NORTH ADAMS - Third party candidate for Massachusetts governor Evan Falchuk marched in Sunday's 58th annual Northern Berkshire Fall Foliage Parade to get in step with the needs of Northern Berkshire County residents while training an eye on Beacon Hill.
"This is a part of the state that I think is really important. We'll be back," Falchuk said Sunday morning before the parade. The candidate marched in the parade with two of his campaign workers to draw local awareness to his campaign and to introduce himself to voters in Berkshire County. Falchuk is running as the United Independent Party candidate in the 2014 state governor's election. He sees his candidacy as an alternative from the two party politics that face the country and the state.
"The two parties are detached, disconnected from the needs of most voters and the priorities of most voters. I think we are better off when we have an independent governor who's not tied to the party machines and all the interests that fuel them," he said.
"There is a bigger reason behind why I am running," Falchuk said. If the candidate earns 3 percent of the vote in November 2014, then his organization becomes an official party that can nominate candidates in statewide races, according to Massachusetts election law. "Then it becomes interesting when you start to look at 2016," Falchuk said, "We can have candidates in these races all across the state."
One of the key issues of his campaign is the lack of transparency coming from the Statehouse. According to Falchuk, politicians often fail to gain voter trust in order to build a consensus on important issues.
"People do not have the kind of confidence and the faith they need to have in the state government," Falchuk said. "If you're a business and you lost the trust of your customers, then you better work hard to restore it. If people think the state's money is being wasted, then transparently go through the budget and show people where your priorities are and where the money is being spent."
Part of the money being spent in Boston needs to go to education and small business initiatives, according to the candidate. He cited several successful programs in the state that have helped entrepreneurs launch new business. According to Falchuk, these programs received very little funding from the government.
"That ought to be the centerpiece of how we do economic development in cities like North Adams," he said. "We have to be thinking in a very strategic way about the future and how we get there."
According to Falchuk, the move in the country away from a manufacturing-based economy has brought a host of problems that politicians are not addressing the way they need to.
"There is a lot of talk now about raising the minimum wage, which would be helpful if you're earning the minimum wage, but more helpful would be making sure that the person has the skills to command a higher pay."
Falchuk pointed out a successful program initiated in Devon that trained college-aged students in advanced trade skills. This program receives its funds from the federal government, according to Falchuk.
Falchuk co-founded the United Independent Party with other Massachusetts residents in January as a way to counter party loyalty in government decision making and current political discourse, according to a press release issued by his campaign.
Before becoming involved in state politics, Falchuk was the vice chairman of a Boston-based medical research firm that evaluates patient care. He also worked an attorney in Washington, D.C., at a firm that specialized in Federal Securities and Exchange Commission regulation. He currently lives in Auburndale and is a native of Newton.