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State Campaign Finance Office Clears Dykema Campaign on Senior Picnic

The Massachusetts Republican Party had alleged wrongdoing.

State Rep. Carolyn Dykema's campaign committee did not violate state campaign finance laws by accepting corporations' door prize donations for Dykema's anual picnic for area seniors this August, the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance says.

The state agency ruled after investigating a complaint alleging the Dykema Committee "received corporate contributions from local incorporated businesses when those businesses donated gift certificates and merchandise to be distributed" during that event for seniors in Dykema's district, state campaign finance office Director Michael J. Sullivan told Dykema in a Nov. 20 letter.

The Dykema campaign distributed the letter to the media Sunday night.

The Massachusetts Republican Party filed the complaint, the campaign said in a press release.

"I'm glad this issue has been resolved," Dykema said in the statement.

"In its finding, OCPF has confirmed what residents of this district have always known: the senior picnic is about our community and our seniors and not about campaign politics. I'm pleased that next year's picnic can go on as planned and I'm looking forward to continuing to recognize our seniors for all they contribute to our towns."

Sullivan said Dykema’s staff contacted local businesses seeking door prizes for the picnic. There were  13 businesses donating $500 total in gift certificates and merchandise, he said; “no raffle tickets were sold, and no mpney was raised for the Committee as a result of prizes being distributed at the picnic,” he said.

Sullivan said his office believes “the prizes were donated to benefit the seniors, not to support Representative Dykema’s campaign,  and that many of the donors have donated similar prizes in the past, regardless of who was hosting the event.”

“The office has reached this conclusion in part because the senior picnic was not a fundraising event, and no money was raised for Representative Dykema’s campaign at the event or a result of the event,” Sullivan wrote.

Dykema (D-Holliston) was re-elected Eighth Middlesex District representative on Nov. 6, when she defeated Republican Marty Lamb (R-Holliston).

The district includes Holliston, Hopkinton, Westborough Precinct 2, Medway Precinct 1, and Southborough Precincts 2 and 3.

Lisa Keefe December 12, 2012 at 07:07 AM
I read the OCPF letter and the foot notes were the most interesting, especially foot note #2 and #3. http://www.hcam.tv/sites/default/files/final_ocpf_letter_2012.pdf #2 says "door prizes may raise issues under Mass gaming or campaign finance laws under certain circumstances. It goes on from there. #3 says "to avoid even the appearance of an issue under the campaign finance law, the Committee has indicated it will no longer accept merchandise or gift certificates from any entity subjec to the restrictions ....." So, Dykema is saying she won't do it again. OCPF is saying, we'll give you a pass this time. Just don't do it again.
Lisa Keefe December 12, 2012 at 07:11 AM
Interesting what Don said about the junket to Israel. Couldn’t Dykema just have skyped instead of wasting all that taxpayer money ? Our state is facing a $500 million deficit. Dykema doesn't care, doesn't give a wit.
Darlene Hayes December 12, 2012 at 02:22 PM
The Isreal trip and this article are two seperate issues. I gather if the other canidate was chosen to go it would not even be brought up here. This wasnt just a pass, it stated this has been a long standing tradition and was not contributing to campaign funds at all. This has been hosted by both parties with both receiving small in kind gifts to pass onto seniors. The total of these is about $500 and given as little tokens to seniors a speck compared to a 1/4million dollars of bankruptcy debt the citizens absorbed by an opposing canidate. Why was this ever addressed in the past but only in this re-election year? Because it was to smear and tarnish not only a canidate for re-election, a tradition to seniors in our community and those local businesses that have supported it for decades. But in lew to $500million dollar deficit, I would rather my tax dollars go to caring hard working advocates to go on a 3 day business trip on learning water issues and building relationships in Mass and at a far less cost to the tax payer than a quarter of million dollar credit card bankruptcy.
Kelly Roney December 14, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Congratulations! You damaged the 20-year bipartisan tradition of local merchant prizes for the seniors. Way to go Republican Party, Holly Robichaud, and Marty Lamb. I'd guess the seniors will have a long memory on this. Yeah, the letter's footnote goes on to say, "[B]ecause this was a free event and there was no charge to enter the drawing for door prizes, the distribution of door prizes at this event appears to comply with the requirements of Massachusetts law." Naturally, Lisa tried to imply that it said something bad, another ugly deceit.
Kelly Roney December 14, 2012 at 08:48 PM
By the time the benefits of this economic mission start paying off, you will already have forgotten who you should thank for having foresight where you didn't.

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