** COMPLAINT FILED ON 4/22/13 **
MA Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF)
One Ashburton Place, Room 411
Boston, MA 02108
Attention: Legal review request
To Whom It May Concern:
As is the practice explained on your website, individuals or groups with information concerning possible violations of campaign finance laws may file a request for review in writing with OCPF.
We are requesting such a review today regarding serious campaign disclosure and reporting matters involving the Massachusetts Republican Party, and whether or not their senior managers knowingly or unknowingly implicated the 2014 Charlie Baker for Governor Campaign in the Mark Fisher State Convention Controversy?
Specifically, we are seeking clarification on whether or not the Baker and Polito Committees had properly disclosed on their campaign finance reports certain “in-kind” Party assistance afforded to them by the MA GOP; specific resources, staff or funds which were NOT similarly provided or offered to the Mark Fisher Campaign?
While your office has indicated it is allowed under campaign laws for political parties to provide in-kind assistance to specific candidates, normally post-Primary, this immediate request for an inquiry for the time period in question is far from trivial. During the pivotal months of January-March 2014, The MA Republican Party conducted delegate selection and local caucuses throughout the Commonwealth in preparation for the March 22nd MA GOP State Convention.
Therefore, if Chairman Hughes and Executive Director Cunningham assisted or aided any single (gubernatorial) candidate in favor of another during this contested Republican primary, those actions directly violate State Committee bylaws, and must be treated as a very serious reporting and fairness issue.
Thank you for your immediate attention in this matter.
Massachusetts Republican Party Bylaws (Updated 2013 version) – Section 7. Republican Primaries.
“Unless approved by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Executive Committee, neither the State Chair nor any person employed by the State Committee, shall assist, aid or publicly endorse any candidate in favor of another candidate in either a contested Republican primary or in any contested election for office within the State Committee.”
“Violation of this section shall constitute grounds for removal of the State Chair or employee.”
“Providing a primary candidate has received the approval of the Executive Committee as set forth in the first sentence of this section, nothing in this section shall prohibit such primary candidate from receiving campaign funds, provided that such funds are approved and disbursed pursuant to all other provisions of these by-laws. Nothing in this section shall prohibit any other Regular Member of the State Committee from endorsing a candidate in a Republican primary or State Committee election.”
Source: Adopted by the Bylaws Committee on August 29, 2013 http://www.massgop.com/wp- content/uploads/2014/01/By- Laws-all-changes-accepted-09- 18-13-02817263.pdf
A further examination of public OCPF and FEC filing records, for the months during the Massachusetts Republican delegate caucuses of January and February 2014; extending through the March 22nd Republican State Convention, is sorely needed to ascertain if Hughes and Cunningham improperly assisted the Charlie Baker for Governor Campaign.