Fathers & Families: Candidates’ Positions on Shared Parenting and Other Family Court Issues

Tomorrow (Tuesday, September 14), there will be primary elections throughout the state. For the first time in years, many of the races are contested, and a few votes could make the difference between a candidate winning or losing.

I urge all of you to vote tomorrow. Remember that if you are registered as an Independent (also called “Unenrolled”), you may vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary.

We have information on only a few races. Please keep in mind that as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Fathers and Families does not endorse or oppose any particular candidate.

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Representative in Congress, Massachusetts’ Fourth Congressional District
(Seat Currently Held by Barney Frank)

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  • Sean D.M. Bielat (R) – Positions on shared parenting and alimony reform unknown.
  • Earl H. Sholley (R) – Supports shared parenting and alimony reform.
  • Barney Frank (D) – Positions on shared parenting and alimony reform unknown.
  • Rachel E. Brown (D) – Positions on shared parenting and alimony reform unknown.

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Governor’s Council
(State-Wide Election)
Members of the Governor’s Council approve or reject the Governor’s appointments of judges, including family court judges. People who serve on the Governor’s Council are in a strong position to influence who will become a family court judge.

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  • Joe Ureneck: Mr. Ureneck has worked actively to reform the family courts, to support shared parenting, to curtail the abuses of the restraining order system, etc.
  • Mike Franco: Mr. Franco has worked actively to reform the family courts, to support shared parenting, to curtail the abuses of the restraining order system, etc.
  • Other Democratic and Republican Candidates: The positions of other candidates are not known at this time.

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State Senator, First Middlesex and Norfolk District
(Representing Newton in Middlesex County and Brookline and Wellesley, precincts A and C, D, E, in Norfolk County)

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  • Senator Cynthia Creem (D): Senator Creem is a practicing divorce attorney who has represented this district for 12 years. For most of the past year, she has been Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, which allows her to kill Fathers and Families bills. She has been unfriendly to all bills filed by Fathers and Families, as well as most other family court reform bills.

    After taking considerable heat for opposing reform of alimony laws, she introduced her own alimony bill, calling it “reform.” Her reform bill added only two words to the existing statute, would have almost no effect on existing alimony law, and appears to have been introduced mainly to thwart the real alimony reform bill. Senator Creem has also clearly stated her opposition to HB 1400, the Fathers and Families shared parenting bill.

    Adrian Walker of the Boston Globe, among others, has criticized Senator Creem for having a conflict of interest, holding up alimony reform legislation while serving as a divorce attorney. The State Ethics Board has denied that she has a conflict of interest.

  • Charles Rudnick (D): Mr. Rudnick is opposing Senator Creem in what appears to be a close race. Mr. Rudnick states that he is in favor of alimony reform, and opposed to shared parenting. He has claimed that Senator Creem has the appearance of a conflict of interest on family court reform matters. Since Mr. Rudnick, if he won, would be a freshman senator, and since he is not a practicing attorney, he has almost no chance to be Co-Chair of the Judiciary Committee, as Senator Creem is.

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State Senator, Middlesex, Suffolk and Essex District

(Representing Cambridge: Ward 3, Precinct 2; Wards 6 and 7; Ward 8, precincts 1 and 2; Ward 9, precinct 1; Ward 10, precinct 2. Everett and Somerville: Ward 1, precinct 1; Ward 2, precinct 1 ; Boston: Ward 2; Ward 21, precincts 4, 6 and 7; Ward 22, precincts 1, 2 and 5. Chelsea and Revere: Ward 6. Saugus: precincts 2, 6 and 10.)

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  • Salvatore DiDomenico (D): Mr. DiDomenico has clearly voiced support for shared parenting. (And alimony reform -ed)
  • Tim Flaherty (D): Mr. Flaherty has been silent on the issue of shared parenting, despite having been asked.

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State Senator, Norfolk and Plymouth District
(Representing Quincy and Braintree: precincts 2 and 6 to 12. All of Holbrook, Abington and Rockland – formerly Senator Morrissey’s seat)

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  • Arthur Stephen Tobin (D): Mr. Tobin has been the State Representative for Quincy for about 20 years. He is a divorced parent and says that he supports shared parenting.
  • John F. Keenan (D): Mr. Keenan has been a Quincy City Counselor for approximately eight years. He has stated no position on shared parenting.

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State Senator, Suffolk and Norfolk District
(Representing Dedham, Norwood and Westwood, as well as Ward 18, precincts 7 to 20, 22, and 23, Ward 19, precincts 10-13 and Ward 20 in Boston)

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  • Michael F. Rush (D) is currently the state representative from West Roxbury. He is a teacher and an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He supports shared parenting.
  • Michael F. Walsh (D) is a Westwood attorney in private practice. He grew up in Dorchester (St Gregory’s) and lived in West Roxbury for 11 years. Michael now resides in Westwood with his wife, Linda, and three of his six children. He has stated no position on shared parenting.
  • Brad Williams (R) is a Principal at Boston Investment Advisers, Inc., a registered investment adviser. Brad recently led the effort to reactivate the Boston Ward 20 Republican Committee and was elected Chairman in May of 2009. In November of 2009 he became the Vice Chair of the Boston City Republican Committee. He is a long-time member of the Trustees of Reservations and a lifetime member of the National Eagle Scout Association. He has stated no position on shared parenting.

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State Senator, Second Suffolk District
(Representing Boston: Ward 3, precincts 7 and 8; Ward 4, precincts 1 to 6, 8 and 9; Ward 5, precincts 1, 4 to 8, and 11; Wards 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12; Ward 14, precincts 3, 6 to 11; and Ward 19, precincts 1 to 9.)

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  • Sonia R. Chang-Diaz (D) is the first Latina woman elected to the Massachusetts State Senate. She is currently serving her first term as state Senator, she has been an advocate for public education, CORI reform, access and opportunities for low-income and immigrant communities, and for those affected by foreclosures, hate crimes, and youth violence. She opposes shared parenting.
  • Hassan A. Williams (D) is an educator, attorney and community advocate, who believes that greater consensus building is needed to create jobs that will sustain long-term employment and support small businesses and sustained economic development. He believes that our seniors are the “crown jewels” of our society and should have the kinds of services (like home based care) that support them with the dignity they deserve. He has stated no position on shared parenting.

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State Senator, Third District
(Representing Waltham, Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Lexington: precincts 3, 8 and 9, Lincoln, Sudbury: precincts 1 and 4, and Weston.)

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  • Senator Susan Fargo (D) has been a state Senator in Massachusetts since 1997 and is the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health. She has come out against shared parenting and alimony reform.
  • Eric Dahlberg (R) is a consultant in the area of healthcare policy and possesses public sector experience at the state and federal levels. He previously worked as a staffer in the State Senate, and supports shared parenting and alimony reform.
  • Sandi Martinez (R) served as a Chelmsford Town Meeting Representative for seven years, was a board member of the Chelmsford Youth Soccer Association, volunteered to serve on different committees serving the local schools, and has been an active member of the Chelmsford Republican Town Committee. She also supports shared parenting and alimony reform.

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State Representative, Tenth Plymouth District
(Representing precinct 3 in the town of Easton and precincts B and C of Ward 4, precincts B, C, and D of Ward 5 and all the precincts of Ward 6 in Brockton, and the entire town of West Bridgewater.)

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  • Christine E. Canavan (D) has represented her district as a State Representative since 1993. Before being elected to the legislature, she served as the Ward 5 member of the Brockton School Committee from 1990-1993, and was elected by her colleagues as the vice-chair of the Committee in 1992. She currently sits on the influential House Ways and Means Committee, as well as the legislature’s joint committees on Economic Development & Emerging Technologies and Community Development & Small Business. She supports shared parenting.
  • Matthew P. Albanese (D) serves on the Board of Selectmen in the town of West Bridgewater. He has stated no position on shared parenting.
  • John F. Cruz (R) is a former state representative, current small businessman and resident of West Bridgewater. He currently serves as Chairman of the West Bridgewater Board of Health, a Member of the West Bridgewater Housing Authority, Registrar of Voters for West Bridgewater, Herring Warden of West Bridgewater, and is a on-call firefighter. His positions on shared parenting and alimony reform are unknown.

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The following candidates/legislators are running unopposed in this primary, but are known to support shared parenting:

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  • F. Jay Barrows (R) – Representative, First Bristol District
  • Carlo Basile (D) – Representative, First Suffolk District
  • John Binienda (D) – Representative, 17th Worcester District
  • William Brownsberger (D) – Representative, 24th Middlesex District
  • James Dwyer (D) – Representative, 30th Middlesex District
  • John Fresolo (D) – Representative, 16th Worcester District
  • Sean Garballey (D) – Representative, 23rd Middlesex District
  • Anne M. Gobi (D) – Representative, Fifth Worcester District
  • Bradley Jones (R) – Representative, 20th Middlesex District
  • Jason M. Lewis (D) – Representative, 31st Middlesex District

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  • David Paul Linsky (D) – Representative, Fifth Middlesex District
  • James J. O’Day (D) – Representative, Fourteenth Worcester District
  • Elizabeth Poirier (R) – Representative, Fourteenth Bristol District
  • Angelo M. Scaccia (D) – Representative, Fourteenth Suffolk District
  • Todd Smola (R) – Representative, First Hampden District
  • Cleon H. Turner (D) – Representative, First Barnstable District
  • Joseph Wagner (D) – Representative, Eighth Hampden District
  • Daniel K. Webster (R) – Representative, Sixth Plymouth District
  • Richard J. Ross (R) – Senator, Norfolk Bristol and Middlesex District
  • Stephen M. Brewer (D) – Senator, Worcester Hampden Hampshire & Franklin District
  • Thomas P. Kennedy (D) – Senator, Second Plymouth and Bristol District
  • Michael R. Knapik (D) – Senator, Second Hampden & Hampshire District
  • Bruce E. Tarr (R) – Senator, First Essex and Middlesex District
  • Stanley C. Rosenberg (D) – Senator, Hampshire and Franklin District
  • Anthony Petruccelli (D) – First Suffolk and Middlesex District

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And last but not least…

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  • Colleen M. Garry (D) – We are deeply indebted to Rep. Garry for having been the lead sponsor of our shared
    parenting bill, H.B. 1400 – An Act Relative to Shared Parenting. She is running for State Representative,
    Thirty-Sixth Middlesex District (Consisting of the towns of Dracut and Tyngsborough).

See you at the polls on Tuesday.

Together with you in the love of our children,

Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Chair of the Board

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