In the letter being sent to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, the Coalition to Protect Workers’ Rights accuses the Massachusetts Coalition for Independent Work of lying about its expenditures on paperwork submitted to OCPF last week to form its ballot question committee, according to a draft of the letter reviewed by POLITICO.
The “Flexibility and Benefits for Massachusetts Drivers” committee checked a box on its filing paperwork that said “no money had been raised or spent prior to the organization of the ballot question committee with OCPF.” That paperwork was received by OCPF shortly before noon on Aug. 3.
But the Coalition to Protect Workers’ Rights argues that’s a “false claim.” Pointing to a section of state law that requires the disclosure of “all expenditures” to promote or oppose a ballot question, including “certain expenditures made in anticipation that a question will appear on a ballot,” the coalition alleges that its rivals spent money on consultants to gear up for its ballot-question campaign launch; on signs and stickers for an Aug. 3 press conference; and on digital advertisements in certain publications starting that same day. (The Massachusetts Coalition for Independent Work sponsored Massachusetts Playbook last week, from Aug. 4-6).
“These out-of-state Big Tech companies are currently in violation of Massachusetts labor, civil rights, and consumer protection laws,” workers’ rights coalition director Mike Firestone wrote of his group’s industry-backed rival in the letter to OCPF. “Given the industry’s record of unprecedented corporate spending on misleading advertisements, more than $220 million in 2020 alone, we ask that OCPF hold them accountable to the transparency requirements under our statute.”
The call for a campaign finance investigation is another early salvo in a brewing ballot battle that seems destined to grow ugly and costly — not unlike the similar effort to classify gig-economy drivers as independent contractors that proved successful in California last year — should the question clear the state attorney general’s office.