Marty Walsh Supporters Have to Pay to Settle Claims
Two entities have agreed to pay $30,000 to the state to settle claims that they broke the law when spending a half-million dollars in support of Marty Walsh’s election as mayor last year.
As was disclosed in January after the election, the One Boston Independent Expenditure committee—a so-called Super PAC—was funded entirely by One New Jersey. In addition, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) revealed to the media at that time that it had been the sole source of those funds to One New Jersey.
The late disclosure was permissible under existing Massachusetts law, which has since been changed through a law passed last month. But the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) alleges that both One Boston and One New Jersey violated other state campaign-finance laws.
One New Jersey, according to OCPF, was required to organize as a Massachusetts political committee prior to soliciting AFT for the money, and should have filed a campaign finance report for its 2013 activity. One Boston, OCPF says, was required to disclose AFT as the ultimate source of the funds. In addition, OCPF claims that the groups violated state law forbidding “disguising the true origin of the contribution” or knowingly receiving a contribution whose origin has been disguised.
The settlement disposition agreement does not allege any wrongdoing by AFT.
One Boston and One New Jersey have agreed to pay $30,000 to settle the claims, but deny violating any laws. They contend that they acted in good faith, that One New Jersey was not required to register as a political committee in Massachusetts, and that there was no attempt to disguise the true source of the funds.