The Stamas Campaign has expressed grave concerns about conflicts of interest in incumbent auditor Suzanne Bump’s office. Green-Rainbow Party candidate for auditor, Edward (Jed) Stamas says, “Massachusetts law requires every agency to be audited once every three years, including all government contractors. The last audit of the Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi public agency, occurred in 2009, before Bump became auditor. In 2009, Bump served as chair of the board of the Commonwealth Corporation. This represents a clear conflict of interest and neglect of the duties of the auditor’s office.”
More recently, the Boston Globe reported that The Commonwealth Corporation has not posted any payroll records as required by law. "Only its fiscal 2017 financial statement is available. Its annual spending is about $55 million," the Globe reports.
The Green-Rainbow party has been speaking out about the corruption inherent in “private-public partnerships,” such as quasi government agencies that are granted multimillion dollar no-bid contracts in exchange for providing services public agencies are agencies are supposed to provide. Stamas says, “Immediately upon becoming State Auditor, I will audit all 42 quasi public agencies and recommend the ending of contacts where misconduct is found. Furthermore, I challenge the notion that the state should be using quasi public agencies to provide basic services. Often these agencies are given no-bid contracts and the same people who sit on their boards of directors also hold positions in related state agencies."
Troop F, a police troop that was caught paying officers overtime for unnecessary work, was run by a quasi public agency, the Massachusetts Port Authority. In the process of investigating the Troop F scandal, the Boston Globe found 19 other Massachusetts quasi government agencies that operate in secrecy and do not disclose financial information as required by law. According to Mr. Stamas, "These quasi government organizations have become breeding grounds for money laundering, double bookkeeping, and other nefarious schemes."
“One of Bump’s own audits of quasi government agencies found that they can act as a conduit for moving taxpayer money into illegal “slush funds”. Often, the same people sit on their boards of directors and related government and non-governmental agencies, paying themselves six-figure bonuses. Bump herself was one of these people. It is time for this obvious conflict of interest to end,” says Stamas.
Quasi-public agencies take away much-needed money from human needs and siphon it into the pockets of the politically well-connected. They are allowed to generate significant revenue from fees they charge for basic government services, such as tolls, fares, and rent. Such organizations were put into positions of power during the Republican Weld administration as a type of "public-private partnership" and the Democratic Patrick administration refused to get rid of them. Stamas says, “We were told quasi government agencies would spend our money more efficiently. Instead, we have seen the exact opposite, as these corporations waste millions of dollars on external salaries and unnecessary administrative costs.”
“Along with the financial implications, these agencies often fall short of their responsibilities to taxpayers and the groups they are chartered to serve,” continued Stamas. “For example, another government agency, Northampton Housing Authority, not only failed to protect residents in McDonald House and Walter Salvo House during the recent heatwaves but also prevented them from obtaining their own A/C units to gain some relief.”
In contrast to the Democrats and Republicans, Green-Rainbow Party state candidates agree with the view of Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, a consumer advocacy nonprofit. They have said, "Complex structures of quasi-public agencies coupled with less stringent oversight can create 'a recipe for disaster’.”
“How can a person who was or is in charge of quasi government agencies be permitted to hold a state office that is supposed to oversee them?” asks Stamas. “The conflict of interest is obvious.”
In addition to Mr. Stamas, the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow party is running Juan Sanchez for Secretary of the Commonwealth and Jaime Guerin for State Treasurer. They both agree with Stamas’s comments and are deeply concerned about corruption in Massachusetts state government.
Commonwealth Corporation Board of Directors list as of 7/21/2009