The outrageous legislative pay and perk package passed in January did away with "per diems," the daily drive money formerly doled out to some legislators for each and every trip to Boston. Taxpayers were glad to see them go. The system was rife with abuse.
A recent Fox 25 investigation exposed the last, corrupt gasp of travel account shenanigans. We weren't surprised to see just how little correlation there is between actual attendance and the claims made by the politicos. To see for yourself, click the link below.
Our favorite moment is when state Representative Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham) flees the cameras, leaving his car behind. (3:10 in the video) Is it any surprise Rep. McMurtry has a 0% on our legislative scorecard at www.MassFiscalScorecard.org?
Fox deserves big kudos for their diligence. As usual, legislative leaders claimed they were exempt from the state’s public records laws and tried to fight the investigation with a team of lawyers.
No wonder McMurtry and his friends voted against the opportunity to include the Legislature in public disclosure laws (See that vote here.) Their abuse of taxpayer dollars just doesn't stand up to public scrutiny.
They can run, they can hide, but we'll keep pushing for better, more accountable government on Beacon Hill.
Take a look at the video below.
Paul Feeney (Left) and Jacob Ventura (Right)
In a close election, direct donations to candidates may be a big factor.
Democrat union boss Paul Feeney won last night's very close state senate special election. He raised approximately $136,849, of which $101,054 came from unions. Of the $101,054, about $44,999 came from the union loophole. The union loophole allows unions, including out of state unions, to give above the individual limit of $1,000, while employers are prohibited from giving anything at all. For every dollar Feeney raised, 74% of it was from a union. 33% was from the union loophole. Several out of state unions gave through the union loophole.
Republican Jacob Ventura is a former legislative aide, which prohibited him from asking for donations. State law mandates that former state workers cannot ask for political donations. Jacob could not ask for donations, while Feeney could ask for $15,000 from the unions.
There is no single more lopsided and unfair campaign finance law in the country than Massachusetts’ own union loophole.
MassFiscal is supporting a lawsuit that is awaiting a hearing at the state Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). The lawsuit is being proposed by two businesses owned by board members Rick Green and Mike Kane. If successful, the lawsuit will close the union loophole. Unfortunately for the voters last night, the court did not take our case quick enough to prevent this tainted election from happening. We hope we can get in front of the SJC as soon as possible to prevent any further fraudulent elections. More information on the lawsuit may be found here.
(BOSTON)—Proposed legislation making Massachusetts a sanctuary state is deeply unpopular with voters, according to a recent poll. Data also revealed a deep distrust amongst voters toward state senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), co-sponsor of the bill.
"Senator Gobi's constituents aren’t buying her argument that the state should remove local control from cities and towns," Paul Craney said. Craney is a member of the board of directors at the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, the non-profit advocacy and education group which commissioned the poll. "Senator Gobi has been in office since 2001, yet her favorability doesn't break 50 percent. What we see here is a Senator out of step with her district."
Surveyed were 300 voters in the Worcester, Hamden, Hampshire, and Middlesex state senate district, each of whom had voted in the 2014 election. The poll was conducted from in early October by nationally-recognized data specialist Advantage, Inc.
Nearly half of people surveyed, 47 percent, said Gobi's support of the Sanctuary State legislation would make them less likely to vote for Gobi's re-election in 2018.
About half were aware of Gobi’s support for the bill previous to the surveyor's call. Seven percent believed she did not support it, and 43 percent were unsure of her position.
The numbers are consistent with other statewide polls, showing strong popularity for Governor Charlie Baker. 76 percent view the Governor as very or somewhat favorable.
Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance advocates for fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability in state government and increased economic opportunity for the people of our Commonwealth.