Summary: Mass Fiscal preaches “transparency” while making great efforts to hide its funding, and is one of the strongest forces behind attacks on TCI in the region.
Mass Fiscal is three closely related, hyper-partisan organizations sharing an office, staff, board, events and strategy. Together they are a partisan right wing, supply side, anti-tax, anti-regulation organization that abhors unions, attacks Democrats, and is one of the principal opponents of the Transportation Climate Initiative not just in Massachusetts, but likely all of New England.
Mass Fiscal does not disclose its donors, masking its revenue streams through complicated relationships with partner organizations like Fiscal Partners and the Fiscal Alliance Foundation. All three groups share the same address and many staff members.
Paul Craney, former Executive Director of Mass Fiscal and current Board Member and President of Fiscal Partners is a former regional director of the Massachusetts GOP and the former Executive Director of the DC GOP Committee. He is married to Lauren Belsito, chief lobbyist to all three organizations.
In 2014 MF led the dishonest campaign to kill transportation funding in MA – harnessing a lobbying and pr playbook that it is re-using to fight TCI. The group had pushed a highly-misleading polls to misrepresent public opinion about TCI and also commissioned a bogus report on costs in the hope of weakening strong support for TCI. The study itself, which inflated costs of TCI, was conducted by the Beacon Hill Institute, a Koch funded “policy” front group that is a member of the State Policy Network.
The Beacon Hill Institute study proved to be a preview of what’s to come in other TCI states, as a very similar study was published by Beacon Hill Institute for the Thomas Jefferson Institute in Virginia. The recycled edition was written by the same authors and included copy-and-pasted language from the Mass Fiscal version.