News Archive

MassGOP Files Ethics Complaint Regarding AG Coakley's Conflict Of Interest Controversy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
October 20, 2014    

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245

 

BOSTON -- Today, the Massachusetts Republican State Party filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission after The Boston Globe reported Attorney General Martha Coakley did not disclose an apparent conflict of interest.

“As the state’s top law enforcement official, Martha Coakley has prosecuted individuals and entities for failing to adhere to the state conflict of interest laws. It should be alarming to voters that she doesn’t believe in holding herself to the same standards as the rest of us, and that this is the third instance of troubling ethical conduct by Ms. Coakley. First she violated campaign finance laws with her own committee and was fined $18,000, then she gave connected lobbyist a pass on allegations they fleeced Franciscan Hospital for Children, and now this,” said Kirsten Hughes, MassGOP Chairman. “Her failure to disclose that she was expending state resources at the request of the co-chair of her campaign finance committee is a clear violation of the state’s conflicts of interest statute and should be immediately investigated by the Ethics Commission."

 

The following letter was sent to the Ethics Commission today:

 

October 20, 2014

State Ethics Commission
ATTN: Honorable Barbara Dortch-Okara, chair
One Ashburton Place Room 619
Boston, MA 02108

Dear Chairwoman Dortch-Okara,

On behalf of the Massachusetts Republican Party, I write to ask that the State Ethics Commission conduct an immediate investigation into Martha Coakley’s conduct as documented in the Boston Globe’s October 16, 2014 article entitled “Coakley lawsuit has ties to backer’s interests.”

Based on the recent Globe report, the Massachusetts Republican Party requests an investigation into Coakley’s failure to disclose the nature of her relationship with Elysse Cherry, the CEO of Boston Community Capital, a co-chair of the finance committee of Coakley’s gubernatorial campaign.
As you know, the state’s conflict of interest laws, MGL 268A, contain a provision, Section 23(b)(3) which relates to apparent conflicts of interest.

That section states in relevant part:

“A state employee may not act in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to think that she would show favor toward someone, or that she can be improperly influenced. Section 23(b)(3) requires a state employee to consider whether her relationships and affiliations could prevent her from acting fairly and objectively when she performs her duties for the state. If she cannot be fair and objective because of a relationship or affiliation, she should not perform her duties. However, a state employee, whether elected or appointed, can avoid violating this provision by making a public disclosure of the facts.”

In the Globe article, Coakley is said not to have disclosed her relationship to Cherry because she determined that Section 23(b)(3) did not apply because Cherry’s contributions to Coakley were a matter of public record.

Since the publication of the story, more documentation has become available which establishes at least the following:

  1. Coakley sought clarity from Judy Zeprun an Assistant Attorney General within Coakley’s own office about whether she needed to make a disclosure related to the Fannie Mae lawsuit.
  1. The advice was sought only from within Coakley’s own AG’s office and it was first sought in October, 2014, after the Globe began its inquiry and had raised questions with Coakley’s campaign.
  1. The advice provided by Judy Zeprun is based only upon Cherry’s status as a donor, not as a campaign finance committee co-chair, or significant fundraiser.
  1. Coakley was aware that questions had been raised about her relationship to Cherry in this context of the Fannie Mae lawsuit as early as June, when Coakley declined to comment in a story in the National Mortgage News. (Kate Berry, "Well-Connected Nonprofit at Heart of Mass. AG's Suit Against GSEs," 6/10/14)

In her comments since the story, Coakley has reiterated her contention that she was not obligated to make any disclosure and has suggested that Cherry’s status as the head of a non-profit somehow removes any potential conflict.

But Section 23(b)(3) places an obligation upon a state employee to make disclosures when she has an apparent conflict. The law does not require disclosure only where there is pecuniary gain on the part of the non-state employee – instead it requires disclosure of the facts where a reasonable person could determine that, as here, the state employee could be improperly influenced.

Of all people, the state’s top law enforcement official who has prosecuted individuals and entities for all sorts of conflicts, should know not to initiate litigation on behalf of a campaign member and significant fundraiser without putting the public on notice that public funds were being used to support the business interests (non-profit or otherwise) of someone from whom she was receiving a direct financial benefit.

The Massachusetts Republican Party believes the rules requiring disclosures apply to politicians and state employees of all leanings, and that Martha Coakley should not be permitted to interpret the rules and approve her own conduct. Further, the Party believes that Coakley’s abuse of her position and state resources to curry favor with significant donors and campaign participants is a gross abuse of her office.

The Party hopes these apparent violations of state law are swiftly investigated and if found to be improper, that Coakley be held to account for her failure to disclose her relationship.

Sincerely,



Kirsten Hughes, Chair
Massachusetts Republican Party

enc.

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Galvin Ducks D'Arcangelo Debate

David D'Arcangelo SoS LogoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: October 22, 2014
Contact: Scott Ciccone
 

MALDEN, MA – Dave D’Arcangelo, candidate for Secretary of State, released the following statement regarding the Lowell Sun’s story on Bill Galvin ducking another debate:

“Bill Galvin cannot be trusted. While he has been quoted multiple times as saying he will participate in debates the reality is that he has rejected every opportunity to make good on his word,” said D’Arcangelo. “Galvin is treating November 4th like a coronation as opposed to an election. With so many important issues facing involving this office, the voters deserve to hear from the candidates in a debate.

I’ve put forward a detailed and robust 11-point reform agenda focused on bringing the Secretary of State’s office into the 21st Century. We need to modernize the way we vote in this state, bring transparency and accountability to Beacon Hill and lower fees on small businesses. Anyone of those issues is worthy of a debate. Like I’ve said before, anywhere, any time, and any place that Galvin wants to debate, I’ll be there.”

This is the second time Galvin has misrepresented his intentions to the press. On September 15, 2014, Galvin was quoted in a WCVB news story where he said, “I’m sure we’ll have debates” however, Galvin has been found to be actively avoiding multiple debate requests from major market media and is once again playing “Run Out the Clock” on the election. D’Arcangelo points to Galvin’s horrible history when it comes to participating in debates.

Numerous organizations have stepped up to host and/or sponsor these debates including, Broadside with Jim Braude, The Lowell Sun, The Scrum on WGBH Radio and Fischer College, but Galvin has actively evaded any debates.

Background:

“Secretary of State Galvin turns down Sun debate invitation”

DRACUT -- Accused of dodging his opponents while fighting to keep his sixth consecutive term in office, Secretary of State William Galvin said he will not take up The Sun's offer to debate.

The Sun had offered Galvin $500 to the charity of his choice if he participated in a Sun-sponsored debate with his Republican opponent, David D'Arcangelo.

Click here to read the full story.

​Deb Goldberg and the state's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad pension crisis

Mike Heffernan Camapign Logo

 


Date: October 16, 2014
Contact: Brendan Moss
Email: bmoss@MikeHeffernan2014.com
Cell: 617-850-2193

In Case You Missed It!
Goldberg Was Selectwoman While Brookline's Unfunded Pension Liability Doubled, Reports BBJ

Goldberg Lacks 'Coherent Strategy' to fix MA Pension System

* * *
'Nor Does She Seem Capable of Cobbling One Together'

 
BOSTON, MA – The Boston Business Journal's Craig Douglas challenges Democrat Deb Goldberg's experience and plan to address the state's unfunded pension liability as state treasurer in a column today. Here is an excerpt from "Deb Goldberg and the State's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Pension Crisis:"

Take her comments during a Sept. 5 debate hosted by the Springfield Republican in which Goldberg and her fellow Democratic candidates for Treasurer were asked to share their plans for the state pension system. Break out the decoders.

“I am really excited about the pension fund,” Goldberg began before transitioning to her time as a pension hawk while serving on the Brookline board of selectmen.

“We (Brookline) were actively able to reduce the number of years until we were fully funded by more than, greater than anticipated revenues and then doing actuarial studies and being able to reduce (our emphasis) the rate of return, shorten the term and then have sustainable growth." Miss South Carolina couldn't have said it better.

What Goldberg also neglected to mention was that Brookline’s unfunded pension liability nearly doubled to $88.3 million during her tenure as a selectwoman from 1998 to 2004, and that the town’s plan now ranks among the worst-funded in the state.

Nonetheless, her point that she miraculously strengthened Brookline’s pension system by reducing its rate of return was not lost on fellow debater Tom Conroy. Here’s what followed.

Conroy: “Well, I’m not sure how Deb was helping address the Brookline pension fund by reducing the rate of return on investment ...”

Goldberg: “I didn’t say that. I said reducing the rate of return over time. Rate of return. I said rate of return.”

Conroy: “Reducing the rate of return ... It doesn’t really make sense.”

Goldberg: “After you do an actuarial.”

Conroy can be forgiven for wanting to check into Bridgewater State Hospital after losing to Goldberg in September’s primary, but the real sanity check will come Nov. 4 when Massachusetts voters choose their next Treasurer among candidates Goldberg, Republican Mike Heffernan and Ian Jackson of the Green-Rainbow party. The question to be answered is whether the Commonwealth wants a Treasurer with a sense of fiduciary duty to his or her constituents.

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HERR TO MARKEY: SHOW SOME LEADERSHIP AND CALL FOR EBOLA TRAVEL BAN

Brian Herr for US Senate logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2014
CONTACT:
Matt Wylie
(703) 304-6034

 

HOPKINTON - Brian Herr, Republican candidate for United States Senate, called on Senator Markey to show some leadership and call for an Ebola travel ban.


"The President's response to Ebola has been pathetic," said Herr."Instead of managing the crisis, we are now letting the crisis manage us. It's been over a week since someone died on U.S. soil from Ebola and the President is just now canceling fundraisers to meet with officials about the crisis."

 

Herr continued: "Where is Ed Markey on this? Why has he not stood up to protect the citizens of Massachusetts? He continues to fail at his job, and this time he is putting lives at risk."

 

"U.S. Embassies in West Africa continue to issue travel visas to foreigners headed to America. This has to stop. It is time that we place a travel ban to and from Ebola stricken countries. I call on Ed Markey to show some leadership and demand the same," concluded Herr.
 
 

About Brian Herr

 

For the past twenty-nine years, Brian Herr has worked in the private sector, primarily managing distribution businesses focused on the commercial construction and industrial automation markets. Brian has also been active in the public sector since 2000, serving the citizens of Hopkinton on the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board, the Metro West Regional Transit Authority, and the Personnel Committee. In addition, he served as the Chairman of the Metro West Anti-Casino Coalition in 2013.

 

Brian is a Founding Member and former Chairman of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, and is the only individual who has participated in the event in each of the 25 years it has been held. The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge has raised $69,000,000 for basic cancer research since its inaugural run in 1990.

 

Brian lives in Hopkinton with his wife Mary Murphy and their five children.

 

John Miller Ask Federal HHS Inspector General to Investigate Organizational Conflicts of Interest in the Award of the State’s Failed Health Connector Contract

Campaign Logo for John Miller for Attorney General

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2014
Contact: Rick Gorka
Cell: (609 789-8686
Email: rfgorka@gmail.com

 Boston, MA – Today John Miller, the GOP candidate for Attorney General, called upon the Inspector General for the federal Department of Health and Human Services to investigate what appears to be a clear organizational conflict of interest in the award of the Commonwealth’s failed Health Connector Contract in July, 2012.

 “On November 16, 2011, the Health Care Connector Authority awarded a consulting contract to Deloitte to assist the Authority with the transition to the new health connector ‘Connector 2.0.’ At the same time that Deloitte was continuing to work for the Authority, the contract to build the state’s Health Care Connector was awarded to a team on which Deloitte was the lead subcontractor,” said Miller. “Unfortunately for the citizens of Massachusetts, the July 9 contract to CGI and Deloitte runs afoul of the federal contracting rules set forth in the same July 9 contract. Deloitte had an organizational conflict of interest under federal law, which could not be waived and should not have been ignored by the Attorney General.”
 
Miller believes the result was a health care and public protection disaster: (i) for over 300,000 citizens who have been temporarily enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program; (ii) for hospitals across this state whose reimbursements for services have been cut; and (iii) for citizens, who have picked up the tab for this fiasco.
 
“In July, 2012, when the Health Care Connector contract was awarded, my opponent, Maura Healey, was Chief of the Public Protection Bureau (PPB). Two of the Bureau’s divisions – Health Care and Consumer Protection – should have been protecting the public interest,” said Miller.
 
“The worst thing about this is that narrowly experienced attorneys in the Attorney General’s Office don’t have sufficient expertise to understand why the law forbids organizational conflicts of interest. Investigating after the harm is done is standard operating procedure for this AGO because it is politically safe. Reacting after the fact doesn’t protect taxpayers from millions of dollars in just plain waste. Conflicts are banned to protect competition in bidding. Conflicts are banned to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse of tax dollars. The AG’s job is to require state agencies to follow the law. It’s going to take someone from outside Beacon Hill – who has worked for a living and who appreciates the value of a buck, to bring badly needed fresh air to the Attorney General’s Office.”
 
Miller contends that CGI should have been locked in hard-nosed competition with other companies for the work, with Deloitte acting only on the side of taxpayers. Instead, Deloitte and CGI were allowed to combine as one bidder, a signal to others that there would not be hard-nosed competition, because Deloitte was already working for the Health Connector Authority and the CGI/Deloitte team would have an advantage.
 
“The contract with U Mass Medical School was amateurish, at best. It simply did not protect the citizens of the Commonwealth from the fiasco that ensued,” said Miller. “Ten minutes of an experienced lawyer’s time would have uncovered this organizational conflict of interest. Forty hours of an experienced lawyer’s time would have fixed the most glaring errors in this contract. Based on my review of the contract, and news reports, the taxpayers are out around $200 million dollars.”
 
Miller called for an investigation by the Inspector General of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, because he believes the Attorney General’s office cannot independently look at this matter. The Attorney General had appointees on the Health Connector Board.
 
Miller is confident that the HHS IG will take an independent look at what has happened since the IG has the independence to refer the matter to the Justice Department if that is appropriate.
 
“It is regrettable that once again, the citizens of Massachusetts have to rely on federal investigators to enforce the law,” concluded Miller. “When I am elected on November 4, the Attorney General’s Office will get back into the fight.”
 
 
For more information about Miller’s campaign for Attorney General, please visit www.MillerforAG.com or https://www.facebook.com/MassForMiller

 

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