Last week my wife and I got phone calls from surveying companies asking who we would vote for in the A/B City Council race. The paid campaign managers working for some candidates, the direct mail activities, lawn signs, etc. all show that there is serious money being raised and spent.
Tim Schofield may be the only candidate actively fundraising outside of the Allston/Brighton neighborhood. Last month he held a fundraiser in downtown Boston and last night he had one in Brookline.
The City of Boston Elections website doesn't put campaign finance information online. (maybe that is another issue that our next Councilor could work on)
In the meantime, the State of Massachusetts Electronic Filing & Campaign Disclosure System gives us some insight into the fundraising patterns of City Council candidates who have run for state office in the past.
Tim Schofield reported $43,865 of contributions in the period between 01/01/2005 & 02/25/2005 when he ran for State Rep. Excluding the $10,000 that Tim donated to himself, where did the money come from?
$105 (0.3%) came from Allston (02134).
$1,040 (3%) came from Brighton (02135).
Cambridge residents from 02139 and 02138 donated $1345, more than all of Allston/Brighton combined.
18% ($6,000) came from outside Massachusetts.
Greg Glennon also ran for State Rep against Tim, Mike Moran, and others in that race. In the same period, Greg raised $16,970, $1,600 of which he donated to himself.
$700 (5%) came from Allston
$200 (2%) came from Brighton
13% ($1,650) came from outside Massachusetts.
Greg also took $1,000 from the energy company NSTAR ($500 from NStar's Responsible Energy Policy PAC and $500 from Joe Nolan, an NSTAR vice president).
Maybe I am naive to say that candidates for Allston/Brighton city council should only have fundraisers in Allston and Brighton. How about only having fundraisers in Allston and Brighton? How about politely refusing money that could create a conflict of interest between an out-of-town donor and Allston/Brighton residents?
In Washington DC, politicians are making some changes to reduce the impact of money on our political system. Can our candidates set a good example instead of running "win at any cost" campaigns?