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Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance launched several online web ads during National Sunshine Week to help promote transparency in state government. Watch our videos, that call on several lawmakers to embrace a more transparent state government.
Baker’s plan does well in balancing priorities, maintaining fiscal responsibility
Boston, MA: The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to promoting better government and right-of-center fiscal and economic policy solutions, today expressed support for the budget plan released by the Baker Administration for fiscal year 2016.
“Governor Baker’s FY ’16 budget represents a welcome and continued break from our state’s recent economic policies, particularly since it does not seek to raise taxes,” said Paul Craney, the group’s executive director. “It’s now up to the legislature to ensure that these much-needed reforms don’t get derailed by politics as usual.”
1A Auto v. Sullivan (Political Contribution Ban)
The laws of six states prohibit businesses—but not unions or other groups—from contributing to political parties, committees, or candidates. This uneven playing field violates state and federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection, free speech, and free association.
On February 24th, two Massachusetts companies, in coordination with the nationally recognized Goldwater Institute, filed a bold lawsuit seeking to close the “union loophole” in Massachusetts campaign finance law, and both plaintiffs in the lawsuit have connections to the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. 1A Auto Inc., a family-owned auto parts retailer in Pepperell, is run by Rick Green, who is also the chairman of Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance's board of directors. Mike Kane, whose Ashland business, 126 Self Storage Inc., is also part of the suit, serves on Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance's board as well.
Massachusetts’ campaign contribution restrictions are tilted heavily in favor of unions and against businesses. Since 1908, businesses have faced a total contribution ban to state candidates. The “union loophole” originated by special rules implemented outside the normal legislative process in 1988. These special rules allow unions to contribute as much as $15,000 to state candidates, while individuals are permitted to contribute up to $1,000. After unions have donated $15,000 to a campaign, their political actions committees (PACs) can continue to contribute up to the ordinary limits. Meanwhile, business PACs are banned from contributing.
The Goldwater Institute's summary of the case may be found here.
1A Auto, Inc., a family-owned auto parts retailer in Pepperell, Mass. It started selling auto parts in 1999 and employs 217 people.
126 Self Storage, Inc., a small self-storage facility in Ashland, Mass. In business since 1999, it employs four people.
Michael Sullivan, Director, Office of Campaign and Political Finance
Massachusetts Superior Court
The businesses are asking the Massachusetts courts to declare the uneven contribution ban unconstitutional and enjoin its enforcement.
February 24, 2015
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 06:00 PMTosca's Restaurant in Hingham, MA
Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance Chairman Rick Green will speak as part of an event hosted by a South Shore civic organization, with his remarks focusing on the lawsuit launched by his company, 1A Auto, to overturn the Commonwealth's unfair loophole allowing $15,000 union donations while limiting individuals to $1,000 and prohibiting corporate donations entirely.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 07:00 PMWellesley Community Center in Wellesley, MA
Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance Chairman Rick Green will speak as part of an event hosted by a Wellesley-area civic organization, with his remarks focusing on the lawsuit launched by his company, 1A Auto, to overturn the Commonwealth's unfair loophole allowing $15,000 union donations while limiting individuals to $1,000 and prohibiting corporate donations entirely.