FRAMINGHAM MAYOR Yvonne Spicer accused a super PAC affiliated with Gov. Charlie Baker of trying to lead a Republican takeover of the city’s government, but her rival Charlie Sisitsky said the mayor is once again ignoring “facts that don’t support her woefully false and fraudulent narrative.”
The two campaigns issued dueling press releases after the Massachusetts Majority PAC reported on Monday a total of $129,020 in spending on digital and direct mail advertising in support of 17 local mayor and city council candidates, including $9,900 supporting Sisitsky’s campaign for mayor in Framingham. The super PAC reported on Wednesday that it spent another $83,824 supporting the same campaigns, including another $6,015 for direct mail advertising on behalf of Sisitsky, bringing the total to $15,915.
Sisitsky came in first in the preliminary election for mayor in Framingham, topping Spicer by a 2-1 margin. The final election is next week.
Spicer issued a statement suggesting the spending in support of Sisitsky by the Baker-affiliated super PAC was part of a long-term Republican effort to take control of Framingham’s local government and roll back its “progressive and inclusive practices.” Spicer cited the super PAC’s strong support of Janet Leombruno’s successful campaign for Framingham City Council two years ago, and described Leombruno as a supporter of former president Donald Trump and one of the chief architects of Sisitsky’s campaign.
“It’s time we call this out for what it is,” said the statement from Spicer. “Charlie Sisitsky’s campaign is steered by a coalition of conservatives who have been campaigning to oust me since the first day I took office. They want to take Framingham back to a time when only the few and connected had the power to make decisions that impact all of us. If turnout in Framingham’s election remains low next week, they may very well succeed in electing their chosen candidate to lead our city.”
The 76-year-old Sisitsky responded with his own statement, pointing out that he is a lifelong Democrat who had nothing to do with the spending by the Baker-affiliated super PAC. Super PACs can raise unlimited amounts of money from individuals and corporations, but they cannot coordinate with the campaigns they support.
“The incumbent’s desperate, last-minute effort at fear-mongering and misrepresenting that our campaign had anything to do with the entity in question is not surprising from someone who is unable to run on her own record because it is so abysmal,” Sisitsky said in his statement. “It’s actually ironic that Mayor Spicer neglected to point out that one of her major campaign endorsers, Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle, also received money from this super PAC, and she’s also the treasurer of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee!”
Sisitsky said it was “laughable” for Spicer to say his campaign was orchestrated by Republicans when it has been endorsed by prominent Framingham Democrats, including Reps. Jack Lewis and Maria Robinson and City Council chair George King and School Committee chair Adam Freudberg.