Everett needs independent Rep’s voice on Beacon Hill

Campaign signs for the State Rep battle are popping up all over Everett. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Too much outside sourced money in play currently

BY JOSH RESNEK

Our Beacon Hill rep since 2015 is a nice enough fellow. But then, why shouldn’t he be?

He is owned lock, stock and barrel by the mayor.

If he was ordered by the mayor to go to the top of Sal Sacro’s building in the square and told to jump, he’d ask the mayor: “Head first or feet first?”

You have to wonder who the Rep is actually representing on Beacon Hill?

Is it the people of Everett? Private interests? What Councilor Mike Marchese has called the Demaria Crime Family?

When you come right down to it, is he representing only and mainly himself?

Arguably, the best way to measure his value to the community is to look at his campaign finance reports as filed with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

When you follow the money, you can usually find the answer to that question.

You can judge a politician by the company he keeps and the money he takes from others to finance his campaigns.

The latest periodic report for the year ending December 31, 2019 shows the Rep’s campaign account having a balance of $10,681.84 in cash on hand.

McLaughlin

The report lists outstanding liabilities in the amount of $125, 274.51.

Most of that liability is attributable to the Rep “loaning” his campaign committee money.

Nothing illegal about that. In the absence of enough Everett residents willing to donate to his campaign, the Rep is forced to borrow money to finance his campaigns.

According to his campaign website, the Rep was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in November 2014.

Since that time, the Rep has raised $200,758.00 for his campaign through 971 sepa- rate contributions. This is an average donation of $206.75 per donation. That number seems a bit on the high side for a blue-collar, work- ing-class community like Everett. When we look a little deeper into who is contribut- ing to his campaign, we see some trends begin to develop.

Of the 971 separate contributions:

Only 373 (38.4%) of those 971 contributions were from Everett residents for a total of $67,995 (33.86% of total contributions). Included in these contributions were 26 from the candidate himself, which total $17,640.00. In addition, 22 of the 971 contributions were from other members of the Rep’s family. Once you net out these contributions, we see that Everett residents have contributed less than $50,000 to his campaign over three and one-half election cycles. Assuming $67.995 raised from residents of his House district, the average donation is $182.29 per contribution.

The Rep raised $132,763 66.13%) in 598 contributions from sources outside of his House district. A reasonable person might ask, why? Perhaps the Rep has a larger number of friends who live outside of House district than inside the District?

A deeper dive into those contributions reveal that:

108 (11.12% of contributors) are from lobbyists, with an aggregate total of $16,150 (8.04% of the total amount raised);77 (7.92% of contributors) of those contributions are from “committee donations.” They come Political Action Committees (PAC’s) and other politicians’ campaign committees, with an aggregate total of $20,025 (9.64% of the total amount raised); and 27 (2.78% of contributors) of those contributions are from unions, which total $8,200 (4.08% of the total amount raised).

21.8% of the Rep’s campaign contributors are “special interests.”

Then there is the final category of contributors which we will call “Friends of Carlo” (FOC’s for short). These are associates of the mayor, those on the periphery of the mayor who are forced to contribute as the mayor orders them to do.

McGonagle

These include friends and acquaintances of the mayor as well as employees of the City of Everett, and those people who do business with the City of Everett. Names like Kevin O’Donnell, Al Lattanzi, Tom Fiorentino, and others too numerous to mention are listed as contributors

But that is to be expected.

The Everett Leader Herald reported last week; the mayor sent out a citywide mailing endorsing the rep over Councilor Mike McLaughlin in the September primary battle.

The mayor asked his friends and supporters to take out their checkbooks and to make generous donations to the Rep.

This request comes despite the mayor making pay cuts and layoffs of many of those he is asking to contribute to the rep.

There’s a real disconnect there.

The rep is bought and paid for by the DCF, with a special-interests contributing almost as much money to the Reps campaign as the good people of Everett.

Democracy is not a spectator sport. Informed voters must look past the newspaper advertisements and slick campaign literature to get a realistic portrayal of who they are electing to public office.

That portrait, as well as the friends he keeps, and whether or not he independent and supported by a majority of Everett voters, should factor into your decision on election day.

Will it be the Rep or Mike McLaughlin?

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