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editorial

Mystery group behind Martin Walsh ads should reveal donors now

The last-minute ad blitz by outside groups whose donors won’t be revealed until after Tuesday’s mayoral election makes the best case possible for instant disclosure of funding sources. The half-million-dollar ad buy by a political committee called “One Boston” — about which essentially nothing is known except that it supports Marty Walsh — could be the decisive difference in a close race. The one person whose name appears on the paperwork for the group, Jocelyn Hutt, should reveal the identity of the donors before the election. And Walsh should demand that she do so. It’s hardly a trivial matter: Voters rightly should wonder who is seeking Walsh’s favor and what they hope to gain. In a strong-mayor system like Boston’s, where a mayor has endless opportunities to steer contracts and award jobs, it is absolutely essential that voters know the identities of a mayoral candidate’s backers.

One Boston’s ad, which highlights a training program Walsh started as a union leader, is hardly offensive in and of itself. But it represents a potentially game-changing push over the airwaves, without providing any clue about who is behind it. The only name on One Boston’s official paperwork is that of Hutt, a 55-year-old Roslindale resident. Where might the funds be coming from? In all likelihood, not from Hutt; in a letter to the Globe a few years back, she wrote about deciding not to take her kids to a favored play because of the high price of tickets. That being the case, it seems unlikely she’d be dropping $480,000 on TV ads for Walsh.

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