Independent Gubernatorial Candidate Evan Falchuk's Vision For Massachusetts

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Evan Falchuk is a candidate running for governor. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Evan Falchuk is a candidate running for governor. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Evan Falchuk is running as an independent running for governor of Massachusetts under the banner of the United Independent Party.

One of Falchuk's goals is to get at least 3 percent of the vote in November — which would give his third party official status in Massachusetts. That would mean an official party primary and nominating convention ion 2016 --and the possibility of a three party system in Massachusetts.


Evan Falchuk, attorney and former president of the global health firm Best Doctors, Inc. He tweets @efalchuk.


On the United Independent Party:
Evan Falchuk:
“It is about challenging the establishment. We’ve got a government system today that does not take people seriously or treat them seriously. It’s become captured by large, moneyed interest — that isn't representing the needs of ordinary people.”

On the Independent party in Massachusetts:
“A majority of our legislators are running unopposed, only 27 percent of people voted in the last statewide election. We see things happening — like not enough funding for programs for education, for veterans, for seniors, for all sorts of very high priorities — but suddenly $1 billion becomes available to build something like the convention center in Boston. I don’t think that's going to change by tweaking the edges of our political process, but rather by building a new coalition of people who believe in the things I just described and getting them to vote and to create a framework for a permanent independent voice in our politics that will not be tied to these interests.”

On running as an Independent:
“I should not be running as a Republican. I should be creating a new party. I agree with you completely that this will be a second party. That really is the goal here. The Republican party is down to about 11 percent of registered votes, but the Democratic party is at 35 percent of registered voters. So the majority of voters have chosen not to be associated with either of the two parties. We need to build that new framework.”

On the most important issue facing Massachusetts:
“The high cost of living in Massachusetts is the most important issue we face. Now, the cost of living in Massachusetts is so high because of the monopolistic consolidation of hospitals, like Partners, into giant systems. There is no action from the state to deal with this issue. The reality is there is broad-based bipartisan agreement on all sorts of issues that are very, very important to ordinary voters [and] small business people across the state. But they don't act on that basis. It will not change if we don’t elect new people to do it... These mergers should not be allowed to happen and we should be implementing a fee schedule like they’ve done in Maryland, where if we even knocked out 5 percent of the wasted expense in hospitals, that’s $2 billion a year. We also don’t construct housing — we just saw the failure of a bill in the legislature that would have updated the some of the land use and planning laws to the 1980s, but they couldn’t do it. The legislature spends most of its time not meeting, which is really one of the issues we face. And it comes down to a broken political process.”

On campaign finances:
“[There are] strong words about how terrible it is to have too much money in politics. We’ve heard Martha Coakley complain about it this week, about the super PAC that Steve Grossman has. We’ve heard that Charlie Baker has a super PAC set up to support him. These super PACs make a mockery of our campaign finance and system of laws in our democracy. Every time you listen to political leaders talk about them and say, ‘Oh, it’s so terrible,’ it’s particularly galling because they know damn well that there are things they could do even at a state level. California and Vermont have led on this by calling for a constitutional convention to amend the federal constitution to declare that corporations aren’t people and that money isn’t speech. More than a month ago I called on all the candidates in this race to join me in pledging to introduce legislation that will do just that within the first 100 days.”

On getting Bay Staters to vote:
“People have to vote. There was an effort in the 1970s to start to control this, and people have been chipping away at it. And when people don't vote, when 27 percent of people vote, you know who wins? The establishment wins. They don’t have to worry about 73 percent of voters. All across the Commonwealth people say, ‘I want things to be different.’ But they have to vote. When you think about that pledge I was talking about to amend our constitution, we also don't see as much news coverage of those issues. I sent that challenge out to all sorts of news stations, including this one, to talk about this issue. And what we see is plenty of coverage about the complaining about all of this money in politics, but we don’t see coverage about the reality that people could do something about it if they really wanted to. So the hypocrisy of the establishment is what has to be challenged and the idea behind creating this new party is that there are a lot of people out there who feel the same way. It’s not just, ‘Oh, I want to protest,’ or ‘I don’t like the way the system is.' There are people who want to do real, meaningful things to make people’s lives and material conditions better in Massachusetts, and we can.”

On Gov. Patrick’s call to host immigrant children:
“I supported it and I was very open about this. I think it's a good example, again, of what’s wrong with our politics. Because on the right we heard people saying some pretty horrible things about the immigrants. The protests happening in front of the statehouse were shameful. It was really shameful. People were chanting all sorts of anti-Hispanic slurs and I think that’s wrong. On the other hand, I don’t think it was helpful for the governor to compare this issue to turning around a boat for people escaping from the Holocaust. But our politics has become about that kind of mudslinging food fight and not about the responsible leadership that says, 'We’ve got a humanitarian crisis, there are laws that need to be followed. Each state needs to help.' It’s very straightforward when you explain it to people. But that’s not what happens in our politics, and that needs to change. It will not change until we elect new people. We will not see that change until the people who are in that majority of voters, vote.

On the O’Brien trial:
“I’m a business person, and any good hire you make is going to include references. That trial was not about the idea that there are some people who got references, it’s about the idea that there was some kind of illegal activity going on in connection with those hires. The challenge we have is that it opened up a window into businesses-as-usual on Beacon Hill and in our government in general. Some of it is just the ugliness of how legislation seems to get made, and some of it crossed the line into being illegal. If we don’t like it as voters, we have a responsibility to elect people who don’t do business in that way. It shouldn't be hard to understand what it means to elect people for merit only. What I called for very specifically was to say that the inspector general’s office ought to have a unit based purely on this issue of proper hiring so that we can be constantly scouring the ranks of our state employees to make sure that we’ve got the right people in these important jobs.”

On federal prosecutorial overreach:
“There’s federal prosecutorial overreach happening all the time in our drug war with people that are being locked up, particularly in communities of color, for low-level offenses. Maybe this is an example, too, of when the jury seems to agree that there were crimes committed. But if we’re going to talk about prosecutorial overreach, we’ve got to be real about this. It always becomes exciting, or titillating to talk about that kind of a story, but we’ve got a much broader issues happening in our democracy... It is fundamentally the drive behind why the Independent party is going to be successful. Ideally, the Falchuk for governor campaign is going to be successful at being the first Independent administration in Massachusetts history.”

On what voters don’t know about Evan Falchuk:
“I am a kind of an amateur backyard astronomer. I like to put my telescope out and show my wife, Felicia, and our three kids — who are 14, 11 and 7 — let them see the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter. I saw on Twitter that the space station was passing by and I had everybody run outside during dinner so that we could see it. It was really cool These are the important things in families, to have those kinds of connections.”

Rapid fire round:

“I’ll be voting against the repeal of that law. What’s wrong with our democracy is that we voted, the cities and towns voted, and people have to be able to lose and move forward. So we’ve got to move forward.”

Buffer zone?
“They found that that buffer zone law was unconstitutional. I think we need to be protecting women going into clinics... I think our establishment failed us by not passing a law and creating a law that was constitutional. To lose 9-0 at this Supreme Court is quite an accomplishment and not one to be proud of... My concern about the first buffer zone law was that the case made it possible to say that all buffer zone laws were unconstitutional. We need to have physical security and do whatever it takes to make sure that women are able to have access to those clinics.”

2024 Olympics in Boston?
“Bad idea. It’s a huge amount of money for a purpose that’s not clear to me. And we’ve got other priorities that are more important. We need cheaper health care. We need more affordable housing. The Olympics does not provide either of those things, so I am firmly against that.”

Red Sox trade?
“They’ve always been creative and their ability to get return for those trades is remarkable. The Red Sox has won three world series' in the last decade. You cannot argue with that kind of success.”


WBUR: Meet The Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidates

  • "This fall, Massachusetts will elect a new governor to succeed Deval Patrick. See below for brief bios of the three Democrats, two Republicans and three independents in the race. The Democratic and Republican primaries are Sept. 9 and the general election is Nov. 4."

The Boston Globe: Evan Falchuk's Bold Vision

  • "His signature health care proposal calls for moving Massachusetts to a rate-setting regime like Maryland’s, in which state regulators would determine hospital charges and overall budgets. His view there is informed by his 13 years at Best Doctors Inc., a company that provides second opinions for patients’ diagnoses and treatment plans. He doesn’t believe that, in the current era of hospital consolidation, it’s possible to control health care costs without more dramatic action than Massachusetts has so far taken."

Correction: An earlier version of this story included several incorrect transcriptions. 1.) That Evan Falchuk said the Republican party is down to about 7 percent of registered votes. He said it is down to about 11 percent. 2.) That Falchuk said 27 percent of people don't vote. He said 27 percent of people vote. 3.) That Falchuk said what’s wrong with our ​​constitution is that we voted. He said what's wrong with our democracy is that we voted.

This article was originally published on August 06, 2014.

This segment aired on August 6, 2014.


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