Why I’m running for Auditor

We’ll it probably won’t shock anyone on this blog to hear that I’m running for state Auditor.  I’ve formed a campaign committee and we’ve launched a drive to get 5,000 signatures by August 1.

My bid for Auditor is timed to take advantage of the Ballot Freedom initiative, that has been greeted with a mixed reception here, but is supported by many union members, people of color and others who feel taken for granted by politicians and left behind by economic growth that seems to mainly benefit the rich.

For years I’ve been saying that corporate tax giveaways and privatization schemes have wasted scarce resources and not delivered the full-time jobs or quality public services that working families should have.  So if elected (highly unlikely, but I’ll give it my best), my top priority will be to use the office of Auditor to get government to be more aggressive about holding big corporations accountable for the good jobs that our communities need.


Beyond that, I’m also running to build support for a new Working Families Party here in Massachusetts that will refocus the political agenda on the bread-and-butter economic issues that both major political parties have too often ignored.

We decided to run a candidate in this election because the Mass Ballot Freedom Campaign (www.massballotfreedom.com) has gathered enough signatures for a November referendum to allow cross-endorsement voting.

For those of you that don’t know me, I’ve worked as a union organizer and labor communicator for more than twenty-five years, most of it in Massachusetts.  In the early 1990s, I helped to form the community-labor coalition Jobs with Justice. As founding director, I organized broad coalition efforts to support legislation for universal health care and against international trade deals like NAFTA, GATT, and the WTO.

I eventually moved on to a job in Washington, DC working for the Teamsters union.  There among other things, I coordinated communications during national contract negotiations and a 15-day strike at United Parcel Service in 1997.  The Teamsters rocked!

More recently, I worked for the AFL-CIO’s Office of Investment on a campaign to oppose the Bush Administration’s plan to privatize Social Security.  I was responsible for building actions across the country exposing the conflict of interest created by the financial services industry’s support for privatizing Social Security while it managed trillions of dollars in worker’s retirement assets. Too bad the AFL-CIO split apart, it was a really fun job.

Currently, I’m the organizing director of IUE-CWA Local 201, a union of General Electric and other manufacturing workers in Lynn, MA.  I’ll be taking a leave of absence to run for Auditor.

I’ve spent a most of my life fighting for the rights of working people all across the state.  My decision to run now is not some symbolic effort – it’s about advancing political reforms in Massachusetts so that working families will benefit more from economic growth. 

I hope folks in the blogosphere will consider supporting our campaign.  For a more information, please contact the Wilson for Working Families Campaign at 617 623-8405 or Rand at mindspring.com.

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Discuss

20 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Website?

    Do you have a website running? And do you plan on running as an independent since the Working Families Party isn't yet formed?  Or in the Dem. primary?  DeNucci's been around for too long.  A fresh face could be a good thing for the Auditor's office.

    • Website?

      I'll be running with the Working Familes political designation.  If I get more than 3% of the vote (and I'm very confident I will) it will give the Working Families Party ballot status in the 2008 election cycle.

      I am planning to have a website and I'll post the address here as soon as it's up and running.

  2. Why didn't you run in the Democratic Primary?

    Just curious...

    • well forgive me

      but I am shocked... maybe because I amn from central Mass I have never even heard of you...... Should I have?

      The SAO's office has no real powrer that I can tell, ther powere comes from a pen in their "reports"

      I am more interested in what you cna actually can do as the state auditor than what you would like to do.

      Disclaimer NO Joe Denucci fan

    • Not a Democract

      Good question.  I'm not a Democrat, never have been.  I usually vote for the Dem, but have always considered myself an independent.  One of the goals of our campaign is to establish a new political party for working people in Massachusetts, the Working Families Party. 

  3. Can a Union Hack add better than a Prizefighter?

    • Hack?

      I generally interpeet the phrase "union hack" to refer to someone with minimal talent who rests on his/her laurels, accomplishing little.  I've worked with Rand Wilson on various occasions, and I can guarantee that this is not the case with him.  Peter, I hate to rate you down, but this attack is simply uncalled for.

      • Sigh. You're right. Um...Correct.

        I am taking out upon you my frustration about the Auditor going unopposed all these years.  When I am repeatedly told that he is very popular, I point to the dismal record as financial watchdog for the state, and ask if really the people he is popular with aren't DEAD - Bob Crane, et al.

        But really - has anybody TOLD Rand wilson that he won't have a carte blanche to investigate any business that he sees fit (especially those that resist organizong, hmmm?) but that the auditing is for the STATE, and there must be a state connection? 

        "The OSA audits the agencies of state government to ensure that funds are spent in an appropriate manner.  In so doing, the State Auditor provides the Governor, Legislature, auditees, and the public with an independent financial, managerial, and technical assessment of  the state's agencies, activities, contracts, and programs."  There is also some authoority to audit state vendors, but that's it.

        Of coruse, if he'd like to audit the MTA.....

        • Y'know...

          Y'know, Peter, this is one reason why I like you, even though our politics are probably quite far apart.  You're will to say that someone else is right (or correct).  It's something that many on this site, myself included could stand to learn from.  Were I wearing a hat, my god man, it would be off to you at the moment.

          And I woud be interested in hearing Rand's take on the limited powers of the office--Rand, you reading this thread?

        • It's all about accountability

          My focus will be on coporate accountability for good jobs and quality public services.  For example several state entities (like Mass Development) give corporations a variety of tax breaks, expedited permiting, job training and low-interest loans to encourage investment.  That's fine, but we need to make sure that tax payers are getting a good return for their investment.  Many state services are now provided by private social service agencies.  As Auditor I will make sure that privatization is in the best interests of the public and the people who depend on those services.

          • And what might the correlation of good services and union organization be?

            IF the low bid is an unorganized entity, which has provided good service, and another bid is a unionized entity, which also provedes adequate service at a higher price -

            Which bid do you take?

  4. Why I'm REALLY running for Auditor

    "I have zero chance of beating Joe DeNucci. But maybe I can help the Major Party Blackmail Ballot Question win.

    You know, the one we're calling the "Ballot Freedom Question." The one that will allow minor parties to pressure major parties to adopt positions that are left (or right) of those they would otherwise take, or else face the prospect of a Nader-like third party challenge that could siphon off enough voters on the third party line to elect the opposing party.

    If you liked Nader in Florida in 2000, you'll love our Major Party Blackmai... whoops... Ballot Freedom Question."

    • Fresh face

      Ill likely vote for a fresh face over De Nucci, he has used the same ads since 1990 and I am not quite sure he is the best man for the job, my mom also said he had some mob connections back in the day when he was a prize fighter.

      • Does $quot;your mom$quot; have a link

        or other information with which she can substantiate that fairly serious charge?  If not, I'd suggest you retract it.  Thanks.

      • Bad form

        I'd just like to echo what David said. It is bad form to make a claim like that without support. I wasn't sure under the new rating system if this should get a zero or a 3, suffice to say I really dislike it.

    • Wait, let me make sure I have this straight...

      Poltiical pressure=blackmail?  Is that how it works?  C'mon, that isn't even clever.  i question the usefullness of the fusion voting effort, but to callit blackmail strikes me as way off-base.

    • Yeah, it would be such a shame

      if some force broadened the political debate, the terms of which are now set by the Republican and Democratic Parties. We sure wouldn't want anybody to push them off their current courses of advancing the interests of the Republic.

      • So earn ballot access with your own candidates...

        rather than cynically using the major parties (the same ones you sneer at above) to establish yourselves, then threatening to pull the rug out from under them when it suits your purposes. The only "ballot freedom" involved in this initiative is the freedom of some fringe-dwellers to gain influence by riding the major parties' coattails.

        • Whoa

          Publius, why are you so angry about this?  If the parties are that fringy, then people won't vote on their ballot line!  And if enough do vote on the Working Families party line to realy make a difference, then that's not really that fringy, is it?

        • Threatening to pull the rug out?!

          The Working Families Party of New York has endorsed candidates in about 2,000 races during their history, and in 1,900 of them, they've endorsed Democrats. Often times, their ballot lines draw the votes of Reagan Democrats and lefties that might not ordinarily vote Democrat. Hardly pulling the rug out from underneath the D's.......

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