Fox guards chicken co-op bank
Where Nuciforo gets his campaign money and the real reasons
By Bryan E. Boeskin
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.
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
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
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
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
Contributions from state's banking industry
Yet, what is most troubling of all is that 16 % of the senator’s funding
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
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: BryanBoeskin@aol.com
To view senator
Nuciforo's campaign finance report for the year 2001, please click on the
following link: http://www.state.ma.us/ocpf/images/13009ye01.pdf
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: http://www.state.ma.us/ocpf.