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Donation cap should include unions

Date: 5/1/2014

Recently, my Democrat opponents in the race for the State Senate seat in the First Hampden/Hampshire district have called for contribution limits from people and interests outside of Massachusetts in this race.

I believe that the people of Western Mass should be the ones deciding who gets elected to serve the First Hampden/Hampshire district, not outside interests from Washington.

What I find interesting however, is that while my Democrat opponents are bringing up the issue of out of state contributions and lobbyist contributions, none have mentioned union help.

Traditionally, labor unions have donated member’s time, and money, which does not always get documented on campaign finance reports. Labor union contributions of phone banking, standouts, and mailings on behalf of candidates (especially after the primaries), can dwarf those contributions of individuals, regardless of where they live. How transparent is that to the voters of the First Hampden/Hampshire district? Is transparency a selective issue in this campaign?

While grandstanding on the “contribution limit/lobbyist” issue makes great press, it has little to do with addressing the serious concerns of the people of Springfield, Chicopee, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Granby, Hampden, Longmeadow, Ludlow, and Wilbraham. Let’s be transparent with the voters of how we will address the issues facing our district and all of Western Massachusetts.

If my Democrat opponents believe that this issue is more important than creating more and better paying jobs, strengthening our education system, or making our communities safer, then the voters have a clear choice on who will do a better job for them in Boston come November.

I am in favor of anything that helps the voters have a better understanding of who the candidates are and how they will represent them in Boston. I will continue to talk to the voters of the First Hampden/Hampshire and do my best to represent their interests in Boston and let Boston know that “Western Massachusetts Matters.”

Debra A. Boronski

East Longmeadow