Tim Buckley, communications director for the Massachusetts Republican Party, called 2nd Bristol District (which includes most of Attleboro) state representative candidate Paul Heroux a hypocrite Tuesday for writing an opinion piece last year saying "we who care about the future of our local communities" vote, while it was revealed last week he has failed to vote in most elections. Heroux responded that his voting record is perfect since writing the piece.
The op-ed, which appeared in various media just before the local November 2011 election, includes quotes about the importance of voting from real-life and fictional people. Quoting Gov. Willie Stark, the character based on real-life Louisiana Gov. Huey Long, from the movie All the King's Men, Heroux wrote, "If you don't vote, you don't matter."
The election that came after the publication of Heroux's piece was the first local contest in which he ever voted.
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"This is typical 'do as I say, not as I do' behavior from Mr. Heroux," Buckley told Attleboro Patch.
He called Heroux's piece "comical."
"Whenever a politician is urging others to do one thing, in this case the all-important act of voting, and the politician does another thing, it's hard to take the person's statements seriously," Buckley said. "And it's hard not to laugh at this opinion piece."
When asked about Buckley's comments, Heroux noted that he has voted in all three elections that took place since the publication of his piece.
"I'm a regular voter, but not a perfect voter," Heroux said.
Heroux became eligible to vote when he turned 18 in 1995. He did not exercise that right until the 2004 presidential election. His next trip to a polling station was in the 2008 presidential election. Heroux voted in four of the next seven elections.
Patch obtained Heroux's voting record from City Hall last week after he complained that the wife of his opponent, Rep. George Ross, had done the same thing. Jeanne Ross' alleged action was an example of the incumbent playing dirty, Heroux said.
"My voting record has absolutely no bearing on how I'm going reduce tax waste in Massachusetts or help bring mental health services to Attleboro," Heroux said Tuesday.
Heroux's voting record came to the attention of Buckley after he read the article on Patch, the communications director said. He said he was amazed to see this, and did additional research, which led him to the op-ed. He contacted Patch about his discovery. But Buckley said the state Republican party is not focusing on this contest, stating "all the races are important."