Democratic lawmakers are asking Massachusetts' election finance regulators to crack down on a conservative group that they say is trying to influence elections without disclosing where its money comes from.
The state Democratic Party is asking that instead of being classified as an educational organization, the group Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance should be considered a political group and subject to laws about disclosing donors.
The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance is currently considered an educational organization by state campaign regulators. The group sends mail to voters and local officials that give warnings about Democratic legislative efforts and low rankings to democrats in the House and Senate.
"I think it's pretty obvious to most people that Mass. Fiscal Alliance is a political committee and therefore should be required to disclose its donors, just like I do and just like any political organization does," Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) said.
Mass Fiscal director Paul Craney says Democrats, who have massive majorities in the House and Senate, are trying to use the government their party controls to silence the opposition and the donors who give to Mass. Fiscal:
"They want to harass, persecute and prosecute the generous members of our organization, that's what they're trying to do," Craney said.
Eldridge accused Mass. Fiscal of recently sending mail to municipal officials in his district to attack the Safe Communities Act, an immigrant sanctuary bill Eldridge champions. Eldridge says the group is clearly trying to damage him against a Republican challenger this election year.
"If Mass. Fiscal Alliance is going to spend half-a million dollars on a mailing about the safe communities act or other issues, they should be required to disclose their donors so we know where is this money coming from, what is the size of the donation and shine a light on what I take as xenophobic attacks," Eldridge said.
Eldridge and Rep. Natalie Higgins (D-Leominster), along with the state Democratic Party, have filed a complaint with the state's Office of Campaign and Political Finance asking the regulators to investigate whether Mass. fiscal should be reclassified as a political committee. The complaint accuses the group of "distributing communications for the purpose of influencing Massachusetts elections," something that Democrats say makes MFA political in nature.