Who Is Funding Ranked-Choice Voting in Massachusetts? [OPINION]
Question 2 has the potential to upend the outcome of elections in Massachusetts. Ranked-choice voting will change the way we have voted for generations.
All of the supporters of ranked-choice voting are on the left wing of the American spectrum. Advocates of changing the way we count votes are honest about their goal: electing more people who agree with them. Why would you spend millions of dollars to change the election laws if you didn't know the change would benefit your personal political goals?
I don't believe in campaign finance limits and I'm skeptical of forcing American citizens to disclose their political contributions to the government. Did pamphleteers like Thomas Paine send a completed campaign finance form to the King? No, the answer is no.
That being said, there is a public disclosure law in Massachusetts and I will use the information to inform you what the government says has been spent on this ballot question.
Most of the big money has come from out of state. Wealthy people in New York, Texas, and Wisconsin are deeply committed to changing the way candidates are elected in New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Boston, Freetown, Fairhaven, Dartmouth, and Wareham. I understand why these folks care about elections on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket, but why do they care about Brockton, Springfield, and Acushnet?
One big donor is Kathryn Murdoch, the wife of James Murdoch, son of Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch. According to the New York Times, James resigned from Fox due to disagreements with the conservative slant of the channel and a desire to focus on liberal causes with his wife.
If we can trust the government records, Kathryn Murdoch has given $2 million to this ballot question in five separate donations all in the month of September. She lives in New York City.
Jonathan Soros gave $100,000 to the ballot question. He lives in New York City, but he did live in Massachusetts when he was a student at Harvard. He is the son of controversial financier George Soros.
Bill Ackman is a hedge fund manager based in New York City. I have always enjoyed Ackman's bold comments when he appears in the media. The billionaire from Pershing Square Capital has donated $250,000 to change the way votes are counted in Massachusetts.
Check out all of the donors and the amounts of money at the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Read the ballot question here.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.