Sanctuary State Deeply Unpopular with Likely Voters

(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.

A copy of the poll can be found here. The crosstabs information could be found here

Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance advocates for fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability in state government and increased economic opportunity for the people of our Commonwealth.

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MassFiscal Launches New Venture

The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, the state's largest public advocacy group, today announced its newest venture. The Fiscal Alliance Foundation is a 501(c)(3) group aimed at building a stronger culture of accountability, transparency, and fiscal responsibility in Massachusetts government.

The Foundation's dual mission supports providing education for young people and supporting grassroots reform through the courts. 

Already, MassFiscal has made an impact with the Fiscal Fellows internship program. Too often, talented students who are inclined toward fiscally responsible reform leave Massachusetts for Washington D.C. to find employment in policy and politics. MassFiscal and the Fiscal Alliance Foundation provide local jobs with engaging and challenging work in the field. The entry-level jobs are primarily educational and have the added benefit of building a farm team of fiscally-interested professionals in the Commonwealth. 
The Foundation will also partner with outside groups in bringing legal action against the state to improve equity.  In its advocacy work, MassFiscal has encountered too many instances in which state law works against basic civil rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of association. In Massachusetts, the political playing field simply isn't level.

The Foundation’s first public effort will be a partnership with the business community to challenge the constitutionality of Prop. 80. The lawsuit was filed today in the Supreme Judicial Court. Hearings on the case are expected to be held early next year. Prop. 80 would amend the state Constitution to allow graduated income taxes and increase taxes on the state’s highest earners by 80%. Prop. 80 is an unconstitutional bailout for Beacon Hill politicians to spend more of our tax dollars on things like pay raises and pet pork projects.

The Foundation made an initial contribution of $20,000 toward the legal challenge to Prop. 80. You may read the Globe story about the lawsuit here. More to come…

Important Free Speech Day

Today, campaign finance bills are on the agenda at the Statehouse. Two separate ideas, one bad and one praiseworthy, regarding restricting free speech have caught our attention.

An Act Relative to Truth in Advertising in Campaigns, filed by State Rep. Colleen Garry (D-Dracut), is a bold-faced and shameless attempt to silence opposition to incumbent legislators. Lawmakers who voted in favor of January's outrageous pay grab and then voted to override the Governor's veto of that bill, are feeling the heat. They're tired of defending their indefensible conduct. Garry's proposal would silence the critics. It's a tactic used by dictators throughout time.

Garry’s bill is so radical, many Constitutional scholars have already publicly criticized it. If it passes, they'll be in violation.

Republican Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Webster) and Democratic Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) have separately filed similar bills which would close the union loophole in Massachusetts campaign finance regulations. 

The loophole is the most lopsided campaign finance law in the country. The state allows individuals to give up to $1,000 per candidate, while employers cannot donate at all, but unions can donate up to $15,000. 

Companies owned by MassFiscal board members have filed a lawsuit to right this imbalance, but a law such as the ones proposed by Fattman and Lewis would right the wrong now, saving taxpayers needless legal expenses.

Last week, MassFiscal filed a complaint with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) against Paul Feeney, a union boss running in an Oct. 17 special election for state senate. According to Feeney’s last OCPF report, the campaign has already received two union donations of $5,000 each. 

OCPF could, on its own, close the loophole and thus prevent another tainted election. That action would also level the playing field and save taxpayer money. We hope OCPF will act in the interest of the taxpayers and those that want to see more good government. 



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