Amore, Hodgson top beneficiaries of Baker-linked super PAC

Two Republicans — Anthony Amore and Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson — are shaping up to be the top two beneficiaries of a super PAC with ties to Gov. Charlie Baker that says it backs politically centrist candidates from both parties.

In a campaign finance filing on Wednesday, the Massachusetts Majority super PAC reported spending another $106,000 supporting Amore, who is challenging Sen. Diana DiZoglio in the race for state auditor.

The latest expenditure brings to $206,000 the amount of money the super PAC has spent on Amore’s behalf, along with $100,000 spent opposing the candidacy of DiZoglio. The combined $306,000 represents 28 percent of the $1.4 million the super PAC has spent on 38 political races in Massachusetts since the primary.

The super PAC has spent a total of $120,923 supporting Hodgson, including $44,399 reported Wednesday. The total backing for Hodgson represents about 8 percent of what the super PAC has spent so far in the general election. Hodgson is facing a challenge from Democratic Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux.

The Massachusetts Majority super PAC is likely to spend a lot more money over the next few days leading up to Tuesday’s election.

Other big beneficiaries of the super PAC so far include Republican Timothy Whelan, who is running for sheriff in Barnstable County against Democrat Donna Buckley. The super PAC has spent a total of $105,498 on Whelan’s behalf.

The super PAC has spent $80,799 on behalf of Daniel Higgins, a Republican running for district attorney from the Cape and Islands against Democrat Robert Galibois.

The super PAC has also spent $47,735 supporting Republican Ed Dombroski of Wakefield, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Jason Lewis of Winchester; $47,735 supporting Republican William Johnson of Granby, who is running for Senate against Rep. Jacob Oliveira of Ludlow; and $45,278 on behalf of Rep. Shawn Dooley of Wrentham, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Becca Rausch of Needham.

More than three-quarters of the candidates supported by the super PAC are Republicans. The precise numbers are 29 Republicans, seven Democrats, one Independent, and one Unenrolled.

Five of the Democrats are incumbents, including Sen. Michael Rodrigues of Westport and Reps. Jonathan Zlotnik of Gardner, Joseph McGonagle of Everett, Michael Kushmerek of Fitchburg, and Colleen Garry of Dracut. The two other Democrats are Simon Cataldo of Concord, who is running for state rep against Republican Rodney Cleaves of Chelmsford, and Rodney Elliott of Lowell, who is running for rep against Karla Jean Miller of Lowell.

Spending on advertising is influenced by the size of the district. Amore is running statewide and Whelan, Hodgson, and Higgins are running in county races.

BRUCE MOHL

 

NEW STORIES FROM COMMONWEALTH MAGAZINE

Unfinished business: House and Senate leaders unveiled legislation expected to be voted on today that includes $3.7 billion in spending from the long-stalled economic development bill but none of the permanent tax cuts or direct aid that both branches had previously agreed to.

– House Speaker Ron Mariano said the tax cuts, which would primarily benefit lower and middle-income residents, were dropped because of the uncertain economy and a tax cap law that is returning $3 billion to taxpayers this fall. Top House and Senate leaders said they would take up the tax cuts next year if conditions permit. “We want to be sure what we do is smart and well thought out,” Mariano said.

– Rep. Mark Cusack of Braintree placed a lot of the blame on Gov. Charlie Baker. While Baker has said the state could afford the $3 billion tax cap giveback and $500 million in permanent tax relief, Cusack said the governor’s refusal to alter the giveback favored wealthy residents of the state.  “The governor wanted to take care of the ultrarich across the state,” Cusack said. “We’re still looking at the people who need it the most.”

– The Legislature intends to pass the bill in an informal session, when the objection of just one lawmaker could block it, at least temporarily. Mariano said he would be astounded if the bill failed to pass, partly because all of the elements are well-known to members and they include local earmarks that could help their re-election campaigns. Read more.

Offshore wind standoff: With the state’s three major utilities and Commonwealth Wind at odds on whether their power purchase agreement should be amended due to changed economic circumstances, Gov. Charlie Baker says he doesn’t mind them negotiating but would balk at restarting the procurement process. Read more.

OPINION

Excuse me: Sens. Cynthia Stone Creem and Cindy Friedman take exception to a Barbara Lee commentary about women about to turn a corner politically in Massachusetts without mentioning the women of the Senate, particularly Senate President Karen Spilka. Read more.

 

STORIES FROM ELSEWHERE AROUND THE WEB                    

 

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

A bitterly divided Boston City Council approves a redistricting plan that brings the biggest changes to the districts now represented by council president Ed Flynn of South Boston and Dorchester’s Frank Baker. (Boston Globe)

The council also passed a somewhat pared down salary increase for itself, the mayor, and other top city officials after Mayor Michelle Wu vetoed a heftier pay raise that the council approved. (Boston Herald)

In a small-scale echo of the problems that have festered in Boston near the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard, Fall River officials dismantled a tent encampment of homeless people that had grown to a dozen or more people. (Herald News)

Former Framingham mayor Yvonne Spicer comes up short in her bid to win the town manager’s job in Stoughton. (MetroWest Daily News)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

In Boston, Vice President Kamala Harris touts federal programs to lower home energy bills. (MassLive)

ELECTIONS

The Globe says voters face a less-than-ideal choice when it comes to the so-called “millionaires tax” on next week’s ballot, but the paper says a “yes” vote, overall, moves the state toward a fairer tax structure and endorses its passage.

Vice President Kamala Harris swoops in to rally the Democratic base at a Boston appearance – even though Democrats across the statewide ticket look poised to win by healthy margins. (Boston Globe)

Democrats, including both of the state’s US senators, criticized as antisemitic a new ad for Republican Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson that casts wealthy Jewish philanthropist George Soros as the force behind politicians in city’s being overrun by crime. (Boston Globe) Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham wonders why Gov. Charlie Baker, whose moderate Republican bearings have made him a popular two-term governor of deep-blue Massachusetts, is backing a hardline Trumpist like Hodgson.

A group launched by a former aide to President Trump is distributing mailers in Massachusetts warning white and Asian voters that President Biden’s policies will hurt them because of their race. (Salem News)

Democratic incumbent US Rep. Jim McGovern faces a challenge from Republican Shrewsbury businessman Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette. (Telegram & Gazette)

Democrat Shirley Arriaga and independent Sean Goonan – who previously ran against each other and both lost for Chicopee City Council – are vying to replace retiring Rep. Joseph Wagner. (MassLive)

TRANSPORTATION

As South Coast Rail expands commuter rail to New Bedford, property values are expected to rise, likely leading to more evictions of lower-income tenants. (Standard-Times)

Massachusetts residents have until May 3, 2023, to get a Real ID if they want to be able to use their license to fly domestically and enter federal buildings. (MassLive)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

The Conservation Law Foundation and the Charles River Watershed Association sue the Environmental Protection Agency, charging the agency has failed to protect the Charles, Mystic, and Neponset rivers from stormwater runoff. (State House News Service)

Massachusetts will get $160 million in federal fuel assistance. (Eagle-Tribune)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

With advances in technology, old cold cases are getting a new look in Essex County. (Gloucester Daily Times)