AFT Proud

CSI Campaign Finance, aka Wesley Lowery of The Boston Globe, continues to unravel the mystery money spent on behalf of Marty Walsh by independent expenditure groups. On December 27 Lowery published American Federation of Teachers revealed as funder behind mysterious pro-Walsh PAC during campaign. Oddly the AFT spokespersons seem very proud of their secret $480,000 contribution to democracy. Their conduct suggests something other than pride; it reveals the corruption at the heart of our campaign finance farce-ocracy.

Most folks who are proud of an accomplishment are forthcoming about it – that would explain all those “My child is an honor student at MLK middle school” type bumper stickers we see. In the case of the AFT cash Boston voters are just now finding out who funded the Marty Walsh ads, nearly two months after voting. To gauge AFT’s level of pride in their conduct let me quote from Lowery’s piece:

In a complicated series of transactions, the AFT — a powerful national teachers union — gave the money to One New Jersey, a teachers union-backed political action committee. That group then donated those funds to One Boston, a local affiliate set up to spend money in the Boston mayoral race.

. . .

Because New Jersey has less stringent campaign finance disclosure laws than Massachusetts, One New Jersey is not required to disclose where its money came from. A spokesman, however, said all the money given to One Boston came from AFT.

In all, Lowery reports, there were about $2.5 million in independent expenditures on behalf of Walsh, nearly all of it from labor groups; national education reform movements spent about $1.3 million for Connolly.

Remember though, earlier in the campaign the national education reform group Stand for Children was about to spend $500,000 to support Connolly. A firestorm of criticism erupted, Connolly asked that the group stay out of the race, and it complied.

Stand for Children – those clowns! They were about to spend money under their own name, allowing voters to assess the interests involved. Dopes.

Here is another quote from the AFT spokesperson: “We stand by the ad and, while we leave it to others to decide, we think the ad made a difference in helping to elect Marty Walsh.”

Ringle ringle coins when they mingle make such a lovely sound. And when that phone ringles, Mayor-elect Walsh, guess who will be on the other end?

The system is corrupt. It’s a campaign finance farce-ocracy.

 

 

About Maurice T. Cunningham

Maurice T. Cunningham is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He teaches courses in American government including Massachusetts Politics, The American Presidency, Catholics in Political Life, The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln, American Political Thought, and Public Policy. His book Maximization, Whatever the Cost: Race, Redistricting and the Department of Justice examines the role of the DOJ in requiring states to maximize minority voting districts in the Nineties. He has published articles dealing with the role of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts politics and on party politics in the state. His research interests focus upon the changing political culture of Massachusetts.
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2 Responses to AFT Proud

  1. Pingback: Yes It’s Corrupt: Marty Money and Connolly Cash |

  2. Adam Friedman says:

    I stand strong with you. I used to be staunchly pro-union until I learned that the Boston Police and Firefighters Unions opposed the Clean Elections law that we won by state-wide ballot in 1998 (until repealed by the legislature in 2003). I was overwhelmed with shock and anger when I saw these labor groups running ads against the proposal.

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