“Last week, it was reported that the governor of Massachusetts has enlisted a registered lobbyist as his top fundraiser. This follows months of fundraising in which the governor has been collecting big checks from lobbyists and corporate players seeking to influence legislation to their advantage. Perhaps the governor feels that a lobbyist best knows how to seek out and extract money from influence-seeking donors. But this is an insult to citizens who are increasingly dismayed by reports that their government is being bought and paid for by big money interests.
We also recently learned that, unlike in his first campaign, the governor will not be participating in the state’s system of public financing for statewide candidates, and will not be complying with the fundraising and spending limits of that system. Nor has the governor given his support to any significant campaign finance reform. It seems the governor’s commitment to campaign finance reform is growing weaker the more time he spends on Beacon Hill.
The people of Massachusetts deserve a clean money campaign system that allows candidates to run for office without selling out to big money interests. Citizen candidates who refuse to take tainted money should be able to compete on a level playing field with candidates like Deval Patrick, Charlie Baker, and Tim Cahill, each of whom has tapped vast amounts of special interest money to fuel their campaigns. The voters of Massachusetts called for fundamental changes when they voted for the Clean Elections Law over ten years ago. Unfortunately, incumbent legislators who were profiting from the existing fundraising machinery repealed this reform on an unrecorded voice vote, opening the way to ten years of continued corruption and scandal on Beacon Hill. One of my top priorities as Governor will be to reestablish a clean money law that gives a fair break to candidates of integrity who refuse to participate in the “pay-to-play” fundraising practices of Beacon Hill.
But I’m not waiting for such reforms to make my own commitment. I’m acting now to set a higher standard for elected officials in the commonwealth. I am making my campaign the one clean money campaign for Governor – the only campaign that is not taking money from the lobbyists. Now it’s up to the voters to decide what kind of a candidate they want for their governor. They can select one of the three conventional candidates who are up to their necks in lobbyist money – and burdened with favors to repay. Or they can select the one clean money candidate that owes nothing to the usual Beacon Hill influence-peddlers, and who is free to focus the Governor’s office on truly serving the people of Massachusetts. Their choice will send a message on the type of government they want on Beacon Hill.”