John Deaton Op-Ed In Boston Herald: “D.C. Is Breaking Great States like Massachusetts”

Deaton: D.C. is breaking great states like Massachusetts


By John Deaton


For the city kids who didn’t get to play soccer, tennis, basketball, or track and field at the Melnea Cass Recreational Complex in Roxbury all spring, it’s probably tough to understand that the reason is because a bunch of adults almost 500 miles away can’t get their act together. They’d likely be similarly confused to learn that their fieldhouse became a shelter for dozens of vulnerable kids who came to America because adults in their native countries couldn’t get it right there either.

When I lived in Roxbury while attending law school, after becoming the first in my family to graduate high school and college, I played ball at Washington Park (also known as Malcom X Park), usually the only white guy, and probably with the dads of some of the kids barred from the Cass complex the last few months, before it finally reopened last week.

Before that, I was an inner-city kid myself with limited access to sports facilities, and even fewer avenues out of what was then, and remains, one of the most impoverished and dangerous neighborhoods in America.

So the Cass complex’s conversion to a migrant shelter really hit home.

I recently visited Yuma, Arizona, where I was stationed during my time as a U.S. Marine Judge Advocate, to witness the problem firsthand. The crisis I saw there, which is hurting working families here in Massachusetts, is two-fold: national security and humanitarian.

As much as 50% of the fentanyl tearing apart our communities comes through Yuma, Arizona. Not only is Washington’s inability to solve this crisis hurting those who already live in America, but the migrants being trafficked alongside it are also at risk. Asylum seekers hoping for a better life in the U.S. face a treacherous journey at the hands of the cartels. Women and children are raped or abused by traffickers who don’t care if they survive.

Congressional inability to address the serious problems facing this country is no longer a theoretical exercise or a punchline; it’s harming our kids’ development and quality of life. In Massachusetts, we see other tangible impacts. Governor Maura Healey has projected the emergency shelter program will cost nearly $1 billion next fiscal year, in addition to $700 million already spent this year, while our state’s one-party leaders have implored their counterparts in Washington – like Senator Elizabeth Warren – to address this exploding crisis.

What else could that $1.7 billion be doing in Massachusetts? How about repairing our roads and transit system, in such dangerous disrepair? Or ameliorating the educational crisis? In Boston, our kids aren’t just losing access to the Cass complex; the school district itself is teetering on receivership.

Do you think the rest of the state might benefit from $1.7 billion to help combat an upswing in violent crime? In 2022, the most recent year for which federal data is available, violent crime in Massachusetts rose, while dropping nationwide. Some of the alleged perpetrators made their way into Massachusetts by claiming to be refugees before committing violent crimes. Police departments, diversion programs, substance abuse and recovery efforts – all of these could benefit from precious state funds now being funneled into a problem that Washington created and refuses to fix.

Working families are suffering because of Washington dysfunction, and no amount of press releases, viral videos, or soundbites will fix that. Nor will new taxes from cannabis, gambling, or millionaires.

That’s a big reason I’m running against Senator Warren this year; it’s not just that Washington is broken, it’s that Washington is breaking great states like Massachusetts. Senator Warren voted against the bipartisan border legislation, voting with MAGA Republicans to sink the bill at the cost of her own constituents. Even worse, Senator Warren is talking out of both sides of her mouth on the issue.

This is the problem with Washington politicians – on both sides of the aisle. They become beholden to the special interest groups who exact outlandish policy promises to help them win primaries while red and blue states become even more polarized. It’s a cynical way to run a country, and those who have become a part of it should examine whether they’ve stayed true to their promise to voters.

I am running to be your senator to stand up for the poor and middle class. I have fought for the underdog my entire life, and I’ll do the same in the Senate. This era of gridlock and cynicism has to end.

The kids who run and play ball at the Cass complex don’t deserve to lose another season.

John Deaton is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate and an attorney specializing in representing asbestos victims suffering from mesothelioma.



JOHN DEATON will fight for what is right.

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