Following this intro is a letter I sent to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) regarding out-of-town special interest money and in-town special interest money taken in by Weymouth’s mayor this year – on top of the many $thousands she received from various unions – for whom she has done absolutely nothing. The police and firefighters unions left her high and dry this year – just like she left them for the last four years.
I omitted the names and entities involved here for now in order to give OCPF a chance to do its job. I sincerely want to thank Al Gore for inventing the Internet because it made searching for the straws easier – letting me connect the dots in an hour or two. Let’s see how long it takes OCPF to do likewise.
I found nine (9) straws who work for, or whose spouses work for, a company that provides $millions$ (plural) in services to the town each year. They donated $4,500 to Kay’s war chest at $500 a pop – seven (7) in one day and two (2) more two weeks later – without submitting the legally mandated employer and home address information.
There is also a family in Weymouth with extensive real estate holdings, which include a few gas stations. As providence would have it, one of the brothers recently succeeded in having the Board of Zoning Appeals grant a special permit to convert one of the gas stations and have it now include a car wash and a convenience store, although there is another convenience store within less than 100 yards. Now how convenient is that?
He was also allowed a drive-through at an “F” level intersection (the worst of the worst) to serve beverages (TWA coffee or TWA tea) and bagels, donuts and Danish – no cooked-on-site food though. One wonders how this all could have come about so quickly when his family’s four – all-in-one-week – $500 donation checks to Kay still had wet ink on them?
Maybe it’s just coincidence. I’m sure everything was on the up and up. The plans look nice but the lot seems a lot tighter than what the plans call for. Gasoline deliveries are restricted to from 10 PM through 6 AM so that and the unrestricted hours of gas pumping and all-night lighting and drive-through should make the neighbors pretty happy.
A civic-association-leader-BFF of the mayor, Colleen Kelley, if we may name names here (we can you know), who lives quite a distance away went to the BZA meeting to speak in favor of the proposal. Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. It’s in the minutes (that’s why we CAN name names…).
Anyway, here’s the letter…
“Dear Mr. Director:
“I have a few questions as to the propriety of a candidate receiving campaign donations of $200 or more, which, as you know, require certain employer information to be submitted along with the donations, and then said candidate simply files afterward with OCPF that the obligatory information has been requested of the donor or donors and that no follow up is mandatory to submit the required information:
1. Does simply stating that a request for employer information was made without any substantiation, like having a mail receipt, either certified or proof of mailing, that such request was actually made and complies with the spirit of the campaign finance law?
2. Would it not be more appropriate that a candidate be barred from using any funds that came from such sources until the required information was received by the candidate?
3. Would it not be more appropriate that a candidate would have to return any such contributions along with any alleged information request and/or to refuse to deposit any such donations until the obligatory information is provided?
4. Are contributions that come from business addresses or Post Office boxes allowable? (Rhetorical question — they are not!) If so, where is the transparency in that, where obscuring that donor’s actual domicile town or city or real home address defeats the perceived purpose of the law?
“Enclosed herein are excerpts from the 2011 report of Weymouth’s mayor, Sue Kay, which are devoid of certain of the legal requirements. There are a few donations in her report that are questionable in my mind, particularly why whole families from Weymouth with business interests whose licenses fall under the purview of the mayor would donate and why people from distant towns or states would or might have any interest in a particular local race. To be absolutely clear, I’m referring to the many $500 maximum donations from out-of-town/out-of-state interests in the mayor’s case.
“What I question in this case is what exactly the relationships are to the donors and the candidate/office holder? Without the employment disclosure required by law, it gives me and others the appearance that funds may have been funneled through straw donors if in fact said donors can be shown with certainty to have some former or ongoing link with a particular candidate.
“On the mayor’s expense report, there are questions that I feel should be answered by her campaign as to why the expenditures were made and why the reporting is so incomplete. If the purpose of the campaign finance law is to level the playing field and deny outside influence in our elections and to deny campaign donations to be spent like some sort of personal slush fund, there doesn’t seem to be any problem with a candidate reporting “Information requested” without legitimate questions being asked by someone.
“I have done some research and have connected a lot of the dots in this particular situation and am disturbed at the findings. I will share my findings with you if you wish. I also question several of the known business addresses and a Post Office Box being reported in contradiction to MGL c.55 as stated at the top of the reporting form. The mayor has run in a number of races over the last 20 years. She simply cannot say that she or her treasurer were somehow ignorant of the law. This year’s pre-election report and the ones prior to this one, some of which were filed with the Weymouth Town Clerk, constitute a mockery and are an affront to our election laws and to the disappearing electorate.
“Your office has a very thankless job to do to protect the sanctity of our elections. As a citizen and as a candidate in the recent election in Weymouth, I personally find the mayor’s report to be lacking in detail, substance and veracity. This is not “sour grapes” on my part; I take my lumps as they come. In fact, I am tied with President Abraham Lincoln in the election loss column and may well break his record. But until then, I will be relying on the integrity of your office to ensure that the mayor’s report complies with the spirit of the law, that unwarranted outside influence is discovered and disallowed and that we may hopefully restore honor and integrity in Weymouth’s future elections.
“Thank you for your time and attention.”
Now there is a strong possibility that my campaign account will be audited for me having the temerity to write this letter. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
I’m Bob Monty and I’m ready and waiting for anything that comes my way. Over and out…
***© Copyright 2011 , All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed