A Massachusetts political action committee has agreed to pay $45,000 to resolve campaign finance issues after making excess in-kind contributions to six candidate committees.
State campaign finance officials said last week the Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union PAC made its largest in-kind donation — $23,200 — to the 2018 re-election campaign of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.
According to a review by the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, the PAC made monetary contributions and purchased signs, banners and bumper stickers for the six campaigns in 2018 that exceeded the $500 contribution limit between a PAC and a candidate each calendar year.
The PAC resolved the issue with a $22,500 payment to the state’s general fund and a second $22,500 payment to a charity of the PAC’s choice.
The campaigns that received the excess in-kind contributions have agreed to donate the money to either the state’s general fund, the general fund of a city or town, a scholarship fund or a charitable or religious organization.
The PAC’s seven board members signed the agreement.
Other candidates who received between $1,000 and $1,200 in excess in-kind donations from the PAC include: Republican Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz and Rep. Brian Murray of Milford, Rep. Harold Naughton of Clinton, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early, and House candidate Patrick Malone of Uxbridge — all Democrats.
State campaign finance officials said the expenditures the PAC made may have been initially independent — and not subject to contribution limits because there was no coordination with the candidates on the purchases.
But the PAC’s decision to give those materials to candidates and use them at campaign events at which the candidate appeared constituted coordinated in-kind contributions.