Tea Party member Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Fisher knows that Massachusetts is a blue state, but believes he can provide "conservative solutions for liberal failures" if elected.
"If things were going well, no Republican would have any chance at winning any race, from dog catcher on up," Fisher said. "Things in Massachusetts are not going well. If Democrats own the state as they do, that means they own all the problems. They cannot blame the Republicans in Massachusetts for anything."
Fisher spoke at the Rappaport Roundtable at Suffolk University Law School on Monday, March 3. He described himself as a "political outsider," as he has never run fore office before, nor has he been employed by the government. However, he knows where he stands, and that is on the Republican Party platform.
"I am a full-platform, no excuses necessary, loyal and proud Republican," Fisher said
When asked about several tenants of this platform, such as the Republican stance on abortion, traditional marriage and health care, Fisher said the platform reflects his personal beliefs.
"You can hold me responsible for all the planks in the platform," Fisher said.
However, this does not mean he would impose his personal beliefs on the voting public, he said.
"I am pro-life and I am pro-traditional marriage. Itís what I believe personally," Fisher said. "I donít believe in imposing my views on the people of Massachusetts. Those planks in my platform- I stand on them."
Fisher said that the government does not have a role, either judicially or legislatively, in social issues like marriage, nor does he believe it should be decided by a ballot initiative.
Fisher also took on the subject of illegal immigration
"Under a Fisher administration, illegal immigration is illegal," Fisher said.
He said Massachusetts is a haven for illegal immigrants because it provides them with numerous benefits and is discussing providing them with in-state tuition or driverís licenses. This should not be the case, as what illegal immigrants did is tantamount to "breaking and entering," Fisher said.
"The talk about giving in-state tuition or driverís licenses to people who broke the law is rewarding bad behavior. Itís not good government. Itís not good parenting," Fisher said.
He said the reason it is an issue is because there are plenty of immigrants who come to America legally and follow the proper channels. He noted that two of his current employees are not U.S. citizens, but legally obtained green cards.
One of Fisherís goals, should be elected, is job creation. He cited his own employment history, saying four of the five businesses he worked for closed their doors and moved out of state. He said the state needs to reexamine its corporate tax rate, revise its rules and regulations and stop funding fad industries.
Though job creation is important, he said there is one job he would eliminate: the state climatologist position proposed by Gov. Deval Patrick.
"(Climate change) has become too politicized. I donít believe the science is there," Fisher said.
He also would eliminate the stateís inventory tax.
"Not many states have that. Massachusetts has one," Fisher said. "If we eliminate the inventory tax, we become a haven for inventory centers. It could be a boon for Massachusetts."
He noted the inventory tax makes approximately $200 million annually. In order to make up the difference that comes with removing the tax, he would reform the stateís EBT system. He said there is more than $400 million of fraud and abuse in the system, and that has issued EBT cards to more than 1,000 dead people. Fisher said these benefits are still important and serve a role, but the state needs to cut down on the fraud.
"These programs are necessary and there for the needy who need them, not the greedy who abuse them," Fisher said.
Fisher stressed that he isnít the same as candidate Charlie Baker and has some different opinions on the issues, such as the minimum wage. Fisher said Baker has discussed an alternative minimum wage for teens, while he believes minimum means minimum and teens should not be paid less than minimum wage for their work.
Ultimately, Fisher said the goal is to get 15 percent of the votes at the Republican convention, which would place him on the primary ballot. This would provide voters with an alternative to Baker, and in the five-plus months of campaigning, he is confident he could show voters there are differences between the two candidates.
"Give me a primary and weíll see how the differences come out," Fisher said.
Staff writer Brad Cole can be reached at 781-433-8339 or bcole@wickedlocal.com.