AFT front group fined $30K for Boston mayor’s race ad buy

August 11, 2014

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Mike Antonucci Mike Antonucci

Mike is the director of the Education Intelligence Agency and has covered the education beat since 1993.
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BOSTON – Last November a last-minute ad supporting Marty Walsh for mayor of Boston appeared on the city’s TV screens. The ad was financed by the previously unknown super PAC called One Boston, created two weeks before the election, headed by the previously unknown Jocelyn Hutt.

Walsh won the election and One Boston dissolved two months later, having collected a single $500,000 donation which it spent entirely on that ad. It was subsequently revealed that the contribution originated with the American Federation of Teachers, funneled through One New Jersey, a previously unrelated advocacy group.

The Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance reached a disposition agreement with One Boston and One New Jersey that levies a fine of $30,000 for the subterfuge.

As far as the state of Massachusetts goes, that’s the end of it. But questions still remain, such as who is actually paying the fine, and who is paying the attorneys who negotiated this settlement? One Boston was just a shell to begin with, and no longer exists at all. One New Jersey is treated as the culprit in the settlement but obviously had no inherent interest in the Boston mayoral race. Are we to believe they are on the financial hook for doing a favor for AFT?

AFT believed $500K was a good investment to get Walsh elected. Another $30K or so might just be considered a gratuity.

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