Chart of the Week: Which Massachusetts Politicians Have the Most Money?
Incumbent Massachusetts lawmakers had nearly $9 million, collectively, in their campaign accounts at the end of 2013, according to year-end finance reports. But much of that wealth is concentrated among relatively few hands—mostly veterans who have used key posts to accumulate funds over years—as in society at large.
Mark Montigny of New Bedford, for example, has been compiling a war chest over 20 years as state senator, including at various times heading up powerful committees and taking a run at top leadership. John Binienda of Worcester (who may retire at the end of this year due to health reasons) has been in the House since 1987 and chairs the powerful Rules Committee. And just about anyone on the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee can find eager donors.
One name you won’t find among the biggest war chests these days, however, is the most powerful lawmaker of them all: Senate President Therese Murray. She spent the bulk of her funds in a tough 2012 re-election campaign, and is now closing in on the term-limited end of her leadership run.
You’ll also notice a lack of Bostonians on this list. Sal DiDomenico is the only one in the top 20 who represents a portion of the city, although he lives in Everett. State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz of Jamaica Plain just misses the list with $109,263. Of course, most Boston incumbents have little trouble winning re-election, and don’t need to build their bank—unless they’re looking ahead at running for a higher office.
Here are the top money-holders among state senators and representatives, with their current leadership positions or other items of note:
Name of Legislator
House (H) / Senate (S)
Democrat (D) / Republican (R)
Cash on Hand, 12/31/2013
Position / Circumstance
|Montigny, Mark||S||D||$1,057,160||Assistant Majority Whip|
|Finegold, Barry||S||D||$434,813||Expected to run for State Treasurer|
|Petrolati, Thomas||H||D||$418,087||Former Speaker Pro Tempore|
|Mariano, Ron||H||D||$394,897||Majority Leader|
|Binienda, John||H||D||$361,689||Rules Committee Chair|
|Dempsey, Brian||H||D||$291,214||Ways and Means Chair|
|Puppolo, Angelo||H||D||$225,394||Expected to run for State Senate|
|Tarr, Bruce||S||R||$207,745||Minority Leader|
|Kennedy, Thomas||S||D||$197,676||Consumer Protection Committee Chair|
|Chandler, Harriette||S||D||$182,870||Assistant Majority Leader|
|Keenan, John Jr.||H||D||$147,016||Telecommunications Committee Chair|
|Hedlund, Bob||S||R||$138,216||Assistant Minority Leader|
|Jones, Bradley||H||R||$132,519||Minority Leader|
|Moore, Richard||S||D||$131,471||President Pro Tempore|
|DiDomenico, Sal||S||D||$128,713||Ways and Means Assistant Vice Chair|
|Brewer, Stephen||S||D||$121,862||Ways and Means Chair|
|Candaras, Gale||S||D||$120,997||Community Development Committee Chair|
|Haddad, Patricia||H||D||$119,801||Speaker Pro Tempore|
|Lewis, Jason||H||D||$109,723||Running for State Senate|