BOSTON- Attorney General Martha Coakley's campaign finance scandal is now affecting her day job - the state's authority on campaign finance violations. Initially backing campaign finance bill (H 3719), Coakley's office yesterday refused to comment yesterday on the bill's passage in the house avoiding yet another example of 'do as I say not as I do' politicking.
Coakley Refused to Comment On A Bill Penalizing Politicians For Sloppy Finance Reports. "Coakley, whose spokesman declined comment following Wednesday’s House vote, said earlier this year she was 'not aware of anybody' who had been barred from the ballot because of campaign finance violations." (Andy Metzger, "DELINQUENT MUNI OFFICIALS COULD LOSE BALLOT ACCESS UNDER HOUSE BILL," SHNS, 11/14/13)
"Coakley's silence now that she is on the wrong side of campaign finance violations is a classic case of do as I say, not as I do and now it appears this scandal is affecting her day job," said MassGOP Chair Kirsten Hughes. "It looks like the state's top cop is refusing to weigh in on commonsense, good government legislation out of fear of hurting her political future."
DELINQUENT MUNI OFFICIALS COULD LOSE BALLOT ACCESS UNDER HOUSE BILL
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
By Andy Metzger
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, NOV. 14, 2013……The House on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation backed by Attorney General Martha Coakley to provide electoral penalties to municipal officials who consistently fail to file campaign finance reports.
Coakley, who has faced criticism of late for her own management of federal and state campaign finances, raised the need for additional penalties to keep municipal officials in line when she sued Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua in January.
Coakley sought to compel Lantigua to file overdue reports, which he later did.
“I represent a large portion of Lawrence in my district, and this was something that was brought up my first week in office,” said Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen), who gave her maiden speech on the issue earlier this year and urged passage again Wednesday ahead of the 146-0 vote.
Currently, the Office of Campaign and Political Finance can block state and county pols from the ballot if they have overdue and delinquent reports. The bill extends the OCPF’s ballot access powers to municipal elected officials who file reports with the agency, closing what DiZoglio described as a “loophole.”
Coakley, whose spokesman declined comment following Wednesday’s House vote, said earlier this year she was "not aware of anybody" who had been barred from the ballot because of campaign finance violations.
DiZoglio said the bill (H 3719) would apply to municipal officials who file with OCPF. Mayors in mid-sized cities as well as city councilors and mayors in larger cities file with OCPF while officials in smaller municipalities file reports with local officials.
Rep. Marcos Devers, a Lawrence Democrat who sought the mayoralty this year but lost in the preliminary, also spoke in favor of the bill. House Minority Leader Brad Jones sponsored similar legislation.
The bill now heads to the Senate. Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and Sen. Michael Moore, a Millbury Democrat, signed onto DiZoglio’s bill as co-sponsors.
The Boston Globe reported earlier this week that the Federal Election Commission used prosecutorial discretion in declining to pursue a case against Coakley in 2010.
The former candidate for U.S. Senate has state and federal accounts, and the Massachusetts Republican Party has called for an independent investigation of Coakley, who is leading her rivals in Democratic gubernatorial primary polls.