October 28, 2010

Q & A With the Candidates

South County Independent
Timothy W. Burchett
The candidate, an endorsed Republican running in House District 34, did not respond to a request for information.
Peter J. Stone
The candidate, an independent running in House District 34, did not respond to a request for information.
Teresa Tanzi
57 Hillcrest Road, Wakefield 
Age: 38 
Office sought: State Representative, District 34
Endorsed: No 
Political party: Democrat 
Previous terms: None 
Profession: Community advocate, student, mom 
Education: Middlesex County College, University of Rhode Island course- work; working toward a degree in public policy at Brown University 
Community/volunteer activities: South Kingstown Economic Development Committee, Jonnycake Center Hunger Task Force,Wakefield Downtown Merchants Association 
Family: Married to Dr. Eric Buchbaum, partner in Shoreline Podiatry and medical director of the Wound Care Center at South County Hospital; a four-year-old daughter, Delia Tanzi Buchbaum 
Years of residency: Three years in Wakefield, seven in Narragansett

The state and its 39 municipalities struggled this year to balance their budgets. How would you cope with declin- ing revenues and increasing costs?
The continued loss of revenue is no accident. The leadership of the General Assembly, in league with the Governor’s Office, has worked relentlessly to give tax breaks and handouts to the wealthiest individuals and corporations in our state, while shifting the burden of paying for our shared infrastructure on the ever smaller middle class. This has forced impossible decisions on us in South County and communities throughout the state. Recall the conversation around closing Wakefield Elementary? To start with, we need to repeal the June vote by the General Assembly to dismantle the tax code. Thirty individuals benefit from this tax cut, costing tens of millions of dollars, while the rest of Rhode Island struggles. We need to repeal this tax “reform” now, and put our state on secure financial footing. Secondly, 23 other states have enacted a tax policy called “combined corporate reporting” which ends the shell game that multi-state corporations use to avoid paying state income taxes. Finally, I continue to be vocal about the need for the legislature to follow up on its mandate that the Department of Revenue open the books and review all 211 tax expenditures (88 of which are not found in any other New England state), a mandate with which the Carcieri administration has refused to comply.

What is the “best idea” that you would bring to elected office?
The best that I can offer is to be a voice for the million Rhode Islanders who have been left out of the gamesmanship and tax giveaways over the past decade. I look forward to introducing legislation that makes committee and floor votes by our legislators available, accessible and searchable to all.
Local energy, local food, local economy: I believe that we can strengthen local, healthy and sustainable food sources while revitalizing our town centers. As an elected official I will protect our local family farms and advocate for our local fisheries, and keeping our processing capabilities and jobs here. Furthermore, I look forward to promoting the thoughtful development of renewable energy, incentivize distributed generation of solar and wind projects, and help local bio-diesel initiatives to prosper. Currently Newport Biodiesel collects cooking oil from local businesses and manufactures it into bio-diesel that I use to propel my car and heat my home. I see local energy and food production as a growth industry and I hope to be able to help usher it into our community.