Letter to the Editor: “Fake News in Bolton”… Aug. 18, 2017

| August 17, 2017

Fake News Arrives In Bolton

You probably received a glossy pamphlet in the mail “Important Questions Inside” attacking our Senator Jennifer Flanagan regarding her recent vote to raise the pay of the members of the Massachusetts Legislature. This mailer is full of false and deliberately misleading information about Jen Flanagan’s vote. The organization, Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, MASSFISCAL.org, winner of the 2015 coveted “Award for Fraud in Massachusetts Politics”, which sent this mailer, picked selective facts from this recent legislation to intentionally misrepresent the good work which Jen is doing.

Fake Fact #1 – voted for a 40% pay increase – Real Fact – only the House Speaker and the Senate President got a 40% raise, Jen Flanagan did not receive any increase in her base salary
Fake Fact #2 – voted to more than double legislator’s expense allowances from $7200 to $20,000 – Real Fact – Jen exchanged her combined office expenses $7,200 and travel costs for a flat $15,000 yearly expense (only legislators 50+ miles from Boston receive the $20,000) typically legislators will receive a 9% compensation increase, while many still have higher expenses than the amount allowed
Fake Fact #3 – voted the raise as “emergency” – Real Fact – legislation resolved a paperwork issue to avoid having to wait 90 days and to receive the 2017 compensation retroactively

The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance is formed as a 501(c)4 charitable organization and as such it is not required to disclose it’s donors. Although the organization states that it’s purpose is to promote the quality of life in Massachusetts, it’s actions work to make the state friendlier to business. According to the organization website, it “may accept unlimited contributions from any source, including personal contributions, corporations and trade associations.” This ability to advocate without donor limits, without disclosing it’s financial sources, is a direct consequence of the Supreme Court Citizens United decision. The group claims to be non-partisan, however, online sources indicate that of its expenditures on behalf of candidates, via direct mail campaigns, most support Republicans and oppose Democrats.

Don’t be deceived. MASSFISCAL.org is not your advocate. MASSFISCAL.org is advocating on behalf of their donors, but they won’t tell you who they are.

Jim Carvalho
Bolton

Category: Letters

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