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Sean Bielat turns Joseph P. Kennedy III’s supply request into his own campaign fund-raiser

In politics, the saying goes, turnabout is fair play.

Sean Bielat is employing that maxim with a catchy fund-raising idea: He’s seeking donations to help stock up Joseph P. Kennedy III’s regional campaign offices, but planning to keep most of the cash for himself.

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“Because the Bielat for Congress campaign believes that every campaign staffer deserves a stapler, we created an online gift registry to help the recent graduate provide office supplies for his staff,” reads a statement on Bielat’s campaign website.

A $5 contribution, for example, would cover a fictional gift of a sink strainer. A $100 donation would be equated with giving a box of non-perishable food.

“A portion of the proceeds donated to the Joe Kennedy III Campaign Gift Registry will be used to send a box of supplies to one of his four campaign offices,” the statement adds.

The appeal comes after the Globe reported Sunday that Kennedy, despite having nearly $2 million in his campaign kitty, has sent at least two e-mails to campaign supporters seeking office supplies, non-perishable food, and even a dish rack.

The goods will be used to dress up his regional offices as he runs to replace Representative Barney Frank in the Fourth Congressional District.

“Joe believes in spending what we must and saving what we can, which is the kind of smart budgeting he’ll bring to Congress,” spokeswoman Emily Browne said.

Bielat, one of three Republicans seeking to run against Kennedy in the fall, pivoted off Kennedy’s request with his own tongue-in-cheek appeal.

And the campaign took particular note of the Kennedy campaign’s request for real silverware, rather than the less expensive plastic substitute.

“While it is unclear if the Kennedy team requires real silver flatwear [sic] or will accept utensils made out of stainless steel, we ask you to comply with their wishes,” the Bielat statement says.

Glen Johnson can be reached at johnson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.
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