Statement From MassGOP Chairman Regarding Rep. Beaton’s Appointment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
November 17, 2014    

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245

BOSTON – Today the MassGOP Chairman, Kristen Hughes released the following statement regarding Rep. Matt Beaton’s appointment:

“On behalf of the Massachusetts Republican Party, I would like to congratulate Rep. Matt Beaton on his appointment as energy and environmental affairs secretary under Governor-Elect Charlie Baker. I would also like to thank Rep. Beaton for serving his constituents over the last three years with dignity and respect. Rep. Beaton will be a terrific addition to Governor Baker’s Administration and Massachusetts is fortunate that he will continue his public service in this way. The 11th Worcester District has a long history of electing Republican candidates, including Rep. Beaton and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Karyn Polito, and the MassGOP stands ready to lend it’s full support to the Republican nominee in the upcoming special election.”

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Statement of Chairman Kirsten Hughes Regarding Election Results

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
November 5, 2014    

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245

BOSTON – MassGOP Chairman Kirsten Hughes today released the following statement:

“Yesterday the voters of Massachusetts spoke and their decision was to strengthen two-party government on Beacon Hill. The Massachusetts Republican Party is proud of all of our candidates who poured their hearts and souls into their campaigns, and for the thousands of volunteers who dedicated themselves to carrying our message of fiscal responsibility and balance of power.  Our party fielded the first full slate of constitutional officers in 20 years and launched an unprecedented grassroots operation that called millions of voters and knocked on hundreds of thousands of doors. Last night, we saw the results of that coordinated effort, and it is the people of Massachusetts who will benefit from all of our hard work.”

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  Caught On Tape: Coakley Says MA “Doesn’t Need Fixing” 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
October 27, 2014    

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245
 

BOSTON – Yesterday, Attorney General Martha Coakley proudly stated Massachusetts “doesn’t need fixing” before calling for greater state spending and higher taxes.

Click here to watch Coakley say nothing in MA needs “fixing”.

“It is not surprising that Attorney General Martha Coakley doesn’t think Massachusetts needs any fixing, she tried to stop the investigation of corrupt House Speaker Sal DiMasi,” said Kirsten Hughes, MassGOP chairman. “The fact is Coakley is symptomatic of the problems on Beacon Hill with her troubling record of campaign finance violations, letting politically wired lobbyists off the hook, and now, the alarming revelation that she tried to cover up the DiMasi scandal.”

 

Coakley: “We got businesses here. I think things need to get better here in Massachusetts but I don’t think they need fixing. I think what we need is someone who has a vision to say let’s invest in people who need it. Let’s give those kids that opportunity to get a job and to get good work. That’s how we will keep businesses here.”  (Greater Boston Interfaith Organization forum, 10/26/14)

 

Background: 

In a private 2008 meeting with former Inspector General Gregory Sullivan, AG Coakley requested that the IG end his investigation into the dealings of SpeakerDiMasi. “She asked him to stop his investigation, Sullivan recalled, and suggested she might produce a report on ‘lessons learned’ from the affair, loosely modeled on a report her predecessor had put together on the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. ‘My takeaway,’ said Sullivan, in a recent interview, ‘was that they were not anxious to go prosecuting the speaker of the House.’” (“Back as AG, Martha Coakley rebuilt her name, The Boston Globe, 10/26/14)

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In Case You Missed It! Coakley’s Mortgage Flap “Does Not Pass The Smell Test”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
October 21, 2014    

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
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.” 

Coakley’s actions show she just talks the talk
The Lowell Sun
10/21/2014
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.

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MassGOP Files Ethics Complaint Regarding AG Coakley’s Conflict Of Interest Controversy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
October 20, 2014    

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245

BOSTON – Today, the Massachusetts Republican State Party filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission after The Boston Globe reported Attorney General Martha Coakley did not disclose an apparent conflict of interest.

“As the state’s top law enforcement official, Martha Coakley has prosecuted individuals and entities for failing to adhere to the state conflict of interest laws.  It should be alarming to voters that she doesn’t believe in holding herself to the same standards as the rest of us, and that this is the third instance of troubling ethical conduct by Ms. Coakley.  First she violated campaign finance laws with her own committee and was fined $18,000, then she gave connected lobbyist a pass on allegations they fleeced Franciscan Hospital for Children, and now this,” said Kirsten Hughes, MassGOP Chairman.  “Her failure to disclose that she was expending state resources at the request of the co-chair of her campaign finance committee is a clear violation of the state’s conflicts of interest statute and should be immediately investigated by the Ethics Commission.”

The following letter was sent to the Ethics Commission today:
October 20, 2014

State Ethics Commission
ATTN: Honorable Barbara Dortch-Okara, chair
One Ashburton Place Room 619
Boston, MA 02108

Dear Chairwoman Dortch-Okara,

On behalf of the Massachusetts Republican Party, I write to ask that the State Ethics Commission conduct an immediate investigation into Martha Coakley’s conduct as documented in the Boston Globe’s October 16, 2014 article entitled “Coakley lawsuit has ties to backer’s interests.”

Based on the recent Globe report, the Massachusetts Republican Party requests an investigation into Coakley’s failure to disclose the nature of her relationship with Elysse Cherry, the CEO of Boston Community Capital, a co-chair of the finance committee of Coakley’s  gubernatorial campaign.
As you know, the state’s conflict of interest laws, MGL 268A, contain a provision, Section 23(b)(3) which relates to apparent conflicts of interest.

That section states in relevant part:

“A state employee may not act in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to think that she would show favor toward someone, or that she can be improperly influenced. Section 23(b)(3) requires a state employee to consider whether her relationships and affiliations could prevent her from acting fairly and objectively when she performs her duties for the state. If she cannot be fair and objective because of a relationship or affiliation, she should not perform her duties. However, a state employee, whether elected or appointed, can avoid violating this provision by making a public disclosure of the facts.”

In the Globe article, Coakley is said not to have disclosed her relationship to Cherry because she determined that Section 23(b)(3) did not apply because Cherry’s contributions to Coakley were a matter of public record.

Since the publication of the story, more documentation has become available which establishes at least the following:

  1. Coakley sought clarity from Judy Zeprun an Assistant Attorney General within Coakley’s own office about whether she needed to make a disclosure related to the Fannie Mae lawsuit.
  1. The advice was sought only from within Coakley’s own AG’s office and it was first sought in October, 2014, after the Globe began its inquiry and had raised questions with Coakley’s campaign.
  1. The advice provided by Judy Zeprun is based only upon Cherry’s status as a donor, not as a campaign finance committee co-chair, or significant fundraiser.
  1. Coakley was aware that questions had been raised about her relationship to Cherry in this context of the Fannie Mae lawsuit as early as June, when Coakley declined to comment in a story in the National Mortgage News. (Kate Berry, “Well-Connected Nonprofit at Heart of Mass. AG’s Suit Against GSEs,” 6/10/14)

In her comments since the story, Coakley has reiterated her contention that she was not obligated to make any disclosure and has suggested that Cherry’s status as the head of a non-profit somehow removes any potential conflict.

But Section 23(b)(3) places an obligation upon a state employee to make disclosures when she has an apparent conflict.  The law does not require disclosure only where there is pecuniary gain on the part of the non-state employee – instead it requires disclosure of the facts where a reasonable person could determine that, as here, the state employee could be improperly influenced.

Of all people, the state’s top law enforcement official who has prosecuted individuals and entities for all sorts of conflicts, should know not to initiate litigation on behalf of a campaign member and significant fundraiser without putting the public on notice that public funds were being used to support the business interests (non-profit or otherwise) of someone from whom she was receiving a direct financial benefit.

The Massachusetts Republican Party believes the rules requiring disclosures apply to politicians and state employees of all leanings, and that Martha Coakley should not be permitted to interpret the rules and approve her own conduct.  Further, the Party believes that Coakley’s abuse of her position and state resources to curry favor with significant donors and campaign participants is a gross abuse of her office.

The Party hopes these apparent violations of state law are swiftly investigated and if found to be improper, that Coakley be held to account for her failure to disclose her relationship.

Sincerely,

Kirsten Hughes, Chair
Massachusetts Republican Party

enc.

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