TITLE: Fundraising Standards for GRP Candidates
SHEPHERD/FLOOR MANAGER/SPONSOR: John Andrews
CO-SPONSORS: Frank Jackson
VETTING COMMITTEES: CDLC, Platform
The Green-Rainbow Party can benefit from a clear set of fundraising guidelines that will distinguish our candidates as clean money candidates while allowing them to raise funds from suitable donors. A common set of standards helps communicate to the public the important difference between the GRP as a party that serves the people and our opponents who often are captured by for-profit interests.
It should be noted that according to Massachusetts law there is already transparency regarding all donations of more than $50 to candidates, and corporate donations are not permitted. But substantial amounts of money flows to candidates through lobbyists and individuals who are associated with corporate management. It is often impossible to prove the hidden agenda behind an individual contribution. But it is clear that a corporation that hires registered lobbyists is attempting to influence public policy, and that using campaign donations to exert that influence is something the Green-Rainbow Party can not support.
After considerable discussion a set of guidelines were developed within the Electoral Action Working Group for use by the three statewide "slate" candidates. These guidelines were adopted as a party-wide recommendatin by the Administrative Committee. This proposal would ask that these guidelines become a standard for all GRP candidates.
In addition, these guidelines take a stance regarding the so-called independent expenditure organizations or SuperPACs that spend money to influence elections without observing the usual constraints.
SUMMARY: Guidelines are adopted for fundraising by GRP candidates.
TEXT OF PROPOSAL:
a) The State Committee adopts the following language as a fundraising standard for all GRP candidates.
• Our campaign does not accept contributions from registered lobbyists and from officers of for-profit corporations that hire registered lobbyists.
• We strongly oppose attempts to influence the election by independent expenditure organizations (such as "SuperPACS") which evade normal donation limits or keep their donors and expenditures secret until after the election.
b) The text above should be posted verbatim on online donation pages and printed on all fundraising literature. Additional explanatory text can be added if the candidate wishes.
c) Candidates who wish to decline donations based on additional criteria are asked to first discuss these criteria with the Candidate Development and Legal Committee to ensure that such criteria are clearly formulated and to understand the political and financial implications of such criteria. The exact wording of any guidelines can produce unintended legal and implementation implications, so careful review is advisable.
d) Any candidate seeking a nomination or endorsement from State Committee shall be asked to make a commitment to the standard guidelines. (Note: Failure to make such a commitment shall not preclude the nomination or endorsement, but may influence the assessment of the application by State Committee members.)
e) The same standards, appropriately worded, should be applied to fundraising for the Green-Rainbow Party funds.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: No funding required to implement. The standards may occasionally deter a sincere donor to the party, but the overall impact on fundraising is expected to be negligible and conceivably could be positive.
• CDLC should produce a memorandum describing the new standards. This should be sent to all GRP candidates. The memorandum should provide advice on how to implement the standards within a campaign.
• A question regarding commitment to the standards should be added to the application form for endorsements/nominations.
• The Fundraising Director and Communications Director should make sure that the standards are visible on all GRP fundraising literature.
END OF PROPOSAL