Why Sam Sutter?

To the Editor:

As the September 6 Ninth District primaries fast approaches, voters from the South Shore/Cape & Islands to the South Coast are faced with a choice that will greatly affect our district and our country.

Bill Keating isn't well known in the South Coast as he moved from Quincy to Bourne to avoid running against popular Rep. Steve Lynch after redistricting changes were announced, a move considered by most to be politically prudent. Before that, he had moved to Quincy from Norfolk to run for an open Congressional seat. He has moved several times in recent years seeking higher political office, certainly not unheard of yet reinforcing an image of a professional politician concerned more with personal gain than with constituent loyalty and commitment. I am not as much concerned with where elected officials live as I am with their integrity, honesty, and their ability to get things done. This is where I believe Mr. Keating has failed. We know results and actions speak louder than words. Forming committees and sending letters to the President may look impressive, but unless they yield tangible results, they just become political theatre. In his first 18 months in Congress (10th District ) Keating sponsored 7 bills, 6 of which never made it out of committee. The one successful bill involved the renaming of a federal post office.

We simply need someone who will put people before party and politics. Today I read that Congressional approval ratings are 10%, a 38-year low, due in part to a profound inability by its members to compromise and negotiate with each other. This partisan paralysis is nurtured by members who vote along party lines for personal or party gains and through ignorance or arrogance refuse to move to middle ground for the common good. This is one of the reasons I left the Democratic Party and joined the ranks of Independent/Unenrolled. It is no coincidence that Sen. Scott Brown, with the second most bipartisan record at 72%, garners high voter support across party lines. Mr. Keating, in 2012, has voted 93.6% along party lines, higher than fellow liberal Rep. Barney Frank at 92%, but lower than Sen. Kerry at 97%. Many Republican lawmakers have similar voting records, and they share the blame for these horrendous ratings. 

I have known Sam Sutter both professionally and personally for over 25 years, but our friendship does not earn him a free pass for my vote. We have had our disagreements over time, and I can easily attest to his due diligence, respect for opposing views, and an unrelenting desire and ability to get the job done. Whether it is successfully resurrecting cold cases, convincing the legislature to enact dangerousness hearings despite strong opposition, or comforting victims of horrendous crimes, he has been a hands on district attorney whose accomplishments, fiscal accountability, and high conviction rates are recognized statewide and beyond. And perhaps more important, as his friends and foes will agree, his moral compass has never wavered. These attributes have made him an outstanding DA, and, I honestly believe, will make him an even better Congressman. We simply need someone who will put people before party and politics. And that's why we should send Sam to Washington.

Tom Mendonca
Westport, MA

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