While it effectively brings unions under the same limits imposed on individuals, the proposal could alter the state’s political fund-raising landscape by eliminating the decades-old advantage, labor organizations have enjoyed in state and local elections. The higher donation limit, set in the 1980s, also applies to nonprofits that aren’t corporate-funded.
The draft regulations, as expected, drew heavy criticism from labor leaders. Richard MacKinnon Jr., president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, said that the rule change would “have a significant impact on our ability to be politically active on behalf of our members.”
Steven A. Tolman, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, charged that the change was “unfair” and an “overreach.”
“The proposed changes to this rule would significantly weaken one of the last remaining avenues for working people and community organizations to level the playing field,” he said.
But Sullivan pushed back, arguing that his role isn’t to referee fairness but execute the rules.