To the editor,
It is ironic that as Gloucester prepares to celebrate St. Peter’s Fiesta, a four-day celebration of the patron saint of fishermen, we face an election that has a direct bearing on whether Gloucester will continue to have a fishing fleet at all. Gloucester, America’s oldest fishing port, has seen the steady decline of our once great industry, and it can all be set at the feet of the government which is supposed to represent us.
For 30 years, Democrats have held both of Massachusetts’s U.S. Senate seats and all House seats. During that period, as the people of Massachusetts have been almost solely represented by Democrats, environmental interests have advanced “scientific data” on fish stocks that have been proven false, but have been the basis of restrictions on the fishing industry by the government. Our Democratic senators and representatives, who should be representing the interests of fishermen, have instead collected millions from the environmentalists who have actively worked to run the fishing industry into the ground. This unholy alliance between Democrats and environmentalists has led to increasingly more restrictive regulations over the years, forcing fishermen to give up their livelihood. The ripple effect of these regulations has affected the businesses of fish plants, ice houses, and scores of businesses which provide support to the fishing industry, destroying thousands of Gloucester jobs over the past three decades.
Certainly the Democrats in Congress have pledged to fight for our fishing industry. Some have been making these promises for years, while doing nothing. John Tierney, a congressman for 16 years, and Ed Markey, a congressman for 36 years, have presided over the destruction of the fishing industry, all while making promises to help. While paying lip service to get votes, their campaign war chests have been filled by the anti-fishing, anti-Gloucester environmentalists. They can’t hide from their records. Nobody can serve two masters, and the Democrats in Congress have chosen the environmentalists’ money over their duty to our city, our history, and our fishing industry.
Republican Scott Brown, for the brief period he was our senator in Washington, truly fought to ease regulations placed on our fishermen. Sadly, in the last election, Gloucester voters ignored that reality and voted for Elizabeth Warren, the consummate liberal Democrat who has no interest in fighting on behalf of fishermen.
You may have heard that Warren and Tierney are trying to “help” the fishermen by securing emergency funds. Gloucester fishermen don’t want short-term welfare; they want to be allowed to go to sea, catch fish, and make money. If Warren and Tierney truly wanted to help fishermen, they would lobby the federal government to ease regulations and allow our fishermen to do their jobs. They won’t do this because it would mean giving up millions in campaign donations from environmental groups. The record of Massachusetts Democrats in the last 30 years is clear: push the environmental agenda; and destroy commercial fishing.
During the Democratic primary, Steven Lynch famously scolded Ed Markey, “I’m with the fishermen, and you’re with the fish.” We know what Markey will do if elected our senator, it will be the same thing he’s done for 36 years: he will continue to work to hurt the industry.
The people of Gloucester have an opportunity to elect a man who has committed to continue the fight begun by Scott Brown to ease the regulations preventing fishermen from doing their jobs. Gabriel Gomez is a fighter, a Navy Seal who knows what a fight is and how to win. Gabriel Gomez will not be a favorite of the environmental, anti-fishing groups. He met with Gloucester and New Bedford fishermen and stated repeatedly that he saw that the government had “rigged” the game to destroy the fishing industry. Gabriel Gomez has pledged to help fishermen, and he should be given a chance to do that. Gloucester deserves a fighter; the fishing industry needs a warrior, and we know Ed Markey will not be that man.
If we care about Gloucester, the fishing industry, and the future, it is critical to support candidates who are not in the control of big money environmental groups. We need a pro-business senator who will work to save the business of fishing. Help save our fishing industry. Vote for Gabriel Gomez on June 25.
Joseph M. Orlando, Esq.