Steve Grossman, call your mother.
Wait, no, better not. It could be legally risky if the conversation veers toward a certain random topic, like, say, the fact that you are maniacally devoting every waking hour and every shred of your being to your dream of being elected Massachusetts governor.
It’s actually just as well that things have turned out this way. The charade that involves super PACs spending money on behalf of — but without any coordination with — candidates’ campaigns has now reached the level of full-blown farce. That comes with the news that one of the principal funders of the super PAC that began running ads on behalf of Grossman attacking his Democratic rival Martha Coakley is none other than Grossman’s 92-year-old mother.
Shirley, you jest?
No, she does not, Shirley Grossman tells the Globe, declining to go into specifics about how much she has dumped into the super PAC other than to say it is “a lot of money.”
A new state campaign finance law took effect last Friday that requires super PACs to disclose all donors and donation amounts within seven days and to list the PAC’s top five donors in any television ads. Mass Forward, the super PAC backing Grossman complied by disclosing that Shirley Grossman is one of its top funders. The group has spent at least $250,000 on an ad buy to show a 30-second spot on Boston television stations that criticizes Coakley for not supporting a proposal to limit gun purchases to one per month.
The whole super PAC debate has become a giant game, with candidates selectively trying to seize the high ground and oppose the influence of dark money in campaigns, while then finding ways to benefit from it just the same. Grossman called the Citizens United decision that unleashed the unlimited spending of super PACs “maybe one of the worst decisions the Supreme Court . . . has ever made.” But he has defended the Mass Forward ads as “entirely factual and accurate.”
On Sunday, the day before the Mass Forward disclosure, Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham wrote that Grossman claims to have had no conversations about Mass Forward with Barry and Eleanor White, close friends of his who co-chair the super PAC and who held a campaign event for him in their home last year. Abraham says how absurd the non-coordination rule is because the PAC “is made up of, and almost certainly funded by, people very close to the candidate.”
You can say that again.
— MICHAEL JONAS
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