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In mailing, foes tie MassFiscal to hate group

Matt Murphy, State House News Service

BOSTON — A union-backed group organized to be a counterpoint to the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance has dropped a massive mailing on the doorsteps of more than 100,000 households across the state accusing the conservative non-profit of spreading research done by a hate group.

MassFiscal Exposed is a joint project of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. Last week, the group began a mail campaign intended to draw attention to the fact that the Fiscal Alliance does not have to disclose the source of its funding.

MassFiscal exclusively targets Democrats with what it calls educational material that highlights certain votes and issues, but avoids campaign financial disclosure laws by not directly advocating for the election or defeat of a candidate and refraining from activity close to the date of an election.

“MassFiscal is polluting our local elections with unlimited, anonymous dark money, and Massachusetts voters deserve to know the truth about the group’s hate-filled rhetoric and the true source of its political spending,” said Tim Foley, executive vice president of 1199SEIU, in a statement.

Foley was referring to Mass Fiscal’s claim in recent mailers that illegal immigration costs Massachusetts taxpayers $1.8 billion each year. MassFiscal cites as the source of that statistic the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a hate group with ties to white supremacists.

Mass Fiscal spokesman Paul Craney called the union mailers “dull and boring.”

“Mailings like this show why so many rank and file union members are withholding their union dues. Their attack on the good work we do is dull and boring,” Craney wrote to the News Service. “The state would be better off if union bosses urged lawmakers to pass a state budget. If lawmakers showed as much enthusiasm to pass a fiscally responsible budget, as they did their 40% pay raise, Massachusetts wouldn’t be the only state in the country without a state budget.”

The union mailers encourage recipients to “Say No to Dark Money.” “The Mass Fiscal Alliance REFUSES to reveal who its donors are and how much they give. But with members of hate groups as friends, it isn’t a shock why it wants to hide its donors,” the flier reads.