FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 21, 2014
617-523-5005 ext. 245
“not the first time Coakley has played fast and loose with campaign finances while punishing fellow politicians for doing something similar.”
The Lowell Sun
By Peter Lucas
Merits of the lawsuit aside, Attorney General Martha Coakley at the very least should have disclosed her relationship with the beneficiary of her federal housing lawsuit — her friend and campaign contributor Elyse Cherry.
That Coakley did not do so simply does not pass the smell test.
What the attorney general left out, however, was the information that the only nonprofit in the country that buys and sells such foreclosed properties is run by Elyse Cherry. It is called Boston Community Capital. Cherry is paid $590,000 a year.
Cherry is co-chair of Coakley’s campaign finance committee. She is also a hefty campaign fundraiser and contributor to Coakley, as well as to the Democratic State Committee. She hosted five fundraisers for Coakley in 2014. She also wrote an endorsement of Coakley in The Rainbow Times, a newspaper of the gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Also, according to the Globe, Cherry acknowledged that she and her staff also wrote the law passed by the Legislature in 2012 that became the basis for Coakley’s lawsuit.
From the outside it looks as though Coakley filed the lawsuit as a favor for a friend who hosted a fundraiser for her just days before she filed it. Was there a quid pro quo involved?
There is not much distance between the attorney general filing a lawsuit for a friend, in return for a campaign fundraiser, than there is for a state representative getting a job at the Probation Department for a constituent in exchange of a campaign contribution.
And this is not the first time Coakley has played fast and loose with campaign finances while punishing fellow politicians for doing something similar. Coakley was fined $24,000 by the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance in 2014 for illegally using money raised for her unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2010 to promote her current gubernatorial campaign. State law prohibits such use.
She also paid her sister $28,254 to oversee the campaign account and paid a federal finance compliance consultant another $10,000.
One questionable $6,000 Coakley expenditure was the same amount of unreported campaign cash that led her to seek criminal charges against former state Rep. Brian Wallace of South Boston. A judge dropped the criminal charge and fined him $1,000. Coakley in her case only admitted to making a “mistake.”
Here’s the bothersome thing about Coakley. The attorney general is unlike other statewide constitutional officers. The attorney general is the state’s chief law officer who, among other things, is charged with enforcing the law, protecting the citizens and making sure that public officials walk the line.
But what are voting citizens to do when it is the attorney general who is not walking the line? Guess.
Read the rest of the story here.