Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In Case You Missed It!

State GOP lawmakers hear of hardship on Cape
The Cape Cod Times, 3/17/09
By Robert Gold

One by one, they stood up and publicly worried about their retirement funds, a medley of proposed state taxes and affording life on Cape Cod.

For nearly two hours, more than 100 people vented, brainstormed and let loose about the weakening economy and what the state Legislature can do about it.

The Sandwich event, held at the town's Human Services building last evening, was one of a handful planned this week by state Republican lawmakers.

Coined the "Hardship Listening Tour" by the organizers, it was designed to hear how everyday people deal with the failing economy and what solutions they have.

Three events were held statewide yesterday, with House Republicans Jeffrey Perry, Vinny deMacedo and Susan Gifford."

The politicians are going to do very little talking tonight, I promise you that," Perry said, before turning the microphones over to the crowd.

They kept their promise and at least a dozen people spoke. They raised a wide range of concerns, including worries about a proposed gas tax hike, corporate fraud and rising health care costs.

Forestdale resident Pam Mulveyhill, a self-employed small business consultant, said rising health care costs and required health insurance were making it difficult to survive.

Mulveyhill said she soon expected to pay $750 in health insurance a month, drawing gasps from the audience.

"How am I supposed to do that? How are these people supposed to do that?," she said.

Others said a gas tax would be crippling and would only keep people from driving as much.

Buzzards Bay resident Marc Doyle urged research into automotive energy alternatives like natural gas.

Perry and the other legislators said the event, although not partisan, should highlight the need for citizens to stay involved in politics through voting and running themselves.

"Maybe there is a (future) candidate out there," Perry said after the event.The Sandwich session was the only "Hardship Listening Tour" stop on Cape Cod. The Republicans have future events planned in Middleton and Westfield.

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