BOSTON — Republican Charlie Baker has called for the repeal of two new tax laws in his first appearances as a 2014 candidate for governor, but says he is also willing to reconsider some of the positions carved out during his first statewide campaign.
Shortly after formally announcing his campaign online with a video, Baker weighed in on the controversial new sales tax on computer and software design services, saying it should be repealed. He also called for the repeal of another law change incorporated in the recent transportation financing plan that linked future increases in the gas tax to inflation.
His stands go hand-in-hand with hopes expressed by rank-and-file Republicans in Gloucester and elsewhere across the state.
“He’s got to be a more aggressive candidate,” said longtime Gloucester Republican Bob Whynott, the former city clerk who is seeking re-election to the City Council this fall in his own campaign.
“We’re not looking for a ‘Leave It to Beaver’ (candidate), we need someone who can get in there and get some of these tremendous tax burdens off our backs,” Whynott said of Baker, who fell short in a 2010 challenge to Gov. Deval Patrick. “I’d like to see something change in Massachusetts. We’re not a business-friendly state, we’ve got to change that — and I think he can do it.”
Baker said his campaign will indeed be focused on improving the business climate to grow jobs, closing the educational achievement gap and “changing the relationship” between the state and cities and towns to foster better partnerships.
Baker also said he supports the Legislature’s decision to require Gov. Patrick to seek a waiver from certain requirements under the Affordable Care Act, and believes the state needs to “get aggressive” in addressing the cost of health care, permitting and energy to improve the business climate.