Republican 5th District Congressional candidate Jon Golnik issued a press release last week announcing what he called his "Campaign Leadership Team." The team of political veterans will advise and assist his campaign for the final month of the race against Democratic incumbent Niki Tsongas and independent candidates Dale Brown and Bob Clark.

The members of the team include two local residents — former Haverhill Mayor William Ryan and Lawrence Licensing Board Chairman Richard Fielding. Also included on the leadership team are Beth Lindstrom of Groton, the campaign manager for Scott Brown during his U.S. Senate run, and former Congressional candidate Chuck McCarthy of Billerica.

"I am honored and humbled that these great people have agreed to advise me in the final weeks of the campaign," Golnik said. "They know, as much as any of us, that the people of Massachusetts are tired of being ignored by Washington. They have all worked hard to better their communities and fight for the lower spending and individual freedom we are all searching for from Congress. Most importantly, they have all helped try to make sure the voice of the people are heard."

Golnik also picked up a big endorsement last week, receiving the backing of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his Free & Strong America PAC, which is assisting candidates across the country with donations and public support.

"I am honored to receive the endorsement of Governor Romney and his organization," Golnik said. "As governor, Mitt Romney balanced the budget and worked to create an atmosphere for job growth. That is the kind of common-sense action we need in Congress today, and I hope to help bring it there."

Tsongas touts support of small businesses

Tsongas, meanwhile, continued her efforts to highlight her support for small businesses, putting out a press release last week touting the House passage of legislation she supported that provides an extension of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program through Jan. 31, 2011, while Congress finishes work on a comprehensive reauthorization.

Since its inception more than 25 years ago, Tsongas said, the SBIR program has increased federal agency access to innovative ideas, technologies and capabilities through its support for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The program was scheduled to expire on Thursday, which would have left many small businesses without vital funding and with an uncertain future. Tsongas said an intense lobbying effort led by herself and 7th District Congressman Ed Markey was successful in persuading the House to approve the Senate's extension.

"Innovative companies and small businesses in my district and across Massachusetts have benefited considerably from the current SBIR program," Tsongas said. "These small firms have been able to secure vital capital through the program, and have used it to grow their enterprise and as a bridge to other financing options. The extension approved by the House is excellent news for Massachusetts small businesses, ensuring that there is no lapse in the program."

Baddour gets high marks for business support

State Sen. Steve Baddour, D-Methuen, issued a press release last week highlighting the results of a recent legislative report card released by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the largest employer association in the state.

The agency rated Baddour at 89 percent, he said, one of only four senators and the only Democrat in the Senate to share the highest grade for the 2009-2010 legislative session. Grades ranged from 33 percent to 88 percent in the House and 33 percent to 89 percent in the Senate

Baddour earned good grades for addressing the rising cost of health insurance for small employers and passing an economic-development measure that improves the tax landscape for employers and limits state regulations that discourage business and job growth. He also approved transportation reform and education reform, froze unemployment insurance rates and made balanced changes to the system through which employers access the criminal records of job applicants.

The AIM Legislative Scorecard evaluates the voting records of legislators on issues important to employers. It releases the scorecard at the end of each two-year session to ensure that employers know legislators' records on key economic and public-policy issues, and to recognize lawmakers who understand the importance of a vibrant economy for all residents.

Cahill says Patrick is soft on crime

In light of a quadruple murder in Mattapan last week, Cahill charged Wednesday that Gov. Deval Patrick's failure to deliver more cops on the street was contributing to the challenge of fighting urban crime. A Patrick aide shot back that Cahill was looking to capitalize politically from the shootings.

"It is disappointing that Tim Cahill would use this week's tragedy to score political points," Patrick campaign spokesman Alex Goldstein said. "Governor Patrick has sat with the families of the victims and has seen the devastation these crimes have brought to our communities. Faced with a global economic collapse that required painful budget cuts across state government, he worked tirelessly to preserve funding for summer jobs, anti-gang grants and community-based law enforcement programs."

Asked by WTKK-FM host James Braude about curbing urban crime, in light of the murders of four people, including a 2 year old, early Tuesday in Mattapan, Cahill questioned the commitment of elected officials to public safety and district attorneys. "It doesn't seem that they do care," Cahill said.

He added, referring to Patrick, "You can't react to it after it happens. You have to get in front of it. And that's one of my criticisms of Gov. Patrick. He's not at fault on the whole thing, but he made a promise to bring in more police officers, we've got less police officers, less police officers on the street, less of a commitment to community policing, which will make it more difficult for the Boston Police to solve this crime. That's what community policing really does. It may not have prevented it because it was drug-related and who knows, but you want to solve it... you want to get these perpetrators off the street."

Firefighters for Patrick

Between trying to dodge shots from his opponents, Patrick picked up an endorsement last week from the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts.

"Governor Patrick is a proven leader with great integrity and compassion," PFFM President Robert McCarthy said. "Last year, when firefighters were being laid off in countless communities across the country, Governor Patrick met with us, listened to our plight and pledged to help. He was the only governor in the nation to allocate federal stimulus monies to rehire all the laid off firefighters in Massachusetts where fire staffing was at an all-time low."

Information from State House News Service was used in this report.

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