Q and A: Guv candidates on tragedy in Blackstone

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, SEPT. 12, 2014…..The five candidates running for governor were among the news consumers digesting the horror of three dead babies discovered in a trash-cluttered and rodent-infested home in Blackstone. After local police last month discovered the debris-strewn home, the Department of Children and Families took custody of four children living there. As the investigation continued, police made the gruesome discovery of three dead bodies, believed to be infants, within the home, and 31-year-old Erika Murray was brought up on charges.

The News Service asked each of the candidates for governor how they would respond to the tragedy if they were governor today. Gov. Deval Patrick addressed the situation Friday, calling it “horrible” and saying, “The more you read about it or hear about it the more disgusting it seems. And I know that the [district attorney] is investigating, and I’m very glad that DCF has intervened in taking custody of the children.”

Democrat Martha Coakley said prosecutors need to be allowed to conduct an investigation so that responsible parties can be held “accountable,” and Republican Charlie Baker said he would order DCF and local officials to determine if the “tragedy could have been prevented.”

Independent Evan Falchuk focused on the children who survived and the need for government to provide information; independent Jeff McCormick noted his own children and said he would “immediately travel” to Blackstone; and independent Scott Lively blamed the “feminist abortion culture.”

The candidates’ verbatim answers are printed below:

COAKLEY: This is a horrific tragedy. We must allow the District Attorney to conduct his investigation. We need to get all the facts about what happened and we must hold whoever is responsible for this accountable.

BAKER: The situation in Blackstone, as is every instance where a child’s life is lost, is a terrible tragedy. In this instance, I would instruct the local DCF office to immediately collaborate with local school and law enforcement officials to determine if this family had any previous issues in order to determine if this tragedy could have been prevented.

McCORMICK: As a father of 3 children, I am horrified by the developments in Blackstone. As Governor, I would immediately travel to Blackstone to meet with DCF and law enforcement officials to learn the facts on the ground. Additionally, I would meet with the heads of the Executive Office of Public Safety, the Colonel of the State Police, and the Commissioner of DCF to launch an investigation on how we can prevent this from happening again.

FALCHUK: This was a horrific tragedy in Blackstone, and the public is understandably looking for answers. People are right to expect their state government to be a source of information, including ways they can help the children who are still alive. Their governor must show competence, support and orderly administration in order to best help and protect these incredibly vulnerable children. Law enforcement and DCF also must be equipped to do their jobs, and have every resource they need to do so.

LIVELY: The Blackstone House of Horror is a natural consequence of the feminist abortion culture. There would be no outrage if these babies had been murdered by partial-birth abortion but their death after birth shocks us. This mother is probably deranged, but her disregard for life is consistent with abortion logic, as is her disregard for the father’s role in her children’s lives. Lets be consistent about the value of babies and end abortion now.

Copyright 2014 State House News Service

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