The whole thing got me thinking. There are a few bills that relate to education and charter schools in committee in the legislature. Notably S. 235/H.425 – An Act to further narrow the achievement gap – removes the limit on the amount of money that goes to Commonwealth charter schools. In other words, it removes the “capped” amount of charter schools in the district. It also makes it easier to fire teachers.
It is also supported by Massachusetts Stand for Children.
So I went to their web site to see if I could find out what politicians are “vehicles to execute a political objective.”
And on their endorsement page was my senator, State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, who not coincidentally is the chair of the Joint Committee on Education. This surprised me. I live in one of the most liberal parts of the city. I wonder how her constituents would feel if they knew an organization that boasts of its ability to bust unions had her blessing.
Because I don’t think my neighbors know that.
So then I went to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance. I searched and searched for contributions from Stand for Children MA Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee. That’s a PAC. Normally, PACS make contributions to candidates, and you can see them. Check out Felix Arroyo listings:
See, you can see the PACs listed right there. But I couldn’t find anything from Mass Stand. But I knew there was money somewhere.
So next I looked for Stand for Children. They GAVE to Stand for Children MA in the amount of $54,000 in 2012:
So I knew the money was here in state. I just couldn’t find it. But then I clicked on the filings of Stand for Children MA.
And guess what I found in their year end reports:
Money paid to two groups: The Strategy Group and Portable Insights. Both companies that do political mailings and phone banking. So they didn’t actually give to the candidates. They gave to these outside agencies to work on the candidates’ behalf.
Check it out:
- Senate President Therese Murray was given a $53,000 mailing via the Strategy Group in October of 2012.
- She also received via Portable Insights a $7,000 phone banking in November of 2012.
- State Senator Barry Finegold was given a $30,000 election mailing. He is on the education committee.
- State Senator Michael Moore was given a $1,400 phone bank for the 2012 election.
- Speaker of the House Deleo got a little short shifted with a $350. But perhaps he can work on getting on their good side.
Such interest in our local elections!
You can look yourself in the at the Office for Campaign and Political Finance (click on the Reports tab).
I’ll have a lot more to say about all of this. But for now, it’s late, I’m tired and there is a Lehane novel waiting for me.