A VOTER’S GUIDE To Republican State Rep. Candidate Pina Prinzivalli

WILMINGTON, MA — Pina Prinzivalli (R-Tewksbury) is the only active candidate competing in the September 4 Republican primary election for the 19th Middlesex State Representative seat.

Below are Pina’s Q&A’s with Wilmington Apple, along with links to her endorsement from the Tewksbury Republican Town Committee; her campaign press releases; her interview with WCTV (video), the Town Crier (written), and Wilmington Patch (written); coverage of a campaign event; a copy of her campaign finance report; and her website and social media.

On The Issues (Q&A’s with Wilmington Apple)

Why do you want to be our State Representative? 

I take pride in being the only non politician in this race.  I’m a career professional and I’m a hardworking taxpayer, just like you. I believe Beacon Hill is made up of career politicians and is sorely lacking a taxpayer mentality.  The size of Government has grown, our tax burden has increased and it has become increasingly difficult to live, work and raise a family in Massachusetts.  And that’s why I want to be our State Representative, to be a bold voice that puts the taxpayers first.

From the moment I launched my campaign last October, I immediately went to work to lower our tax burden by collecting signatures for a ballot question to reduce the sales tax and establish an annual tax free weekend.  You deserve to keep more of your hard earned money to better take care of yourself, your family and your loved ones.  Not the government’s desire to take care of the specials interests and themselves, as evident by the massive pay raises they voted for in January of 2017.  That’s why I’ve pledged to never vote myself a pay raise and if there’s ever an increase in base salary, I will donate that money to charity.

I’m also the only candidate who has signed the Taxpayers Protection Pledge.  I will vote against and oppose all efforts to raise taxes because the government doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.

My ten plus years of experience as a customer service rep and manager in local banking has me ready on day one to take care of my constituents.  It’s what I do every day.  I take care of the people who enter my branch and put them on the road to success.  I will do the same as your next State Representative.

Do you consider yourself a liberal, conservative or moderate? Please describe your political ideology.

I never considered myself as being “political,” thus I never branded myself with a label growing up or during my professional career.  But the more I’ve learned about what’s going on in our state and our country and the more views I’ve developed, I consider myself to be on the conservative side of the political spectrum.  I believe in our Constitution and will uphold the oath to serve and protect our rights and the rule of law.  I’m pro life.  I’m pro 2nd Amendment.  I oppose Sanctuary cities and Massachusetts becoming a Sanctuary State.

What is your interpretation of the 2nd Amendment? When, if ever, should a citizen’s 2nd Amendment rights be curtailed? Do you consider yourself a pro 2ndAmendment candidate?

On May 24, 2018, I pledged that when I elected, I will continue to file Representative James Miceli’s “An Act Relative to Constitutional Rights” bill (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H1296). This pledge came less than 24 hours after the latest effort by the Massachusetts legislature to further erode our constitutional rights.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican or an independent, rights are rights and they’re to be protected by those who take the oath of office to defend the Constitution. And that includes the 2nd Amendment. Mr. Miceli prided himself on standing up for the rights of law abiding gun owners. I am committed to making sure that pride does not end with his passing. I’m pledging to continue filing his bill to make sure our rights are being protected.

“An Act Relative to Constitutional Rights” states:

No county, municipality, township or other community entity within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may enact, pass or enforce any law, ordinance or regulation concerning the lawful ownership, use, possession, transfer, purchase, receipt or transportation of weapons, antique weapons, ammunition or ammunition components.

The right to keep and bear arms is an individual civil right and shall be presumed to exist in all matters regarding the ownership, use, possession, transfer, purchase, receipt or transportation of weapons, antique weapons, ammunition or ammunition components unless expressly prohibited by the general laws of this Commonwealth.

As it stands right now, a town could try and ban gun ownership. What this legislation would do is prohibit local ordinances or laws regulating firearms and weapons. The bill hasn’t made it out of committee in either session it was filed but I will work to make sure the voices of law abiding gun owners are heard and that our rights are protected.

Do you support capital punishment? When, if ever, should a person convicted of a crime be put to death by its government? Would you support reinstating the death penalty in Massachusetts?

During this current house session, Representative Miceli filed a bill (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H906/BillHistory) to reinstitute the death penalty in Massachusetts. The bill was co-sponsored by Representative Shaunna O’Connell (R-Taunton) who has endorsed my candidacy here in the 19th Middlesex District. If Representative O’Connell continues to file this bill or any other legislator in the future, as it is currently written, I will sign on as a co-sponsor and will vote in favor of. Recently there has been a call to bring back the death penalty for “cop killers.” While I support that as an option at trial, I don’t think it should be limited to just those who have murdered our men and women in uniform. Doing so would create a separate class.

How big a problem is illegal immigration in Massachusetts? What, if anything, should the legislature be doing to curb illegal immigration? Do you support or oppose Massachusetts becoming a sanctuary state?

Illegal immigration is a $1.8 billion dollar problem, if not bigger.  And if the Massachusetts Democratic Party gets its way of making Massachusetts a sanctuary state, taxpayers can expect that number to continue to grow at an alarming rate.

When I launched my campaign last October, I highlighted the fact that its wrong for the Tewksbury and Wilmington taxpayers to be funding sanctuary cities.  Our money belongs right back here in the district for our schools, infrastructure, public safety, our seniors and our veterans.

Several weeks ago Tewksbury police arrested an illegal immigrant for trafficking heroin.  I was the only candidate to issue a formal statement reinforcing my opposition to sanctuary cities.  My video and position was highlighted by the Lowell Sun.  All the other candidates were silent, including the five Democrats.

Throughout this campaign I’ve proven to be a bold voice.  Whether its working to lower our tax burden or signing on to impeach an incompetent judge in Judge Timothy Feeley or opposing sanctuary cities, I’m someone who isn’t afraid to stand up for what is right.  As your next State Representative I will continue to be that bold voice and vote against funding sanctuary cities and oppose becoming a sanctuary state.

Do you consider yourself a pro-choice candidate or a pro-life candidate? Under what circumstances, if any, should abortion be legal?

I’m a pro life candidate and collected signatures last fall for an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution that would do away with taxpayer funded abortions.

What will you do as State Representative to help individuals and families in Tewksbury, Wilmington and beyond who are struggling as a result of the opioid epidemic? 

As State Representative I will be compassionate and understanding to help families and individuals who are struggling with the opioid epidemic, while being tough on those who are pushing this poison on our streets.

The families I’ve spoken to over the course of the past 8 months want better access to affordable and successful treatment facilities.  They also want to see dealers punished with longer prison sentences.  Throughout my campaign, I’ve been working very closely with Representative Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman), who is also a candidate for U.S. Senate.  Recently, Geoff Diehl released “HOPE,” his Comprehensive and Compassionate Plan for fighting the opioid epidemic when he becomes Senator.  I invite the community to read more about at https://diehlforsenate.com/issues/opioid-addiction

When Geoff and I our elected to our respective positions in November, I will have a positive and effective working relationship with both Geoff and other elected officials in the State House to advocate for bringing more federal funding to Massachusetts and the 19th Middlesex District so we can finally give families and our community the help they need.

What will you do as State Representative to help attract and maintain small and large businesses in Wilmington and Tewksbury? Do you consider yourself a business-friendly candidate? Why?

I want to be a best friend for businesses.  As State Representative, I would have voted against the recent passage of the “Grand Bargain” bill.  Unfortunately, this bill isn’t going to help attract and maintain small and large businesses anytime soon and could prove quite costly in the long run.  I want Government off the backs of those who are the lifeblood and job producers in our community.

Last year, there was a controversial bill in which members of the state legislature voted to give themselves large raises (up to to 45% in some cases), and included judicial raises in the bill so that the voters couldn’t potentially override the bill in a ballot question. The salary increases for elected officials came at a time where taxes were increasing and certain services were being cut. As state representative, how would you vote on such a matter? (Mind you, members of the New Hampshire state legislature earn only $200 per year.) Additionally, if elected, do you intend on working a second job or will you focus fully on your legislator position?

The legislative pay raises were the driving issue that inspired me to launch my campaign last October, six months before any other candidate.  And it’s why I’m running to put the “Taxpayers First.”  I’m only candidate who has pledged to never vote myself a pay raise and in the event there’s an increase to the base salary, I will donate it to charity.  I made this pledge on January 25, 2018.  The one year anniversary of the infamous pay raise vote.

What many don’t realize about the pay raises is that an emergency preamble was attached to the bill so they’d get the money right away.  The vote also came after they had already received a bump in base salary, thanks to an increase in the household median income, as stated in the Massachusetts constitution.

The pay raises, worth about $18,000,000 per year, came at a time when the legislature balked at the idea of giving us a tax free weekend for two straight years, saying that they didn’t have the money for it.  But they were somehow able to find money for themselves.  Mind you, a tax free weekend costs about $25,000,000 in “lost revenue.”

As a career professional, and a hardworking taxpayer just like you, it’s time we bring the taxpayer mentality to Beacon Hill.  Enough of the career politicians and the special interests.  YOU are the ones who deserve to keep more of your hard earned money.  That’s why I worked to lower your tax burden, the only candidate to do so, by collecting over 800 signatures for the ballot question to reduce the sales tax back to 5% and establish a tax free weekend every year.  Unfortunately those same career politicians and special interests, threw the signatures in the trash and did away with the ballot question as part of the “Grand Bargain” bill that was recently past.

It’s just another reason why we need someone who will put the “Taxpayers First.”  And it’s something I will do as your full time representative.

The late Representative Miceli fought hard on environmental issues. Even though the Olin Superfund site, the Maple Meadow Landfill, and the New England Transrail project were not in his district, he went to bat for the Wilmington residents to help in the detrimental impacts from these sites. Do you have a clear knowledge of the threats from these sites and even though not in your district, will you fight for the residents of Wilmington like Jim Miceli did?

The concern for cancer has been brought up by multiple Wilmington residents while door knocking.  When it comes to the safety and well being of the residents in our community, all of us need to be onboard to lookout and protect one another, regardless of precinct.  No matter the issue or location, I will take and answer any call and any email that comes my way from any Tewksbury or Wilmington resident.  And as your next State Representative, I look forward to working with Representative Jim Lyons (Tewksbury Precincts 3 & 3A) and Representative Ken Gordon (Wilmington Precinct 3) to make sure all of the residents from both towns are getting the representation they deserve from Beacon Hill.

Do you feel Massachusetts residents are over-taxed? How will you balance the need to provide government services to the taxpayers & fund the government with most taxpayers’ desire for no tax increases? Can you point to anywhere in the state budget where you believe there is waste, fraud or abuse? What will you do about it?

When it comes to taxes, I’m the only candidate who is running to put the taxpayers first.  I’m the only candidate who has worked to lower our tax burden by collecting signatures for a ballot question to reduce the sales tax and establish a permanent tax free weekend.  I’m also the only candidate who has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to oppose and vote against all efforts to raise taxes.  That’s because Massachusetts doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.  Our spending is at a record high.  The current revenue is $1.2 Billion higher than what was originally projected.  So please don’t be fooled by the same ol’ Beacon Hill song and dance that we, that taxpayers, need to give more of our hard earned money to the government in order to provide the necessary services.  The money is already there.  It’s simply a matter of priorities.

As far as fraud, waste and abuse?  $1.8 Billion is the number that always stands out to me.  That’s the amount we, the taxpayers pay to provide benefits and services for those who are here illegally.  And if Massachusetts becomes a Sanctuary State.  That amount will grow.  That is why I have been a bold “NO” to Massachusetts becoming a Sanctuary State since launching my campaign last October.  I also consider $18 Million in legislative pay raises to be a waste.  Which is why I’m the only candidate to pledge to never vote myself a pay raise if there’s an increase to the base salary, I will donate it to charity.

Former State Representative Jim Miceli was known through the district for his extraordinary constituent services. Do you pledge to provide a similar level of constituent services if elected? How will you be responsive to requests for help from residents of Wilmington and Tewksbury?

Constituent services, just like customer services, are people services.  As a branch manager at a local bank, I’ve been working in people services for well over 10 years.  Individuals and small businesses come to me on a daily basis and I meet their needs.  The same will hold true as State Representative.  I love people and I enjoy helping.  Mr. Miceli did too.  He was amazing at that and no one will ever be able to compare.  I will be reachable morning, noon and night and will bring a unique skill set to this office of being a career professional.  It has been very rewarding to have individuals already reaching out to me for help and guidance.  They tell me I’m very approachable.  Must be the lawn smiles. 🙂

The Massachusetts education funding formula hasn’t been updated in 25 years. This Chapter 70 formula fails to provide the funding needed for school districts to fund core expenses. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center published a report last week (“Building An Education System That Works For Everyone: Funding Reforms To Help All Our Children Thrive“) detailing the problem. The Wilmington & Tewksbury School Committees have long advocated for the State House to update the Chapter 70 formula. Do you commit to fighting for an updated formula? What else will you do as State Representative to help our public schools?

When it comes to spending our tax dollars, taxpayers view education as a priority. I’ll support updating the formula and will also be outspoken against unfunded mandates. I believe failing schools should be held accountable. I’m a big supporter of vocational schools and I’m someone who wants to see Common Core completely done away with.

Define “negative campaigning.” Do you pledge not to engage in any negative campaigning during this election? Why or why not? When responding to an attack, will you follow the “when they go low, we go high” Michelle Obama mantra or the “when someone attacks me, I always attack back… except 100x more” Donald Trump mantra?

As the first candidate to enter this race, I pledge to continue to run the same campaign I’ve been running since October 18, 2017 when I officially announced.   It takes courage to run for office and expose your life to the public.  I’m proud to be the only candidate who had the courage to enter this race last fall.  While I’ve been subject to many personal attacks and lies and even had an elected official threaten to stalk me on the campaign trail, I take it all in stride and wear it as a badge of honor.  I wasn’t afraid to run in October.  I’m not afraid now.  And I’m certainly not going to be afraid to represent the taxpayers with a bold voice on Beacon Hill.

What you will do at the State House to ensure that our local police and fire departments have what they need to adequately protect us? Do you support a fire substation in North Wilmington? Did you/do you support the construction of the new center fire station in Tewksbury that was approved last year?

First and foremost I #BackTheBlue and thank every man and woman in uniform who risk their lives each and every day to keep our communities safe. I’m committed to making sure they have the necessary tools and training and the resources to cope with the stresses of the job.

It’s a tough political climate. We have Senator Elizabeth Warren wanting to abolish ICE and calling our criminal justice system “racist” from front to back. That’s incredibly inflammatory and puts a target on the backs of our law enforcement. We’ve had two Massachusetts officers murdered this year and two more recently shot in Falmouth.

Let me tell you what I’m already doing. I’m the only candidate who has joined the fight to impeach activist judges like Judge Timothy Feeley. These judges are letting career criminals back onto our streets to endanger our communities and making it more difficult for our police. Last week, the House refused to take a vote on Judge Feeley’s impeachment. What does that say about their commitment to protect our streets? As your next State Representative, you can count on me to continue this fight to hold activist judges accountable.

As a Tewksbury taxpayer, I believe public safety is a priority when it comes to spending. I support my having to pay $1.91 per week towards building the new center station.

The Vietnam War Moving Wall recently visited Wilmington. It was a sobering reminder of what the men and women in our armed forces are willing to sacrifice to preserve our freedom. What will you do at the State House to support our local veterans and veterans statewide? What, if anything, have you done as a private citizen and/or locally elected official that shows a commitment to veterans? Do you personally have any family that serves/served?

I’m endorsed by U.S. Air Force Veteran John MacDonald. John is with Veterans Assisting Veterans and a candidate for State Senate in the First Middlesex District. I look forward to joining him on Beacon Hill so we can make our military heroes a priority.

We can’t do enough for veterans. They belong at the front of the line when it comes to benefits. If they’re not, I’ll speak up and make sure they are. Housing, healthcare, and job opportunities for veterans should be a priority for every elected official in Massachusetts. It will be for me.

While visiting the Moving Wall I had a touching conversation with Mr. Ed Celli. Mr. Celli coached my cousin in soccer for many years (my family has been in Wilmington for nearly 30 years). Mr. Celli has given so much of himself. He’s an inspiration. Thank you for your service Mr. Celli, I hope I get the chance to work with you as State Representative.

My grandfather served in the military in Italy. My fiancé has family members who served in World War II.

What are some of the major infrastructure needs in the district? Can you point to specific streets/areas within both towns that “need work?” What will you do as State Rep to ensure certain roadway projects, sidewalk projects, etc. finally get addressed?

Everything needs work, seriously. From state roads, to local side streets and neighborhoods, the conditions are terrible. We spend $675,000 per road mile in Massachusetts. The national average is $145,000. We’re second to only New Jersey. So how is it we’re spending so much money, but yet our roads are considered some of the worst in the country? Nearly half of the gas tax we pay at the pump gets diverted to the MBTA where they had $6 Billion in deferred maintenance and an upside pension system. Remember when the tolls on the Mass Pike were supposed to come down once the road was paid for? It’s been paid for and the tolls are still there, so where is that money going? A State Rep candidate can say they are going to do this and do that when it comes to road repairs, but it’s only lip service. We have to change the culture of “business as usual” on Beacon Hill that has us paying so much but getting so little in return for our tax dollars.

As State Rep, what will you do to increase affordable housing opportunities for seniors, veterans and young adults right out of school? Also, what are your thoughts on the Governor’s proposal to promote more dense housing developments by changing the 2/3 majority vote to a simple majority vote for rezonings at Town Meetings? (Background: https://www.massachusettslandusemonitor.com/zoning/governor-baker-proposes-zoning-changes-to-promote-more-housing/) Finally, do you feel the state’s 40B laws need to be updated? Why?

I want to speak to more people before committing to an opinion on the Governor’s proposal. I’m a big believer that 40B laws are in need of major reform. 40B is a developer’s dream. They’re able to override local bylaws and make a lot of money. And there’s a problem with the way the state counts the units that are designated as “affordable.” A major overhaul of this law is needed.

(Editor’s Note: The above questions were submitted by readers. Each candidate was given the same amount of time each week to answer. These answers were previously published on Wilmington Apple over the past 3 months.)


Press Releases

Candidate Conversation with WCTV

Wilmington Town Crier Candidate Profile

Wilmington Patch Candidate Profile

Campaign Rally Coverage

Campaign Finance Report

Candidate’s Website & Social Media

Closing Argument

None Provided

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