Remember last October when some folks here gave me grief for suggesting that “Right Size Newton was engaged in likely illegal campaigning” for “blanketing the city with color glossy flyers promoting their slate of candidates” without creating a Political Action Committee?
Well as John Hilliard reported in the Globe this week, the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance agreed.
[Right Size] didn’t comply with the campaign finance law when it began raising money for City Council candidates in the city’s fall municipal election. The group did so without first organizing as a political committee, according to a Dec. 27 letter from Michael J. Sullivan, the agency’s director.
The lack of compliance was due to a “misunderstanding of the campaign finance law,” Sullivan said.
Last month, RightSize formed the Newton Votes 2019 Independent Expenditure PAC to collect donations, according to the agency.
OK, so perhaps it was “a misunderstanding,” but now that Right Size is engaged in the Northland referendum, it appears that the group may be off to another bumpy start. This week the group began running paid Facebook ads that look like this…
The problem is, the image Right Size is using in its paid ads are a two year old rendering of the project, which fails to take into account the many design changes — including lack of massing, added green space, walkways, courtyards and decision to put all parking underground — that were part of the many changes the project undertook after getting feedback from neighbors, housing advocates, environmentalists and negotiations with the city and the city council. Here’s a more accurate image.
As with the campaign law violations (or even a few complaints about the signature gathering process) perhaps this is another “misunderstanding.” Here’s hoping Right Size will start using the correct image today.
P.S. Before we hear the “But Hillary’s emails!” type comments about the complaint Right Size filed against Mayor Fuller, note that (a) we’ve discussed that on Village 14 too and (b) there’s still no OCPF ruling on the Fuller’s move. But in this instance Right Size has been found in violation of the law.