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Candidate boasts MassFiscal endorsement

Michael White, the Republican insiders’ favorite to run against incumbent state Representative James M. Cantwell of Marshfield, claims to have an eye-opening endorsement from the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

In a Wednesday e-mail to his supporters, White boasts a slew of endorsements from Republican leaders, including Governor Charlie Baker, and other groups, such as MassFiscal.org.

That’s a mention MassFiscal might not appreciate. The registered not-for-profit insists it does not participate in partisan politics — it just educates voters on where legislative candidates stand on the issues.

But Democrats, who are furious the secretly funded MassFiscal is able to wreak havoc in some of their closely contested races without accounting for its funding, are convinced that the group is merely an arm of the state Republican Party.


A November 2012 e-mail obtained by the Globe might bolster the Democrats’ claims. It was sent by executive director Paul Craney to some supporters, boasting of the group’s activities in the just completed legislative election.

Craney breaks down the expenditures in that election, listing a total 16 mailings it sent to voters in the campaign, writing “12.. Total number ‘supporting’ a GOP candidate” and “4.... Total number of mailers opposing a Democratic candidate.”

The Globe reported this week the Office of Campaign and Political Finance is reviewing an e-mail the MassFiscal finance director sent to supporters seeking to raise $23,000 for an “all out blitz’’ to complete “MassFiscal’s mission” in two March 1 special House elections. The issue is whether this would be a partisan pitch and therefore force the group to file a disclosure on the source of its funds.

Neither Craney or White responded to a request for comment.

In the past, Craney has strongly denied his organization’s activities are in any way partisan. He said its mission is to educate voters “with electioneering communications” on certain issues, and therefore the group is not required to publicly reveal where it gets its funding.

Frank Phillips can be reached at phillips@globe.com.