The Boston Globe confirmed last week that a last-minute anonymous $480,000 cash drop into mayoral-elect Marty Walsh’s campaign budget came from the American Federation of Teachers and was siphoned through a super PAC in New Jersey called One New Jersey. Walsh ran a close race against opponent John Connolly, a former public school teacher who pushed an education agenda that included lifting Boston’s cap on charter schools, lengthening the schools day, and getting tougher during teacher contract negotiations.
Walsh, on the other hand, was backed by the Boston Teachers Union, an affiliate of AFT.
According to the Globe, in the final week of the mayoral campaign AFT gave the $480K to One New Jersey, an anti-Christie political action committee. One New Jersey then gave the money to One Boston, a group that was set up to spend the money. NJ’s campaign finance disclosure laws permit PAC’s to not specify sources of funding.
A day after the article ran in the Globe, the Boston Herald reported that both AFT and One New Jersey acknowledged their roles in the contribution. Walsh continues to claim that he had no idea where the money came from. From the Herald:
Connolly had harsh words for the teachers union last night, saying, “As a Boston public school parent, it really bothers me that our teachers’ union wouldn’t have the respect for all of our parents and children to put their name behind a $500,000 contribution. I have the deepest respect for our teachers ... but I don’t have that same feeling for the leadership in a union that wouldn’t put their name behind such a large contribution. And the AFT and BTU are one and the same.”