Transparency & Fairness
The people of Massachusetts deserve a Secretary of State who respects and safeguards the basic governmental principles of transparency, accountability and fairness. Josh is committed to bringing these values to the Secretary’s office every day, ensuring that our residents can plainly see what their government is doing and always know they have a fighter in their corner. Secretary Galvin has habitually made information that should belong to the public hard to obtain: "time and time again, records show, his office has kept government information secret instead of making it public."
As the Commonwealth’s chief records officer, the Secretary of State has a responsibility to the people of Massachusetts to ensure the transparency of their government. Secretary Galvin is not living up to the task. In a 2015 study, The Center for Public Integrity gave Massachusetts an "F" rating in both public access to information and lobbying disclosure. Both failing grades stem from the lack of a clear, online data format for residents to access information. Not only do citizens have to request paper records, the current system requires people seeking records to pay an absurd average of $3,783 dollars per paper record request! Charging that amount of money effectively bars most people from acquiring public records. This roadblock to transparency is completely unacceptable. The people of Massachusetts must should not be kept from information that rightfully belongs to them.
As Secretary of State, Josh will ensure that the public can access all of the records they want to see with minimal exemptions. He will digitize our records and put them online, which will significantly reduce fees. These records are paid for by the public and belong to the public, and they have every right to access them. Additionally, Josh will order an audit of our state’s 16 public records exemptions to ensure that the people of Massachusetts are able to access every record they’re entitled to.
As the Commonwealth’s chief securities regulator, the Secretary of State must ensure a free and fair securities market while protecting residents of Massachusetts against the investment scams and deceptive financial practices that have grown increasingly prevalent in recent years. Josh will be a zealous, tireless advocate for working and retired people when it comes to protecting their investments and savings. He will make sure that companies doing business in Massachusetts understand the rules of the game, and will not hesitate to call lawbreakers to account when they fail to abide. Moreover, Josh understands that responsible innovation and technology in the financial markets are important factors in the economic growth of Massachusetts, but never at the expense of our state’s working and retired residents. He is excited to work together with thought leaders, job creators, and the people of Massachusetts to embrace new, responsible advances in the financial services industry while remaining as vigilant as ever in protecting the financial interests of the hardworking women and men across the Commonwealth.
Public service should be a calling, not a career. Our democracy is at its best when we are moving forward, producing fresh ideas and injecting new energy into the political offices that make Massachusetts a progressive beacon. That is why Josh enthusiastically supports an eight-year cumulative term limit for all statewide elected offices, including Secretary of State. Josh believes there is no greater honor than to represent the people who have elected him, but that after eight years, he owes those same people the chance to seek a fresh perspective. Quite simply, politicians who rely on getting re-elected for their job security can not and do not represent the interests of the people before themselves, as Josh adamantly feels they should. Secretary Galvin first became an elected politician in 1975, or 43 years ago, and is now in his 24th year and 6th term as Secretary of State.
The Secretary of the State retains broad oversight of the lobbying industry on Beacon Hill. In the post-Citizens United political climate, we must ensure that the lobbying process in Massachusetts is transparent, fair, and safe. Everyone has a right to know who is lobbying their elected officials and what interests those lobbyists represent. And given the recent revelations about workplace harassment on Beacon Hill, it’s imperative that everyone working in our state government - including lobbyists - receives workplace harassment prevention training and has access to robust reporting procedures. As Secretary of State, Josh will carefully regulate lobbying activities and ensure that lobbyists are active participants in making Beacon Hill a safer and more welcoming place to work.