Broadband Coalition Meeting materials - Your feedback requested - "Dark Money" Bill / SRPEDD Presentation

Skip to first unread message

Robert Espindola

Nov 16, 2023, 10:57:15 PM11/16/23
Broadband Coalition members,

Here are a few notes as follow up to our meeting this afternoon

I would encourage you to review the legislation filed to "establish transparency and accountability for money to influence voters at Town Meeting".  We recently learned about a Broadband article at a Hampden, MA Town Meeting  falling short of a 2/3 threshold by only 4 votes, while there was apparently a strong campaign funded by incumbent ISP's encouraging people to vote against the article.

This legislation proposed would eliminate what is called "Dark Money" having an influence on voters without transparency and accountability when it comes to who is spending the money spent to influence voters.  This would apply to all types of major expenditures but would also include Articles about Broadband, of course.

This appears to be a logical spot for the Coalition to advocate but, I'd like some additional feedback from those who were not on the call whether the Coalition should consider sending a letter to the Committee working to advance this bill as well as Bill Sponsors indicating Coalition Support of the Article.

image.png bill, called “An Act relative to dark money in local government” (S.2804/H.4628) would close a “longstanding loophole” in Massachusetts’ campaign and political finance law that allows “unfettered political influence” on town meeting warrant articles.

Please also find the presentation by SRPEDD Fellow Kaitlen Whalen regarding forming a Digital Equity plan.  She pointed out that Municipalities can work together to develop a regional plan and SRPEDD is available to help with that proces.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

SRPEDD_Broadband Coalition Presentation (1).pdf
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages