GREEN-RAINBOW CANDIDATES REFUSE LOBBYIST MONEY
April 11, 2014
BOSTON, MA - On Sunday, April 6, the Green-Rainbow Party adopted new campaign finance guidelines that ask its candidates to refuse money from registered lobbyists or from officers of for-profit corporations that employ registered lobbyists.
"These guidelines are a response to the increasing sway that for-profit corporations exert upon elected officials," said John Andrews, co-chair of the GRP.
"When the political careers of elected officials are dependent upon pleasing their big money donors," Andrews continued, "everything from tax laws to budget appropriations are biased toward serving moneyed interests. Tax breaks for the wealthy are protected while costs are shifted to people who are struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table. If you aren't wealthy enough to buy influence in the big money game, you just don't get a fair hearing. We want to make it clear that the Green-Rainbow Party candidates are not part of the big money system and are running to truly represent the public interest."
The adopted party guidelines also exclude donations from political action committees (PACs) formed by for-profit interests.
Danny Factor, a GRP candidate for Secretary of the Commonwealth, embraced the new guidelines.
"I'm running to serve the public as a whole," Factor asserted, "not to do favors for donors. So these guidelines make perfect sense to me. In recent years we've seen disastrous steps taken that empower big money and weaken democracy - such as the repeal of the Clean Elections Law by the Massachusetts Legislature and the Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases. Historically, both Democrats and Republicans have generally rushed to court big donors and take advantage of any new loopholes in campaign finance laws. I'm proud of the Green-Rainbow Party for going in the opposite direction."
Ian Jackson, candidate for State Treasurer, said that he would work to ensure that his donations from this point on were in accordance with the guidelines. "If elected as Treasurer, I would be making decisions about how the Commonwealth invests its money. I don't want lobbyists to be giving me money to influence my decisions."
M K Merelice, GRP candidate for State Auditor, noted, "Sometimes the Auditor is called upon to investigate whether money spent to subsidize a corporation is truly being spent in the public interest. I don't think the Auditor should go into such an investigation while depositing checks from the corporate officers into her campaign bank account. The guidelines for Green-Rainbow candidates make good sense to me."