School Committee member Alison Laraba’s committee is hosting a re-election Fundraiser at the Shedd Park Pavillion.
Host: Committee to Re-Elect Alison Laraba
Location: Shedd Park Pavilion
Date: Saturday, October 8, 2011
Please RSVP by Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Time: 9:00am to 12:00pm
Under the MA. State Law it is allowable:
Please note that Section 14 applies only to public buildings, not public property such as parks, streets and other common areas. Property owned by a public entity such as the state, a city or a town may be used for fundraising to the extent allowed by the owner.
Such access, however, must be consistently available to all political candidates and committees; if one candidate may have a fundraiser at a certain public park, all other candidates must be granted use of the park under the same terms and conditions if they request it (they do not all have to be notified of its availability). On the other hand, the campaign finance law does not prevent a public entity from adopting a policy denying use of its property for any political fundraising, as long as that policy is consistently applied.
The Lowell Board of Parks which is the permit issuing authority has allowed political rally’s, candidates to take pictures for political ads, etc at Shed Park, Alumni Field and various parks but I can’t recall any candidate actually hosting a fundraiser.
I’m not sure why a candidate would pick a park to have a fundraiser in but it seems to me that it just seems like a conflict of interest for an elected official or candidate for elected office to host a fundraiser for their election at a city park.
It gives the appearance that they wanted to save a few bucks and have it at a public place instead of renting a private hall. (I do know that the permit holder pays for the permit ($25-$50) and a minimum of $100 in fees for up to a 4 hour block.)
I know different civic organizations and neighborhood groups have held fundraisers (Dancing with the “Stars”) and the tea-party hosted a rally at Shedd. Several baseball leagues throughout the city hold their end of year parties at a park but in all my years on being in this city, I don’t ever remember a candidate hosting a fundraiser for themselves at a city park. (I’m sure some veteran political people will remind me if they know of any.)
Is it no big deal? Should the Board of Park allow rallies and photo’s but NOT individual Political Fundraisers?
I just don’t think it looks proper and think while hosting a rally is okay, personal fundraising for an elected office be it school committee, congress or president should not be allowed on a city park.