29 thoughts on “UPDATED: See Where the Money is Coming From for the Pro & Con CPA Campaigns

  1. This sounds relatively benign. Nothing evil, corrupt or untoward, as was suggested by the “No” folks. Can we all calm down now?

  2. As I recall Mr. Palomba the craftily written mailer you are talking about never mentioned one small tidbit. THE 2 PERCENT “SURCHARGE” on your property
    tax bill. Must have been a slight oversight I guess.

  3. This doesn’t reflect the cost of the mailers… These are simply donations to the campaign. They don’t include the in kind contributions of the mailers which will total Tens of thousands of dollars.

  4. If I read their websites correctly both of these organizations also provide the design and building ofor CPA initiatives like affordable housing and recreation areas. With many years in the business arena I always found it troubling when an organization tried to give me something, as they almost always want something in return. If the CPA passes (and I hope that it does not) I will ask the town council to consider banning these two companies and their affiliates from performing any CPA work within the town for at lest 5 years due to its influence in getting the CPA passed. I don’t know if I have any legal grounds but I will find out.
    VOTE NO ON QUESTIO 5 (on the back of the ballot)

      • They are also non-profits (read charities) that have a humanistic mission. There are your dangerous “outside interests”. Yikes.

      • I did not call them “companies” but “organizations” as I read that they were non profits. I also have been around log enough to understand that the salaries of non profits can be very high. (Don’t make a profit but pay their executives plenty of money and perks) I have no idea of what the executives make at these two places but one of them having an office on Milk Street in Boston does make a statement. Lastly lets keep in mind that they do perform the construction efforts for some of the CPA initiatives and I doubt that they do them at cost.

        • May have been an error, but this is a quote from your comment: “If the CPA passes (and I hope that it does not) I will ask the town council to consider banning these two companies”
          Or, I might be mistaken and you are talking about two other companies, but that was not clear to me.

          • John, no sir, I have made no misleading statements. You are trying to lead people to believe that these non-profits are illegitimately lining their pockets with pubic money. It is you who are making insinuations about organization that you actually know little about. If that is not true, please show us evidence. An address is proof of nothing. The office could be tiny, shared or hosted by a larger organization. Please show proof if you are going to make insinuations. Thank you.

        • John, do you have any proof of excessive salaries or wasteful spending at these organizations or are you just speaking from your prejudices?

          • Joseph, you continue to surprise me with misleading questions/statements. I have copied my my statement below so that all can see that your question is misleading.
            ” I also have been around log enough to understand that the salaries of non profits can be very high. (Don’t make a profit but pay their executives plenty of money and perks) I have no idea of what the executives make at these two places but one of them having an office on Milk Street in Boston does make a statement”
            As everyone can see I did not state that they were making excessive salaries or had wasteful spending practices.
            So it is obvious that I am not prejudice! Never have been and never will be.

  5. I can’t believe it. It says “Neither the Concerned Watertown Homeowners nor the Watertown Strong Schools groups have filed campaign finance reports with the Town Clerk’s office, said Town Clerk John Flynn. Typically, any spending on signs, mailing and advertising must be reported, Flynn said.”
    Campaign Finance violations are serious. By not filing any paperwork with the Town both Watertown Strong Schools and Concerned Watertown Homeowners association have violated Massachusetts State Ballot Question Committee campaign finance laws. Leaders of these groups are most likely in for trouble. If this issue has been forwarded the article to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance for investigation it could end in fines and possible charges for each group.

    • My, my, that does seem to be true. While these guys were lambasting others for improper use of their office, etc., they weren’t filing the required forms? Oh my gosh. . .I am shocked.

  6. Charlie,
    It does sound like the Concerned Homeowners group and Watertown Strong Schools didn’t file and financial disclosure documents that they were required to. Is John Flynn, the town clerk, required to do anything about it? It seems like he says they violated the law, but didn’t say anymore..

    • I am not sure if the Town Clerk reports that, or if someone else has to report it to the Secretary of State’s office. That is what the opposition to Question 5 with charges that town appointed board members improperly used their office to campaign for the measure.

  7. Thanks Charlie, for making clear that there is nothing to get upset about here. A vote for the CPA will not end the world as we know it. The vitriol behind the NO campaigners reflects the general attitude in this national election, which is unfortunate. I wish some of this energy could have been directed at the mess of development ruining our town right now. Talk about big money.

    • Hear, hear! We should keep our focus on the real issues that threaten our community rather making a big deal over smaller things.

  8. There are non-profits and non-profits…. People garner handsome salaries working for non-profits. They therefore need to justify their existence by producing developments or the gravy train for their executives ends.

    • John, a;most everyone working for a non profit makes less than they could in the private sector. Why would they do so? Usually out of a sense of mission–wanting to improve some aspect of our world? Do you expect those who serve to subsist on bread and water?

  9. So a group of parents worried about their kids future and group of homeowners worried about their taxes forgot to dot an I or cross a T…. Shows us all they aren’t professional activists and politicians. As opposed to the slick high priced campaign being waged by the pro-CPA camp, which we now know includes out of State Interests.

    A little trip down memory lane. In 2005, the CPA supporters failed to form a committee and file a thing, and were collecting money for months in violation of the law. That is until I pointed out their rookie mistake and they corrected it. I was asked for quote by the Watertown Media at the time… and I said, it’s not a big deal… it’s rookie mistake.

    What is more serious however, is the missing In Kind Contribution amount for the multi thousand dollar mailings from outside Watertown! That folks is a much more serious violation and it’s coming from professionals that ought to know better.

    • You weren’t so willing to overlook an inadvertent and well intentioned breach of protocol in the case of Patrick Fairbairn or the bike/ped committee. John don’t criticize the splinter in your neighbor’s eye without noticing the log in your own. You accuse all sorts of good people of nefarious deeds and ulterior motives. It’s not decent.

  10. John Dimascio. Read above. Campaign finance violations by CWHA and Watertown Strong Schools! Have you reported these violations. I know you’re very concerned with conspiracy theories, transparency, and most importantly rule following when it comes to your politics!! Time to put up! I sure we’ll see Letters to Editors and Town Council appearances regarding this – right?

  11. I’m actually extremely consistent here, holding the Home Owners and the School group to the EXACT same standard I held the Pro CPA camp in 2005, when they committed a similar violation. It was a rookie mistake in 2005 and it’s rookie mistake in 2016. I’m comparing apples to apples here.

    If they committed offence, I’m sure they’ll pay the consequences.

    With regards to Mr. Fairbain, as a member of Commission has the benefit of Ethics training. The same is the case with Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee. The Committee is also being investigated for serious violations.

    These two citizen’s interest groups, fighting this unwarranted assault on our wallets , may or may not have violated the law. It will come out in the wash. And the proper authority will deal with it, as the case may be.

    As I noted about, the Home Owner’s Association and Watertown Strong Schools, are not professional activists with big buck backing from out of State Corporations, as are the members of Invest Watertown. Note again their failure to disclose the $15,000 to $30,000 “In Kind” contribution for extremely expensive mailers. They may also not have been legally bound until after the election to disclose them. That will also come out in the wash. But certainly, with the likes of Town Councilors running the show in their campaign, they have no excuse for not knowing the nuances of the law. They have to file reports every year for their committees. So to leave out such massive contributions from out of town and out of state corporate interests, is far less excusable.

    Again, I’m holding the Concerned Watertown Home Owners and Watertown Strong Schools to precisely the same standard I help pro-CPA forces in 2005, when they started collecting and spending money months before filing the proper paper work.

    • You should really do your research before spouting off your half-baked notions Mr. DiMascio. There is no way that the mailers cost “$15,000 to $30,000”, believe me, I know. Yet again, this is another exaggeration from the “vote NO” side of the fence, not surprising at all. If you are going to make any claims at all, you should be backing it up with proof, like who are these so called “out of State Corporations” that you keep mentioning or how do you know how much money was spent on what you call “extremely expensive mailers”, you don’t know. From what I can tell from what I’ve read is that you have no proof of anything at all, these are just unfounded and outrageous accusations. You and some others seem to be significantly more preoccupied with all of this nonsense, rather than focusing on arguing the ballot question itself. I wonder why that is?

  12. Vitriol ? No anger… anger at dishonest people trying raise taxes for unnecessary special interest projects.

    And as I said, I’m holding all people to the same standard. Re-read my post.

  13. Enough already. Take a short walk to 7-11 and get yourself a Big Gulp. Then you can glug glug glug. Thank God for next Tuesday. Oh. Wait. Am I allowed to say that?

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