad on the issues and that he is not good at thinking on his feet. He has a tendency to get angry when he is unable to answer on the issues and that would happen a lot. You will see that even in the one debate that he has been forced into. I agree that he owes it to the voters to take part in a series of debates, but it appears he prefers to hide.
Dennis Naughton October 16, 2012 at 04:57 AM
@ the Luntster: Ribbon cutting ceremonies? You mean free publicity ops don't you? The George Ross, Betty Poirier duo is famous for that. Every state rep. takes part in community events and has office hours. Ineffective representatives like George Ross just have more time to do those things because no one even notices they're missing from Beacon Hill.
Dennis Naughton October 16, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Perhaps it would have been more accurate to have said that George Ross works to his ability. It amounts to the same thing.
Dennis Naughton October 16, 2012 at 05:01 AM
......But Luntster....we are not all entitled to our own facts. You seem to be equating opinions with facts, in line with the national Republican Party...just sayin'
Dennis Naughton October 16, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Luntster---You could not have missed how nasty George Ross gets when he is caught with his pants down in a debate. I saw that first hand when Bill Bowles wiped the floor with him, and that's not an opinion. That's a fact.
Mac October 16, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Debate? Did you say Debate the issues?? Let George Ross debate. He and Paul are the ones that need to speak for themselves! The people of Attleboro should hear first hand what they have done and not done and what are the plans if elected! I find it hard to believe Ross cannot debate more than once. The President of the USA is debating more than once. Am I to be corrected the George Ross is busier then the President? Really??? Sounds like an excuse to me.
Richard W. Lunt October 16, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Dennis, You sir are lying when you say that George and Betty are missing from Beacon Hill. George Ross and Betty Poirier have 100 percent voting records. With that being said Dennis, how is it possible that they are missing from Beacon Hill, yet they have 100 percent voting records. Gee Dennis, maybe because both of them are working at the State House doing the people's business. Can't say much about the previous State Representative's voting record, or his issues with trust and truth telling. Given Paul Heroux's record of voting in elections, will he have a 100 percent voting record if he is elected?? (Which he won't be)
Daniel F. Devine October 16, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Better not to debate & thought to be incompetent than to debate & remove all doubt.
Dennis Naughton October 16, 2012 at 11:02 PM
elequently stated Daniel
Gretchen Robinson October 17, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Richard, my husband and I have known Ellen a lot of years and seen her work. She is as honest as the day is long in high summer. Maybe you could support George Ross without the personal attacks and being so defensive. Even before Ross was elected to State Rep., all the while he was on the City Council, I marked him as someone who didn't work well with other councilors and took quirky stands. He has a record and the public has a perception of his performance in both offices. And for me, that record is not what it needs to be for me to vote for him. You are such a defender of George Ross, please tell him to start addressing the issues for a change.
Gretchen Robinson October 17, 2012 at 01:56 AM
it's insulting to me to say I would take a payoff. I'm a minister for heaven's sake!! Yerkillinme: you create a hostile environment. When you impugn others, you end up turning people against the candidate you support. With friends like you, George Ross doesn't need opponents.
Gretchen Robinson October 17, 2012 at 02:01 AM
It's easy to go our and talk to constituents and be fussed over. It's easy not to think for yourself and just do and say what Betty/Kevin Poirier tell George Ross to do and say. It's hard to think for yourself, to reflect on the issues and work with other legislators, build connections, work for the long term. Mac your comment about Ross and a pension has me wondering just how long or how hard Ross would work for this area, if his health turns poor again. It's not a disqualification but opens up a new area of concern.


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