During the first week of January, the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance announced it had levied a $31,000 fine on Strong Economy for Growth (SEFG), charging the group violated finance laws in 2016 by not making public its contributors. This is the second time state campaign finance regulators have cracked down on a political group aligned with Governor Charlie Baker. SEFG spent $1.168 million it spent supporting the governor’s 2016 ballot question campaigns.
The Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) reported on the news:
The Office of Campaign and Political Finance once again fined a nonprofit with close ties to Governor Baker for ‘an intent to influence the election’ and for failing to disclose its donors. This week’s finding pinned the latest lawbreaking on Strong Economy for Growth, which violated several campaign finance laws when campaigning for the 2016 ballot question to expand charter schools.
Check out some of the coverage:
- From the Boston Globe: Campaign group allied with Baker on charter schools, pot is fined for hiding donors
- From the Boston Herald: Bay state nonprofit penalized for violating campaign finance law
- From the Associated Press via US News and World Report: Officials Force Group to Reveal Ballot Question Donors
Boston Teachers Union members were active in the #NoOn2 Campaign to Save Our Public Schools during 2016.
In September 2017, the Boston Globe reported, “Pro-charter school group pays state’s largest campaign finance penalty.” MEJA has been calling for the dismissal of Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Chair Paul Sagan since his previously revealed undisclosed donations to Families for Excellent Schools–Advocacy, money which that group illegally funneled to the Yes on 2 pro-charter campaign. They are also calling for the removal of any members of Baker’s administration who hid their contributions from the public while trying to influence public opinion or while making decisions about education in an official capacity.