Its both a good story and bad. $5000 fine for campaign finance errors (reported by John Collins in the Lowell Sun this morning).
Rep Colleen Garry, after this last run for office, gave up trying to figure out her campaign accounts and asked the Office of Campaign Finance to audit it all and figure out where she went wrong.
She admits that she was trying to be her own accountant/treasurer over the years, and things didn’t work out well for her.
She self-reported the failure and errors to the state, and after reviewing everything she was given a fine (with half of it suspended). She is hiring a Dracut local to take over the accounting for her campaign account.
On one side, it is good that she self-reported the errors. On the other, its bad that the campaign finance reports she has been submitting for years have been faulty.
Over the years, these reports are one of the few ways people have to judge their representatives. Knowing who they get money from, and who they donate to, helps the voter understand the agendas and interests that a congress member has.
Its important to know which lobbyist, union, developer, or other politician is financially supporting a candidate for office, as is where that candidate directs their funds (be it a charity you agree with or dont, or another candidate, or gets misused .. which did not happen here).
So yeah, its good that she came forward with this, and good that the state fined her.
But its more important that updated reports be submitted.. and the newspaper article says nothing to that effect.