Thursday October 18, 2012

State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, has won an endorsement from Gov. Deval Patrick for his 4th Berkshire District re-election campaign against Green-Rainbow Party challenger Scott Laugenour.

The match-up is a replay of their 2010 contest, when Pignatelli was returned to Boston for his fifth term, winning 83 percent of the vote.

In the pre-recorded endorsement, which will run as a 60-second radio ad during the final stage of the campaign, Patrick declared that "we are leading the country in so many ways -- job creation, education, health care, veterans' services and energy efficiency. We are working to ensure that those benefits are felt in every community from Boston to the Berkshires."

As Patrick put it, "Progress requires partners and one of my best legislative partners is Smitty Pignatelli. I'm proud to support Smitty."

Pignatelli has won other endorsements including the political action arm of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 509, which represents private human service workers who provide care to seniors, at-risk children and people with mental illness and developmental disabilities.

Laugenour has been endorsed by the political action committee of the United Auto Workers Union based on his answers to a questionnaire. He cited support of the union's position on issues such as quality health care and education, fair wages and workers' rights.


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"We are working hard to bring a choice for real progressive change to voters," Laugenour said in a prepared statement. "I stand for fair taxes and health care for all residents in the Commonwealth. Without a good education and jobs-supporting infrastructure, the quality of life for the average Massachusetts resident declines. I intend to continue to stand up to business as usual."

Pignatelli has also been endorsed by a pro-choice group, the state arm of NARAL Pro-Choice America, a long-established advocacy group supporting women's rights to make personal, private choices about pregnancy and childbearing. The incumbent representative describes himself as a member of the pro-choice voting bloc in the Statehouse.

He is also supported by the political action arm of the state chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Laugenour has been campaigning in favor of a non-binding ballot question asking voters if they support protection of Social Security, Medicare and other safety-net programs.

The question also seeks backing to end off-shore tax havens, to oppose tax cuts for high-income earners, and to support the immediate, safe return of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, redirecting budget savings toward job creation and public services.

The Pignatelli-Laugenour campaign is the only Statehouse contest on the ballot in Berkshire County.