The last balloon fell on Governor Maura Healey’s inaugural party five months ago. But the fund-raising committee she created to finance the January bash has continued to collect money — nearly $90,000 since February — with little clarity about where any of the excess is going.
The post-inaugural donations from corporations and others have pushed the committee’s total take north of $3 million, adding to what was already a record-setting haul for a gubernatorial inauguration.
A spokeswoman for Healey’s fund-raising committee previously told the Globe that Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll’s Jan. 5 celebration cost $2.8 million. That also made it the most expensive inaugural party in state history.
Should that tally hold, the committee could have as much as $200,000 left over, though the governor’s political advisers declined to confirm whether there is a surplus nor would they describe any plans for how it would be spent. Inaugural funds are required to close no later than a year after the event itself, and candidates are barred from moving any excess into their personal campaign account.
Healey’s political advisers, and at least one donor, said the $88,000 in private contributions the committee has accepted in recent months were pledged before or around the inauguration, but the checks are just now arriving. These late-coming funds include a May contribution from AT&T, which gave $25,000 — the maximum Healey set for inaugural donations — and a $10,000 contribution from Google in April.
José Castañeda, a Google spokesman, said the company initially committed the donation in late 2022, but that it didn’t reach the committee for months because of what he described as internal budgeting processes. Officials from AT&T did not respond to questions about their donations.
Other donations rolled in during the weeks just after the celebration at the TD Garden. The lobbying firm Kearney, Donovan & McGee — which earned $2.8 million lobbying on the behalf of an array of clients on Beacon Hill last year — gave $15,000 in February, as did Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Biogen, which each gave $10,000, and JERA Americas Inc., a subsidiary of the Tokyo-based energy company, which contributed $5,000.
The auditing firm, KPMG, also gave $2,000 in late February. The company once had a contract to review the state’s annual financial report, where officials say its successor recently discovered that the state wrongly used $2.5 billion in federal money to fund jobless benefits over several years.
Corey Welford, a Healey spokesman, said those donations and the others it’s received since February were all “prior commitments.”
“The committee has not solicited any additional funds following the inauguration,” he said.
Inaugural committees are not bound by the same fund-raising restrictions candidates face. While individuals can’t give more than $1,000 to a candidate’s campaign each year, and businesses are barred completely from donating to a candidate, inaugural committees can take an unlimited amount in donations, including directly from corporations. They also are not required to disclose expenditures.
In all, Healey’s inaugural committee has taken more than 300 donations so far, more than 70 of which were at her self-imposed maximum of $25,000. Donors have included energy companies, professional sports teams, and labor unions, as well as an array of lobbyists with clients who have business before the state.
The Cambridge Democrat is not alone in taking late donations for an inauguration. Each of former Governor Charlie Baker’s inaugural committees, for example, reported taking donations anywhere from four to five months after his celebrations in 2015 and 2019.
In 2015, Baker aides said that his first inaugural committee spent $1.8 million on the 20 or more inaugural events it held around Baker’s swearing-in. Another $400,000 went for overhead, such as staff and fund-raising expenses, and the rest was divided up among a series of charities, aides said at the time.
The biggest single donation the committee made, for $50,000, went to The BASE, a Roxbury-based youth services group that was created by Robert Lewis, a major Baker supporter, and whose then-board chairman, Ron Walker, had recently started as Baker’s secretary of labor and workforce development.