Worcester Mayor Joe Petty’s campaign is calling out contestant Robyn Kennedy’s campaign for breaking campaign finance rules and demanding an investigation as the two vie for the seat of incumbent Senator Harriette Chandler.
The alleged violations relate to a sender of an independent spending PAC, Massachusetts Women for Progress, sent to voters in the First Worcester district in early July.
The PAC sender announces their endorsement of Kennedy, includes a biography of the nominee and a quote from her. The Mail also discusses Chandler’s legacy, stating, “We need to elect someone who carries on his legacy of bold leadership.”
“The post was embraced by Robyn Kennedy’s campaign via social media, in what appears to be a clear violation of campaign finance regulations prohibiting coordination between the candidate and the PAC,” the campaign statement read. Petty. “The mailer was amplified by Robyn Kennedy’s social media campaign with a note, ‘Our mailers are out!'”
A screenshot from the Petty campaign sent to MassLive shows a story posted on Facebook by the Robyn Kennedy page for the state Senate. The story shows a screenshot of a tweet from District 5 Councilwoman Etel Haxhiaj announcing she was thrilled to get the mail and saying Kennedy “is the progressive we need.”
Above the tweet, the campaign page wrote: “Our shippers are out! Tag us if you received your mail + can’t wait to support me on September 6th with your vote!”
When reached for comment, Kennedy campaign manager Gina Plata-Nino said the action had nothing to do with the candidate and was the result of a first aide acting as a person. on social networks.
Plata-Nino said part of the representation at the table encourages first-time volunteers and there’s a learning curve. The aide did not know the difference between PAC senders and campaign senders, she said.
As soon as she saw the post, she had it taken down immediately and informed the assistant that the campaign could not tag or like anything that mentioned the PAC.
“We are in no way related to the mentioned PAC,” Plata-Nino said.
The Petty campaign accused the Massachusetts Women for Progress PAC of new violations, saying sender-related expenses would go back to at least June 30, but as of July 12 it had not disclosed its funding sources or costs to the Campaign office. and political financing. State law gives a campaign a 7-day window to report these costs.
Petty’s campaign also says the Kennedy quote used on the mail has “no known or detectable source.”
“We believe the Robyn Kennedy campaign – again in clear violation of state campaign finance laws – coordinated and provided this quote directly to Massachusetts Women for Progress,” the campaign said. Petty.
His campaign said it filed a formal complaint with the OCPF.
As of June 30, Petty’s campaign had $76,727.30 in cash and the Kennedy campaign had $22,112.06, according to the OCPF website.
Petty’s campaign press release came out on Wednesday, the same day Kennedy’s campaign launched an ad.
“I entered this race with energy and commitment to the community I hope to represent,” Kennedy said in a statement. “This video conveys my message, that I know how government can work for people, and I know firsthand that the pandemic has compounded long-standing issues in housing, the economy, child care and health care. I will fight for common sense solutions to invest in the care economy and small businesses and ensure that every resident can access the services they rely on.