The Republican Governors Association, Revealed

Yesterday, in posting about the National Republican Congressional Committee’s stealth anti-Tierney site, I mentioned that it could really backfire in Massachusetts, where the national Republican brand is about as popular as the ebola virus.

Turns out that another national Republican group was apparently trying to avoid that association, but now will have to thanks to the brand new Super PAC disclosure law.

A Super PAC called “Commonwealth Future” sprang up a while back, and ran its first ad recently—a pro-Charlie Baker spot with Beth Lindstrom, the PAC’s president and a veteran of Massachusetts Republican politics.

Commonwealth Future, Beth Lindstrom—sounds very Bay Statey, right?

But, unfortunately for them, the PAC had to reveal, thanks to one part of the new law, that the Republican Governors Association (RGA) is one of its top five donors. However, the PAC’s Massachusetts-based spokesperson was quick to tell the Globe that “all the donors, except the governors group, are Massachusetts residents.”

That turns out to be like bringing in a ringer for the corporate basketball tournament and saying “all the players on our roster, except Paul Pierce, are company employees.”

Thanks to another part of the new law, we found out today that of the $1,370,000 contributed to Commonwealth Future so far, the RGA contributed $1,350,000.

In fact, that $1,350,000 was the only money contributed to the PAC through Friday, August 1. That’s the day Governor Deval Patrick signed the Super PAC disclosure bill, which requires Super PACs to list their five biggest donors on-screen in their ads. That would have meant listing just the RGA, making obvious that “Commonwealth PAC” is really just a false facade for the national Republican group.

That next week, exactly four Massachusetts residents contributed $5,000 each. Hence, a top five donors to list, of which the RGA is but one.

These are the lengths, apparently, that a national Republican group must go to disguise the fact that it is in fact associated with national Republicans. Without the new law, the subterfuge could have gone on until after the election. Thanks to the new law, we know at least some of the truth.