Trying to follow the dark money behind the committees favoring Question 2 on charter schools is like watching a game of three card monte on Boston Common. But in this case the dealers are New York billionaires and the marks are the citizens of Massachusetts.
A new report from Steve LeBlanc of AP shows that Dark Money Great Schools Massachusetts of New York has spent millions more than previously reported on TV ads, mostly in dark money. You the voter, the citizen, have no right to know where that money came from. Where's the outrage?
We can't tell why the wealthy individuals behind Great Schools Massachusetts are funding the pro-charters campaign - that's the essence of dark money after all. But social science offers us some theories - what's in it for the rich? Boardroom Progressives or self-serving Rich People's Movement?
Here is a collection of articles on dark money in Massachusetts: WARNING: not for those who are frightened by what unlimited dark money does to our democracy.
In a recent debate the pro-charter side deflected concerns about dark money pouring into the Great Schools Massachusetts campaign, arguing that adult concerns about who is donating shouldn't detract from children. But the threat of dark money to our democracy should concern us all: pro-charter, anti-charter, children, and adults.
It can be hard to explain dark money but perhaps pop culture icons like Sherlock Holmes and John-boy Walton can help along with Frank Sinatra singing a new campaign theme song for Great Schools Massachusetts, "It's Up to You New York, New York."
The charter school contest dividing the Democratic Party is about a whole lot more than privatizing more schools. It's a fight involving equality, markets, unions, wealth, and partisan politics. So far it's a great set-up for Governor Charlie Baker and the Republicans.