MA Question 2 Gains Another $1.5 Million, Mostly from NY
Massachusetts has four ballot questions up for vote on November 8th: Expand gaming (Q1); raise charter school cap (Q2); prevent cruelty to farm animals (Q3), and regulate and tax marijuana (Q4).
In support of Q1, the Horse Racing Jobs and Education Committee has raised $431,370 as of the September 20th filing. No committee has raised any money in opposition.
Q3 (preventing cruelty to farm animals) also has only supporters, Citizens for Farm Animal Protection, which has raised $1.7 million.
And Q4, on the legalization and regulation of marijuana, has supporters, Yes on 4, who have raised $2.9 million, as well as three opposing ballot committees (Safe Cannabis Massachusetts, Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action, and the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts), which have raised a combined total of $451,017, as of September 20th.
But it is Q2, on the expanding of charter schools, which has been the real money draw. As of the September 09, 2016, filing, four committees in support of Q2 had raised a combined $11 million (taking into account that two of these committees shuffled $1 million to the two other committees), and one committee in opposition had raised $6.8 million.
On September 20,2016, one committee in support of Q2, Great Schools MA, has added another $1,029,193— with most of it– $1 million– coming from the largest funder by far of Massachusetts’ ballot measure for charter expansion: New York-based lobbying nonprofit, Families for Excellent Schools Advocacy.
What this means is that as of September 20, 2016, the New York-based lobbying nonprofit has spent $6,750,000 to expand charters in Massachusetts.
Also, as of September 20, 2016, the total amount of unique, non-overlapping money spent in support of Q2 is $12.1 million. New York-based Families for Excellent Schools Advocacy has provided 56 percent of that total.
The September 20th reporting also includes an additional $413,192 in support to the sole committee opposing Q2, Save Our Public Schools. Of that amount, $406,324 comes from Boston-based AFT Massachusetts. None of the $413,192 comes from an out-of-state individual or organization.
The grand total spent on Q2 as of September 20th is $19.3 million– over 5.5 times the amount of money spent to date on the question of legalizing marijuana in Massachusetts– and more than 3.5 times the money spent on the other three ballot measures combined.
On its 2014 tax form, Families for Excellent Schools Advocacy (FES-A) states its mission as “works to build coalitions and run campaigns that change education policy.”
Note that the statement above does not say “in New York.”
FES-A spent $1.8 million to do so from July 2014 to June 2015.
Now, in 2016, it has already spent four times as much to “run the campaign to change education policy” in Massachusetts.
And the Q2 spending isn’t over yet.