Mass. Gov. Race PAC Releases Top Donors' Names

A so-called "super PAC" supporting Democratic candidate for governor Steve Grossman has listed the name of his mother Shirley Grossman as one of its top contributors

BOSTON (AP) - A so-called "super PAC" supporting Democratic candidate for governor Steve Grossman has listed the name of his mother Shirley Grossman as one of its top contributors.

The updated ad by the Mass Forward Independent Expenditure PAC was released Monday with the names of the PAC's top five donors, including Richard Slifka, Paul Egerman, Ken Novack, and John McQuillan Jr.

The decision to add the names came after Gov. Deval Patrick, with little fanfare, signed into law on Friday a bill requiring all ads by independent expenditure political action committees - also known as "super PACs" -include the names of their top five contributors who've given more than $5,000.

The pro-Grossman Mass Forward Independent Expenditure PAC began running the television ad before the bill was signed. The ad faults Coakley for not supporting a proposal to limit gun purchases in Massachusetts to one per person per month.

The Mass Forward PAC lists Newton residents Barry and Eleanor White as chair and co-chair of the committee. Grossman also lives in Newton.

A statement from the group said it moved quickly to bring the ad into compliance with the new law. The group says it is "almost entirely funded by Massachusetts residents who believe that Steve Grossman is the best progressive choice for governor."

Coakley's gubernatorial campaign earlier Monday faulted the PAC for violating the law before the updated version was released.

"Massachusetts voters have already made it clear that SuperPACs have no place in our elections," Coakley campaign manager Tim Foley said in a written statement Monday. "We hope that Steve Grossman joins Martha in recognizing that and will disavow the SuperPAC's ads."

The state Office of Campaign and Political Finance website includes no information about how much each donor has contributed to the PAC.

The PAC reported spending $153,000 to support Grossman's campaign last week. That's on top of another $250,000 the PAC reported initially spending on the television ad. So far, the PAC has spent more than $415,000 to help Grossman's campaign.

Grossman on Monday said he supports the new law and said "any donors should fully disclose." He also said that while he had "no control" over the ad it is entirely factual.

"It basically says that Martha Coakley supports the position taken by the National Rifle Association - unlimited gun purchases - and I don't think that's a good idea," Grossman said before the names of the donors were released. "I stand with the governor."

Patrick has pushed for a one-gun-per-month policy. That proposal wasn't included in a gun bill awaiting his signature.

Coakley has said the one-gun-a-month limit isn't necessary in Massachusetts and the state should instead focus on illegal guns and keeping firearms away from mentally unstable people.

The 30-second ad features several mothers who lost children to gun violence including Clarissa Turner, the mother of Willie Marquis Turner, a 25-year-old Boston man who was shot and killed in 2011. Turner said the two men who killed her son mistakenly thought he was in a gang. Turner said she and the other mothers support the one-gun-per-month policy.

"She says it wouldn't have any effect. She's wrong," Turner says of Coakley in the ad. "One less gun can save a life."

Under the new campaign finance law, a corporation, labor union or political committee is required to file a campaign finance report within seven days of making an independent expenditure or within 24 hours if the expenditure is made within 10 days of an election.

Such expenditures can include television, radio, Internet or newspaper ads made on behalf of a candidate but without consulting with that candidate's political committee.

The law, which took effect when Patrick signed it, also doubles the amount a person could donate to a candidate in a calendar year from $500 to $1,000.

Patrick is not seeking re-election. Other candidates to replace him include Republicans Charlie Baker and Mark Fisher, Democrat Don Berwick and independents Jeff McCormick, Evan Falchuk and Scott Lively. Election Day is Nov. 4. 

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