Mark Miller campaign news: Debate report, Planned Parenthood endorsement

Mark Miller‘s campaign for Massachusetts State Representative in the 3rd Berkshire District has been busy in the final weeks leading up to the October 18th special election. This is Miller’s second run for the office, after earning 45% of the vote in 2010. In a recent email to supporters, the Miller campaign announced its latest endorsement:

The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund (the political arm of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts) has announced that it is supporting Mark Miller in his bid to become the next State Representative for the Third Berkshire District. The announcement comes on the heels of the endorsement by Mass Alliance, the statewide coalition that includes Planned Parenthood.

George Hollister Isman of Mass Alliance cited Mark’s pro-choice stance in her statement announcing the coalition’s endorsement of the GRP candidate: “Mark Miller is the clear progressive choice for State Representative. His commitment to excellent public schools, good local jobs, a woman’s right to choose, and a heath care system that is truly universal and affordable will make him a strong progressive voice in the State House.”

Together with the support of the UAW, Mass Nurses, and Mass Alliance, this latest endorsement shows that the GRP’s Mark Miller is staking out political ground usually occupied by Democrats.

Soon afterward, another email reported back from a debate sponsored by Pittsfield media:

Yesterday evening (Monday, October 3) Mark joined the three other candidates for a sometimes lively debate at Berkshire Community College. The debate sponsors were the Pittsfield Gazette and Pittsfield Community TV.

Mark drove home the point that politics-as-usual isn’t working for Pittsfield, which has lower wages, lower per-pupil spending, and higher unemployment than the state average. In the audience were Mark’s wife, Osneyda, and their two children, both of whom are students in the Pittsfield public schools.

To read the Berkshire Eagles’s account of the event just click here.

To learn more about Mark Miller’s campaign, check out his website.

Dave Schwab


  1. I’ll probably be going up to Massachusetts with a group of Wesleyan students next weekend to volunteer for the campaign – if you live within a few hours’ drive, you should do the same!

  2. This race keeps getting more interesting. The debate revealed that the Democrat (who won the primary with about 40%) opposes single-payer health care, making Mark Miller the only candidate in the race who will support single-payer in the MA state house. (By the way, if you’re too far away to volunteer in Pittsfield, the Miller campaign would surely appreciate some financial help). Miller supporters are responding by making single-payer a campaign issue, as the following Berkshire Greens email shows:

    From Michael Kaplan 10/5/11
    To the editor of the Berkshire Eagle:

    In Tuesday’s Berkshire Eagle it was revealed the Democratic candidate for state representative in the 3rd district, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, is not a supporter of a single-payer health care system and Ms. Farley-Bouvier is misinformed about what such a system would accomplish. Our current system has a variety of payers some of which compensate institutions and physicians below the cost of care, especially the underfunded Medicaid program for the poor. Hospitals and doctors then have to “cost-shift” and charge private payers and individuals well above the cost of care, inflating our insurance premiums. Medicare often serves as the standard for payment for doctors and hospitals and attempts to reimburse at the cost of care. In a single-payer system, everyone is covered by one payer and rates are determined by the cost of providing that care. Hospitals negotiate global budgets and there is no more cost-shifting or worry about putting local institutions in jeopardy, as there is now. Ten hospitals in eastern Mass have recently been bought by a for-profit investor owned company where return on investment is more important than providing quality care. A single-payer system, an expanded improved Medicare-for-all, would support community hospitals and doctors in providing that quality care and indeed it is the only system that has been shown to provide quality care to all at lower cost than what we are doing now.

    There is just one candidate in this race committed to single payer health care reform both for our state and the nation and he is the Green-Rainbow candidate Mark Miller. Ms Farley-Bouvier has distanced herself from the many organizations that support single payer including unions like the UAW, the Mass Teachers Assn, the National Association of Social Workers, Mass Chapter and the Mass Nurses Assn as well as the League of Women Voters Massachusetts. She has even distanced herself from the state Democratic Party platform which calls for single-payer health care reform.

    So I call on voters in the 3rd district to support a true health care reform advocate for state rep, Mark Miller, Green-Rainbow party.

    Michael Kaplan, MD
    Family Physician, Lee
    member MassCare and Physicians for a National Health Program
    chair, Berkshire Greens PAC

    From Scott Laugenour 10/4/11
    To Ben Day, Executive Director of MassCare:


    Hi Ben,

    I’m interested in knowing what MassCare has done or is planning to do as it relates to voter education in the special election for 3rd Berkshire District State Representative.

    As you know, the former 3rd Berkshire District State Representative, Chris Speranzo, was a co-sponsor of the single payer health care bill when he resigned earlier this year. There is only one candidate in the 4-way special election race who can be sure to co-sponsor the bill when elected: Mark Miller.*

    Unlike the MA Nurses Association and MassAlliance, which have both endorsed Mark, I’m aware that MassCare does not make endorsements. You have told me, though, that it does occasionally engage in voter education, assessing the candidates’ positions on single payer to help voters who care about the issue to make an informed decision.

    I hope it’s not the case that the only occasions when MassCare engages in voter education are when the supporter of single payer is a Democrat. Such a policy would silence MassCare in this election, too, where other advocacy groups have been bolder. It’s very clear* that the Democrat in the race, whose comments I reference in the headline of this message, is not a supporter of single payer and cannot be relied upon to co-sponsor the bill, which if she won would further accelerate the session-to-session decline we have seen in the number of co-sponsors of the single payer bill.

    Scott Laugenour
    Berkshire County Representative
    Green-Rainbow Party State Committee

    * From today’s (Oct 4, 2011) Berkshire Eagle report on last night’s candidate debate:

    …While [Green-Rainbow candidate] Miller reiterated his advocacy for single-payer health care, [Democratic candidate] Farley-Bouvier responded by saying that a “Medicare for all” approach would mean that health care providers would be reimbursed well below the cost of care. She expressed concern that the system would put institutions like Berkshire Medical Center in jeopardy.

    See also: http://www.greenmassgroup.com/diary/631/calling-on-masscare

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