Ross Says No Time for Four Election Debates

Challenger Paul Heroux says by not participating in four debates, state Rep. George Ross is denying the voters their right to learn more about his record and the differences between the two candidates.

Republican state Rep. George Ross said Monday that commitments for his job as a full-time legislator prevent him from having the time to participate in four debates against Democratic challenger Paul Heroux. On the night of  last Thursday, Heroux challenged the freshman legislator to a general debate and three topic-based duels on crime policy, economic policy and values.

Ross responded that one debate prior to the Nov. 6 election was enough.

"While I appreciated my opponent's idea of a multitude of debates, the fact of the matter is that I am a full-time legislator," Ross said. "Two years ago, to serve day in and day out, and that's what I've done and what I will continue to do."

The legislative session finished at the end of July, but Ross said he still frequently travels to Boston for meetings and to work on various matters for his job.

"While my opponent has to the time to launch baseless attacks against me, I am going to use my time to focus on jobs, the economy and the residents of Attleboro," Ross said. "I do plan to engage my opponent in one debate, at which time I will talk about my successes as a freshman legislator and my plans going forward."

Ross accused Heroux of being a hypocrite because he issued a press release Monday that was critical of the incumbent for not agreeing to participate in four debates, while the challenger had no debate with his Democratic primary opponent Stephen Kane.

Heroux wrote in the release that he wanted to debate Kane, but it did not happen because of logistical reasons. Also in the release, Heroux wrote that by not agreeing to participate in four debates, Ross was denying the voters access to valuable information.

"Ross campaigned [in 2010] on bringing jobs to Attleboro," Heroux wrote. "The voters ought to know how successful he was, what he has done, and how the candidates differ on approaches they would take on Beacon Hill to revive our local economy."

Heroux questioned Ross' competency as a legislator and wrote that the incumbent's website features "a paltry amount of information on where he stands on the issues." 

"Rep. Ross seems to be showing that he is hoping to get reelected on the notion that he is a nice guy and everyone's jolly friend," Heroux said. "Unfortunately, this is not a popularity contest. Being a state rep isn't about the rep, it is about the people, their needs and the issues. Important issues need to be addressed and there is real and important work to be done."

Gretchen Robinson September 11, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Sounds like a cop-out to me. If Ross really wants the seat, he should put himself out there in the public eye so voters can make a real choice. He should do whatever it takes, as Paul Heroux did for the Primary in campaigning throughout the City and visiting voters in their homes. George Ross ill-serves his constituents by ducking out of the other debates.
Gretchen Robinson September 11, 2012 at 11:05 PM
then tell me, open minded voter, though I do favor Paul Heroux, why doesn't Mr. Ross post this info. himself. And don't tell me 'he doesn't have time.'
Adam Tellier September 11, 2012 at 11:59 PM
I can only speak with what I believe it is to be. The answer, in my belief is because he is trying to remain as positive as possible. He is disturbed with the amount of negativity that politicians express during campaigns. That, to my belief, is the reason why he does not post the info himself.
Bill Bowles September 12, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Adam, first of all, there is no such thing as a 9 seat cut. When George fed you the comment, you should have had him write it out: it is a 9C cut. When we made the 9C cut, we were falling deeper into the recession, had not yet bottomed out, and tax revenues were declining. Today, the economy is improving and tax revenues are increasing: In fact, George voted to put $161 million in the rainy day fund, while voting against local aid, some of which comes from the federal government as Hurricane Irene aid. Also, the revenue to support it exists. It was clearly a partisan vote that was not good for his constituents.
Adam Tellier September 12, 2012 at 01:53 AM
My apologies, and before anyone mentions the fact that I deleted my comment it was on accident. However Mr. Bowles, you and I are aware of what I had said. I mispoke and called the 9C cut a 9-seat cut, just so everyone is aware. Besides that, I cannot speak for our representative. However, I can state the facts, and what is best believed. And, our Representative showed me no such thing, it was from my recollection. Granted, my recollection was 4 years ago, and I was still of a politically naive stage. Yes, you are correct, I should have done my re-search. However, I am more informed now than I was when I made that post. Representative Ross, as he should be properly addressed, may have voted for the $161 million dollar slush fund, but that was most likely in case of a bad winter or an uncontrollable event occurs. Two winters ago our Commonwealth was running extremely low on money for salt because of an extreme amount of snow we had that winter. Things like that. Also, that was in the actual budget, it was not a supplementary budget bill. The supplementary budget bill would put Massachusetts deeper into the deficit. I understand that you may not agree with Representative Ross, but you should consider both sides of the aisle's perspective, because as I recall and judging by your voting record, you did not cross the aisle too much during your term in office. That is something Representative Ross does very well. He considers both sides of the story before he votes on an issue.
Bill Bowles September 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Adam, I'm glad you have done some additional research, but I'm not sure your state rep would characterize the vote to put $161 million into the rainy day fund as a vote to fund a slush fund.
Adam Tellier September 12, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Yes you are right, he voted for a rainy day fund, not a slush fund. Once again, I speak for myself, not the representative.
Adam Tellier September 12, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Anything I say, is based off of my own knowledge.
Richard W. Lunt September 12, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Bill, You are a liar, how could you say that the economy is improving when the unemployment rate continues to be above 8 percent and that's not counting the U6 unemployment which includes the underemployed and people who have given up looking for work, those numbers are 16 percent which is lousy! Companies are laying off workers and when they post positions, they are filling them with inside employees. Companies aren't hiring because of the job killing ramifications of Obamacare!! Tell the truth once in a while Bill!
Ellen September 12, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Richard...Calling someone a lier is down right nasty. If you can't comment nice and stick to the facts, why bother to comment. Compare the unemployment rate one or two years ago with today. Granted it's still to high BTW...If we want to talk about mistruths, I believe it is Mr Ross calling Paul Heroux's challenge of Ross's record dirty.....While in fact that is what campaigns are all about....exchange of ideas...there is nothing (dirty) about a healthy exchange of ideas
Bill Bowles September 12, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Richard, Two years ago, the unemployment rate was around 10%, and state revenues are increasing, not decreasing. That is why the legislature was able to make a $161 million payment to the rainy day fund. Things are still horrible, but not like the disaster we faced two to three years ago.
Richard W. Lunt September 12, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Bill, Tell that to the thousands of people with Bachelors, Masters and Associates degrees who are in the unemployment line in Massachusetts, these people have had to go through not only unemployment, but also they have had to use their retirement savings as well because the fact of the matter is, companies aren't hiring because of the policies of the tax and spend liberal Democrats both on Beacon Hill, and in Washington. The jobs that are being created aren't in the private sector, they are mostly state construction type of jobs. The reason why revenues are up is because of the high taxes in Massachusetts.
Richard W. Lunt September 13, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Bill, I disagree. George Ross works hard everyday for the people of Attleboro and he has brought state aid funds for the city, in other words, he takes care of his constituents in Attleboro. He's in Boston each day during the summer because the legislature has semi-formal sessions during the summer months and as a former State Representative, you should know that. George is busy working for us here in Attleboro and for our commonwealth and he has a 100 percent voting record. There only needs to be one debate between the two candidates where the important topics can be covered. Just look at last winter and spring's primary season among the Republican candidates for President, although I enjoyed watching, it got to the point where there too many debates between the candidates.
Bill Bowles September 13, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Richard Remind me not to hire you for your economic expertise. You are correct about the people that are hurting in this economy, but your analysis of why revenues are increasing is nonsence. You say revenues are increasing because of taxes increasing. That might be true if the income taxes had increased in the past two years, but they haven't. Corporation are running leaner operations, not hiring lots of new employees, but making profits. It is these profits that are generating increased revenues. You, however, have forgotten, perhaps intentionally, that Ross voted against local aid for cities and towns, including $138,000 for Attleboro in the light of revenue that has increased significantly increased: enough to put $161 million in the rainy day fund. Hurricane Irene hits, and the federal government provides us disaster relief funding, and Ross votes against it. That is the issue. Is this the Republican agenda?
paul September 13, 2012 at 08:29 AM
I vote Democrat. That being said, I'm glad Ross voted against local aid. We all pay enough in taxes for everything. Rainy day funds are just another thing to argue about. How do we spend it, etc. That money is state tax and if Massachusetts does not need it, they shoud not have taken it. Money is not free and should not be put in a fund just in case. Towns and cities have budgets and they should stick to them like I do with my checkbook. I don't know what these politicians do on Beacon Hill all day long, 40 state sen/160 house of rep + staffs, but they have a lot of time off.
deb of see-attleboro September 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM
I'm voting Republican. And I absolutely agree with you, paul. I want to know which party if in power will fight to roll the sales tax back to 5%.
Richard W. Lunt September 13, 2012 at 02:57 PM
The Democrats will always vote to raise taxes, not vote to lower them. Remember that in 2009 the Democrats voted to adopt an ammendment to house bill H4100 that increased the sales tax from 5 percent to 6.5 percent and Bill Bowles was one of them who voted for the higher tax. Paul Heroux belongs to a political party that advocates for higher taxes, anti-business legislation, more regulations and corrupt house speakers. The issue is clear for me, the Republicans advocate for lower taxes, pro-business legislation that will lead to the creation of higher paying jobs, less govenment intrusion into our lives, and legislative leaders who you can trust that will work for you and me. George Ross has my full support and my vote in November.
Richard W. Lunt September 13, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Bill, Perhaps it is you who is not engaging in the truth. George Ross delivered $348,000 in state surplus money to Attleboro last year, and in addition, because of the hard work of Representative Ross, local aid to Attleboro has gone up 12 percent, so your notion of Representative Ross voting against local aid to cities and towns is false and inaccurate.
Bill Bowles September 13, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Well Richard, you certainly have the Republican talking points down, and don't seem to be constrained by the truth. For example, I voted against the budget that included the sales tax increase. Your just parroting Ross's mantra about delivering $348k for Attleboro. It's like talking to a chair. If you want to find out how Ross and Heroux differ on taxes, then let them discuss it in debate. Oh yea, Ross is doing the peoples business in Boston, while the House and Senate are on summer recess.
Ken Tenglin September 13, 2012 at 08:25 PM
@ Bill Bowles www.thesunchronicle.com/...tax-vote/article_90b56bb1-0698-5b16-... According to this article you voted for the sales tax increase. Google Bill Bowles state rep vote for tax increase. You may have voted against the budget but not the tax increase. If your going to twist your record, be a little smarter about it. Twisting the truth is as good as lying.
Gretchen Robinson September 13, 2012 at 08:32 PM
a reminder, folks. This is about today and Paul Heroux because Heroux represents the future for Attleboro. So please don't drag his candidacy into this with your old, tired squabbles. I don't want voters to miss out on a superb candidate. As I drive around the City, I see SO many signs and those were put up there by people Paul visited on his own, rain or shine. The signs represent people who like Paul and respect him because he listens and doesn't start with an ideology and an agenda first. Paul started with home visits and was received with hospitality by hundreds of votes. Listen to them. Well, anyway. They will have their say in November.
Richard W. Lunt September 13, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Bill, Once again you are not telling the truth, yes the house and senate are in summer recess; however, you and I both know that there are informal sessions on Beacon Hill during the summer months, and that is why Representative Ross is at the State House because he is doing his JOB. Bill for your information, your record regarding the sales tax increase says otherwise, you voted to adopt an ammendment to house bill H4100 that would increase the sales tax from 5 percent to 6.5 percent and I googled that information and the record stated that you actually did vote for that increase. There is one thing we do agree on, let the candidates talk about the issues during the debate.
Richard W. Lunt September 13, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Gretchen, As I stated earlier, Paul Heroux belongs to a political party that advocates for higher taxes, out of control spending, ant-business legislation that would halt the ability of companies to create jobs, and of course, Mr. Heroux belongs to a political party that advocates and supports corrupt house speakers. Besides that, the Democrats have had majority rule in Massachsetts for far too long, and it is about time that people wake up and start voting conservative or Republican, only then will we see real economic growth with low unemployment in our commonwealth.
deb of see-attleboro September 13, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I find it very hard to believe you would post this comment if Paul were a Republican. And I agree. The squabbles are old and tired.
deb of see-attleboro September 13, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Joe Lazzerini September 15, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Richard, If the republicans are so great at being business friendly then why is the Republican Controlled city of Attleboro (Mayor/City Council) a horrible place to do business in. No one wants to open up here and they keep leaving. Taxes are so damn expensive in this city for a business to open up in and there is so much red tape. We need to eliminate the red tape and make it easier for people to locate their companies here not make it harder. So your REPUBLICAN friends seem to be the problem in our local community not the Democrats. So before you go ahead and say that Democrats are not friendly to businesses then you sir should get your facts straight - you little liar you.
Gretchen Robinson September 15, 2012 at 07:06 AM
that tax and spend argument is so tired. Find something new to say. So is the argument to vote Republican because Democrats have majority rule. When Republicans put forward good candidates, they will be voted in. Third, Mr. Heroux represents a new generation of candidate so don't paint him, automatically, according to your old slogans. Find out what he represents. You may like what you see. Have you critics here even talked to him?
deb of see-attleboro September 15, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Paul Heroux: I agree with most of your very heartfelt letter to the Sun Chronicle. But it leaves me perplexed. You wrote: "And neither Obama nor Romney could have prevented this recent attack." Do you really mean this?
Richard W. Lunt September 15, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Joe, Nice to hear from you; however, maybe you should get your facts straight, here in Attleboro, we have a dual tax rate as you know and the tax rate for business is lower than the residential tax rate, just saying... Just look at the downtown, we have a few new resturaunts and shops, business is picking up thanks to Mayor Kevin Dumas, and the City Council. Gretchen, the Democrats spend money and raise taxes and nothing new will change with the Democratic party. Republicans and those Independents who are conservative have the best ideas on how to turn the economy into a thriving economy. The Democrats have that same old spread the wealth aound mantra by taxing the rich, who are by the way the job creators, not the way I want America to move forward. Vote Conservative.
Richard W. Lunt September 15, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Gretchen, You won't see me voting Democrat because I'm a lifelong conservative Republican and I plan to stay that way.


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