The Frenzy A Half-Million Dollars Creates
The Boston Mayoral Race has been taken by storm since the news broke about Candidate John Connolly’s acceptance of a $500,000 donation from Stand for Children, a group who is pushing their own agenda into the city’s schools.
Or at least, they’re trying to.
Rob Consalvo introduced The Boston Compact way back in April, shortly after he announced his own candidacy. It was modeled after the one used in the recent Senate race, asking his fellow candidates to agree not to take funds from organizations trying to push their own agenda. Like Stand For Children is doing.
Nobody signed it.
He followed up by sending a letter to these organizations, requesting that they keep their money out of the race. He thought the victor should win fair and square:
As a parent of two Boston Public School students, I have a personal investment in making sure Boston schools provide every child with access to a quality education. I respect your organization’s focus on improving public education, but I am disappointed that you apparently want to use the race to replace Mayor Tom Menino as an opportunity to push your agenda. On behalf of the city I love and hope to lead, I am writing to ask you to keep your outside money out of the Boston mayors race.
According to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance, your organization has already begun to dump money into this race. We don’t know where that money comes from, but we know it comes with one purpose: to further your agenda.
I have asked my fellow candidates in this race to sign a pledge modeled after the groundbreaking People’s Pledge drafted by Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Senator Scott Brown. To me, this isn’t rocket science. The People’s Pledge worked the 2012 U.S. Senate race and it worked earlier this year in the primary election between U.S. Rep. Steve Lynch and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. My Boston Pledge would require candidates to make a contribution to the One Fund if outside groups like your organization interfere in this race.
Unfortunately, the candidate you support has not agreed to the Boston Pledge, so I am making an appeal directly to you. If you care about Boston, please understand that our city needs a mayor who will be beholden to the people, not outside groups like yours who care first and foremost about their own agenda.
This is the first wide-open race for Mayor of Boston in this post-Citizens United world we live in and I’m worried that agenda-driven outside special interest groups like yours see a political opportunity in this race that has little to do with what is best for Boston.
Again, nobody signed it.
Today, news broke that one of the front-runners, John Connolly, accepted $500,000.00 from Stand For Children.
Suddenly, people are signing the Compact. Let’s just hope that the voters remember who initiated it in the first place.
The race is on. And it’s taken up a whole new pace.