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Fox guards chicken co-op bank
Thank you! Thank you!Andy Handy!
Where Nuciforo gets his campaign money and the real reasons he's against Clean Elections

By Bryan E. Boeskin
Dalton, MA 
Friday, March 22, 2002
The fallout over state senator Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.'s sponsorship of the repeal of the Clean Elections Law has led the senator to take political cover behind some quite ill-conceived philosophical arguments that mock the sound wisdom of the electorate and of the state’s Supreme Judicial Court. 

State senator Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.The key facts to remember here are that Mr. Nuciforo is chairman of the powerful senate banking committee, and that he gets a lot of money from the industry and from the people within it whom he regulates.  Further, he gets the bulk of his campaign funds from special interest groups and individuals outside his district. 

Therefore, everything Mr. Nuciforo says publicly about CEL should be examined with outright skepticism, and in the context of where he gets the biggest chunks of his campaign dollars. 

The senator and his cohorts have made strained efforts to defend the state’s existing campaign finance system by implying that if the public were only intelligent enough to understand the existing system, the public would surely support it. 

These same legislators argue that passage of CEL in 1998 was simply the folly of a once again ill-informed electorate, and that it is the moral responsibility of the enlightened legislature to set the errant electorate and the SJC straight. 

Well, the ruse is over.  Let's start talking hard facts instead of this hogwash paraded as philosophy. 

Here are the reasons senator Nuciforo defends the existing system and why I believe he will stop at nothing to kill CEL

Following the money Where's Alan?
Of the nearly $40,000 in private campaign funds that senator Nuciforo amassed in 2001 (which was not even an election year), 71 % of the contributions came from sources outside his district -- a significant portion of that coming from the greater Boston area.  A number of contributions even came in from outside Massachusetts.  What's more, only half of all his campaign money came from private citizens. 

Money from special interests and PACs

So, where did the other 50 % of contributions to senator Nuciforo come from if not from private citizens? 

About 26 % came from lobbyists, political action committees (PACs), special interest groups, and individuals representing special interest groups. 

Some of those include: Raytheon Corporation PAC,  Beer Distributors PAC,  Mortgage Banker’s PAC,  CPA PAC,  Realtor’s PAC,  Food Industry PAC,  and the Committee-to-Elect Gerald Doyle.

About 6 % of the senator's money came in from attorneys all across  the state. 

Contributions from state's banking industry

Yet, what is most troubling of all is that 16 % of the senator’s funding came directly from the banking industry. 

This is noteworthy for two reasons. First, because nearly all the banks giving him money were not from his district, but rather from the Boston area.  (Only one banker/bank contributor was from his own district.) 

Second, and more important, because Mr. Nuciforo, as chairman of the senate banking committee, is charged with overseeing and regulating this industry from whom these contributions flow. 

A lot of outside money

So why would nearly three-quarters of the senator's campaign funds be coming from outside the district he was elected to represent? 

I am perhaps not as enlightened as our legislators, but it certainly appears to me that the proverbial fox is guarding the hen house (or maybe just the place where the hens do their banking). 

Nuciforo vs. Clean Elections Law

Fact:  CEL prohibits candidates from accepting contributions from outside their district.

Fact:  CEL's language strongly supports a majority of smaller contributions coming from individual citizens. 

So I ask you, whom do you think senator Nuciforo is actually representing when he speaks out against the Clean Elections Law, and what do you believe are his real motives in seeking to repeal it? 

Bryan E. Boeskin is a resident of Dalton, Massachusetts.  He has a Master's Degree in political science, and is a supporter of Massachusetts Voters for Clean Elections.  He can be reached at:

To view senator Nuciforo's campaign finance report for the year 2001, please click on the following link:

Editor's Note: To view this report, you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your system.

For further information on campaign contributions, please visit the Web site of the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance at:

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