(BOSTON)—Today, Paul Craney, executive director of MassFiscal Alliance, called on new Democrat State Committee Chairman Gus Bickford to purge the state committee coffers of any funds received from former state Rep. Bradley and employees or associates at his firm, Thornton and Associates. A copy of our letter may be found here.
The Boston Globe reports that a grand jury has been convened to investigate the firm, which is led by Bradley, and its reported illegal funneling of corporate cash to campaign coffers. The Thornton and Associates scheme could be the largest "straw donor” case ever brought nationwide.
Craney said “The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and at least 19 politicians, including unsuccessful presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, Representative Kennedy, and Boston Mayor Walsh, have returned or refunded these tainted contributions. The Massachusetts Democratic State Committee must do the same."
Craney said using those contributions for elections, in the knowledge the funds are tainted, strains ethical conduct.
Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance advocates for fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability in state government and increased economic opportunity for the people of our Commonwealth.
What an election, what a night!
We wanted to update you on what happened locally in the state. You’re probably familiar with the results of the ballot questions, if not BostonGlobe.com has a great breakdown of the results.
In the state legislature, where Republicans represent 40 of the 200 seats, all the pundits expected the GOP would lose seats, some pundits were saying up to 6 seats were in jeopardy heading into the election. However, not a single GOP incumbent lawmaker lost and in fact a seat was flipped to give the Republicans 41 seats. It’s the first time in decades the GOP has gained legislative seats in a Presidential election year.
The district that flipped was held by former Democratic State Rep. Brian Mannal of Barnstable. In 2014, MassFiscal educated Mr. Mannal’s district and he was reelected by a slim margin. During the course of the next two years, MassFiscal continued to educate on the Cape and Mr. Mannal often would publicly criticize MassFiscal to the press. It’s safe to say, Mr. Mannal became obsessed with our voter education program.
Mr. Mannal did not seek reelection and the Republican candidate to win the district is Will Crocker. We are confident State Rep.-Elect Crocker will do a great job for the Cape.
Over the next few days, the MassFiscal team will provide a more detailed analysis of last night but we wanted to share with you the results in the legislature. As always, please be in touch with any questions and thank you for voting.
The Boston Globe (here’s a link) highlights an extraordinarily far-reaching and audacious scheme by a Boston law firm to circumvent state and federal campaign finance rules.
The story points out that former state representative and assistant majority leader Garrett Bradley, long a partner at the firm, Thornton Associates, abandoned his State House duties in quite a hurry to take the reins of the firm after the Globe started sniffing around.
What you won’t read, and we wanted to be sure you know, is Bradley sponsored H543, an infamous bill aimed at curtailing political speech passed in the dead of a hot July night. Insiders, including Boston Globe reporters, called it the “MassFiscal” bill. Its sole intent was curtailing our ability to communicate our mission.
Like most of the bills the Beacon Hill Establishment pass, H543 turned out to be ineffective. MassFiscal is stronger than ever.
Today, we called on the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) to fully investigate the illegal laundering of corporate contributions through Garrett Bradley’s law firm. The Bradley scheme boldly circumvents this prohibition. Contributions received by candidates and organizations regulated by OCPF would, in fact, be tainted. Such contributions must be returned as part of restitution, as the monies constitute an unfair advantage. The Bradley scheme may be the largest campaign finance law violation committed by a state lawmaker.
To read a copy of our letter to OCPF, click here.
To download a copy of the complete list of donation records to state candidates by Garrett Bradley and Michael Thornton, click here.
To download a copy of the list of donation records to incumbent officeholders by Garrett Bradley and Michael Thornton, click here.