The choice that was placed before voters on whether to levy an additional 4% tax on high incomes raised and spent tens of millions more dollars this general election cycle than all of the major party statewide campaigns for office combined.
“Question 1 wasn’t just a regular law,” Fair Share Campaign spokesman Andrew Farnitano told the Herald. “As a constitutional amendment, it was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a fairer tax system and fund decades of greater investment in transportation and public education.”
According to data provided by the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance, the campaign to pass question 1, which passed by about 4 points, raised over $32.2 million and spent about $28.5 million in 2022 to convince residents taxing incomes over $1 million would result in better roads and more successful schools.
The general election campaigns of candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, state treasurer, attorney general, secretary of the commonwealth and state auditor from the Republican and Democratic parties raised, between the 11 of them, just $11.6 million in 2022, according to OCPF.
The campaign against question 1 raised $14.4 million, according to OCPF, also out-raising and outspending all of the general election candidates.
“Tens of thousands of union members funded this campaign with their hard-earned wages because they cared deeply about improving our schools, colleges, roads, and transit. And thousands of volunteers across the state spent nights and weekends talking to their neighbors about Question 1, because they wanted to see the ultra-rich finally pay their fair share,” Farnitano said.
Even if the primary participants are added to the equation — to include businessman Chris Doughty, who spent $2.5 million of his own money on his bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and labor lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan, who spent $9.4 million of her fortunes only to lose the Democratic nomination — the politicians combined still were out-raised by the yes on 1 campaign, alone, by over $3 million.
According to figures from OCPF, the 19 Republican and Democratic candidates who ran in a primary raised $27.1 million.
From its beginning, the coalition of labor, faith and community organizations behind the Fair Share campaign, Raise Up Massachusetts, has demonstrated the fundraising and policy making power of grassroots campaigning, according to Farnitano.
“Since the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition came together in 2013, we have nearly doubled wages for hundreds of thousands of working people by winning two increases in the state’s minimum wage, won best-in-the-nation earned sick time and paid family and medical leave benefits for workers and their families, and now, won permanent tax fairness to fund education and transportation,” he said.
Governor-elect Maura Healey, aside from self-funded Liss-Riordan, ran the campaign with the most cash, raising almost $5 million in 2022. Her running mate, Salem Mayor and Lt. Governor-elect Kim Driscoll, raised $1.1 million.
Healey’s campaign, which held funds from her previous statewide campaigns for attorney general, spent $7.4 million, according to the most recent information provided by OCPF. Driscoll’s team spent about $860,000.
Their Republican opponents in the general election, former state Reps. Geoff Diehl and Leah Cole Allen, raised $1.2 million and about $165,000. Their campaigns spent most of the cash in 2022, according to OCPF.
Healey and Driscoll won the election by a more than 28-point margin.
Attorney General-elect Andrea Campbell, who will take Healey’s job as the top law enforcement officer in the commonwealth in January, raised $2.3 million and spent $2.1 million, managing to win her primary despite just 25% of her opponents’ funding.
Republican Jay McMahon, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary for Attorney General, raised about $289,000 in 2022 and spent about $186,000. Campbell beat McMahon by a 25-point margin.
Incumbent State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, who ran unopposed in both the primary and general election, still raised about $209,000 in 2022 and spent about $382,000 using funds from past campaigns, according to OCPF.
Secretary of State Bill Galvin spent almost $1.1 million to defeat NAACP Boston President Tanisha Sullivan in the primary and Republican Rayla Campbell in the General Election.
State Sen. Diana DiZoglio beat investigator Anthony Amore to take over the State Auditor’s office. Auditor-elect DiZoglio raised about $521,000, compared to Amore’s about $259,000.
Question 2, which set a floor for dental spending, saw $10.1 million raised for it and $9.5 million against. Over 71% of voters supported the idea that dental insurers should spend more of premiums on dental care.
Question 3, which would have changed liquor license laws in the commonwealth, did not pass, with 55% of voters opposed. Proponents of the questions raised $1 million, the winning opponents only $12.50, according to OCPF.
Question 4, which asked voters whether to keep a law passed this summer, the Work and Family Mobility Act, or to overturn it. 53.7% of voters thought that people who cannot demonstrate lawful presence in the state should nevertheless be allowed driver’s licenses. The law will take effect in July.
Supporters raised $3.6 million, opponents, who gathered the tens of thousands of signatures required to add the question to the ballot, raised just $222,000.