State OK with Adams Family Donations to Marlborough Republicans
The Marlborough Republican Town Committee accepted approximately $30,000 from the parents and brother of Andover state representative Paul Adams, then paid a similar amount to the candidate's campaign.
Weeks after the the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance found the Marlborough Republican Town Committee innocent of breaking any laws, they have issued another statement absolving the family of Andover state Rep. Paul Adams, said a recent Eagle Tribune article.
The family and Marlborough Republicans came under scrutiny earlier this year when it was discovered that both Adams' parents and brother made significant donations to the Marlborough group, after they had already contributed the maximum amount to his 2010 campaign. The money donated, totaling approximately $30,000, was almost entirely funneled back to Adams' through the Marlborough group, a move that state Democrats decried as unethical and illegal. After an investigation, the state disagreed.
In a letter addressed to Marlborough Republican chairman Paul Ferro, the OCPF said the committee was within the law.
“There is no reason to believe that (the) committee violated the campaign finance law," said the letter. “In addition, a local party committee may make contributions to candidates outside of the municipality in which the committee is organized.”
The most recent decision was very similar. Officials said the Adams family had also not violated any laws.
Both Adams and Marlborough Republican Town Committee chairman Paul Ferro denied any sort of collusion aimed at getting around established campaign finance laws.
"I never had any conversation with them regarding how we would spend the money," Ferro said to the Eagle Tribune. "They didn't ask. Under campaign finance laws, they could say, 'Here's $5,000 and we want you to spend it this way.' In this case, that didn't happen."
Ferro also told Marlborough Patch in early April that he believed the state had made the right decision.
"As I have stated previously, the Democrats complaint was completely without merit, and outright laughable," said Ferro at the time. "It is a pity that Democrat chairman John Walsh chose to waste OCPF’s time on a complaint he knew to be completely baseless. If Mr. Walsh spent as much vigor rooting out Democratic Party corruption on Beacon Hill, perhaps the Massachusetts Democrat Party wouldn’t be considered, as the Boston Herald called it, a ‘criminal enterprise.’”
Though the OCPF concluded that no laws were broken, they said that "some portion of those gifts were campaign contributions and ruled that Adams attempted to disguise their source by reporting that the money was his own," said the Eagle Tribune. "OCPF fined Adams and his parents and brother a total of $4,000."
The Marlborough Republicans also supported local candidates in the 2010 race, including (now) state Rep. Steven Levy, though to a much lesser degree. The reason for this, said Ferro, was that the committee thought that Adams had a better chance at winning the election.
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