In July, Marty Walsh Said He Would Sign Pledge If Others Did

'I will support it if ... all 11 of my fellow candidates agree,' Walsh says in a new video.

This past Wednesday, as the battle over the so-called “People’s Pledge” or “Boston Pledge” against independent expenditures came to a boil in the mayoral campaign, Marty Walsh seemed to make his position clear. He released a statement calling the pledge “nothing more than a political gimmick.”

But a month ago, addressing people at a public campaign event, Walsh said that he would sign the pledge if the other mayoral candidates did as well. “I will support it if … all 11 of my fellow candidates agree” he says, as captured in the above video, which was provided to me days after it was recorded on July 15 by a member of another mayoral campaign.

Walsh, responding to a question about the pledge from someone in the audience, expresses concern about applying the pledge in a multi-candidate field if not all are participating. But he did not raise any objections to the idea of the pledge—which calls for candidates to donate to charity a percentage of the value of any independent expenditures made on their behalf.

That seems at odds with the way Walsh described the pledge in last Wednesday’s statement:

It is important to understand that no campaign is in a position to coordinate with those who make Independent Expenditures. The Supreme Court ruling makes that very clear. I will not participate in political theater or political gimmicks. I will continue to run an aggressive grassroots campaign to ensure the people of Boston understand what kind of Mayor I will be: open, honest and representative of the working families who live in our great city.

Walsh spokesperson SJ Port denies any inconsistency. As of mid-July, Port says, “we may have considered signing the pledge, but even at that point it was clear that four or five of the candidates were not going to sign.”

Here is the transcript of the exchange, as best I could make it out:

Questioner: … put forth a pledge that if any independent expenditures or PAC from out of state tries to put up ads or any kind of operations to try to [ ] the candidate, he would donate a certain amount or percentage to charity. Is that something you’d be able to wrap your arms around and endorse?

Walsh: I will support—if all of our, if all of my candidates, all 11 of my fellow candidates agree to this, I’ll be in. It’s very difficult, with 12 candidates, it’s a problem when you have 12 candidates. When it’s a one-on-one race, when you have one candidate, when you had Scott Brown against Elizabeth Warren, it’s a bit difficult. In the last United States Senate race, on the Democratic side and I believe on the Republican side there was outside interests coming in here with TV ads and lit drops and knocking on doors. But if every candidate agrees to it, I will do it.