Healey campaign sends e-mail to state workers — and quickly retracts it

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, front, faces reporters as Mass. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, left, Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker, second from left, and Mass. Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, right, look on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, at the Statehouse, in Boston. Baker signed a bill into law Monday that officially ends the state's longstanding practice of sending women with alcohol or substance abuse problems but who have committed no crimes to the state prison for women in Framingham. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/AP
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey faced reporters during a news conference.

It’s not uncommon for statewide political figures to trip over state ethics and campaign finance laws — but when you are the attorney general, it is pretty embarrassing.

That’s what happened to Attorney General Maura Healey when her campaign committee sent out a blast e-mail Wednesday night asking her supporters — and public employees who work for her — to join her in New Hampshire Saturday to knock on doors and canvass voters for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“I’m kicking off two canvasses Saturday and need you help,’’ she told the recipients, who included employees at the attorney general’s office and other state agencies. She and other Massachusetts political leaders, including Mayor Martin J. Walsh, are heading to the Granite State with an army of volunteers to help Clinton this weekend before the presidential primary on Tuesday.


The e-mail included a button that recipients could click on to donate to Healey’s political committee.

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When the committee realized many of the messages were sent to state government addresses, Healey’s political adviser, David Guarino, followed up with an e-mail admitting there had been “an inadvertent error” and some of the original message had “mistakenly” been sent to state employees.

While the e-mail raises campaign finance and ethics issues, it is far from clear there was any serious violation, particularly with Guarino’s quick retraction.

Guarino said Healey’s political office immediately contacted the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance for guidance on how to correct the problem and the committee is sifting through its e-mail list to purge the state addresses.

He said the committee had yet to determine how many e-mails went to state workers, including those in the attorney general’s office whose names were on the list because they were invited to the celebrations surrounding her swearing-in ceremonies a year ago.


“We are reviewing our list to try to ensure this doesn’t happen again,’’ he said.

Frank Phillips can be reached at