John Walsh really should pay attention to his own fundraising arrangements when trying to attack others. You see it was the Deval Patrick Committee in conjunction with the Massachusetts Democratic Party which paved the legal road for the Marlborough Republican City Committee and Paul Adams family. As this Boston Globe article from 2008 shows.
Governor Deval Patrick has set up a novel political fund-raising system that allows him to skirt the state’s campaign finance law by channeling big contributions through the state Democratic Party, which, in turn, has paid off hundreds of thousands of dollars of the governor’s political expenses.
Under the unique arrangement, Patrick, who ran for election sharply criticizing the “politics of money and connections,” is raising contributions far in excess of the individual limit of $500 for a political candidate. Now, in many cases he is getting as much as $5,500 from individual lobbyists, corporate executives, developers, and other supporters.
The money goes into a special pot of money called the Seventy-First Fund (after Patrick’s standing as the 71st governor) which, under a written agreement between the Patrick campaign and the Democratic Party, serves as a conduit to divide up contributions.
Each donation is split between Patrick’s own campaign committee, which receives the maximum allowed individual contribution of $500, and the state Democratic Party, which receives $5,000, the most an individual can contribute to a political party.
The party then uses most of the receipts to pay off the Patrick’s campaign committee’s bills; in 2007, the party paid $339,000 of governor’s expenses, including bills for his media consultant, banquet halls, a ball room and buffets, website development, and more.
If the Massachusetts Democratic Party under John Walsh and Deval Patrick are legally able to earmark donations for particular candidates, why wouldn’t other Party committees? Is it because they are Republican? That must be it.
I for one am glad Deval Patrick and John Walsh showed the rest of us how to legally increase the amount of money one can accept in donations for your campaign. In fact I couldn’t agree more with John Walsh’s statement from 2008.
“Those donors are people that the governor has asked to support the party, and the party is carrying out its mission of building its grassroots and supporting its elected officials,” Walsh said. “We are doing it within the rules, and the rules in fact are designed to give the party that role.”
Thanks again John for leveling the playing field.
Disclosure: Paul Ferro is an editor at Red Mass Group, and Robert Eno the publisher of Red Mass Group sells political direct mail, including to the Marlborough Republican City Committee.