Mass Uniting's Super-Secret Origins?

OK, look, you all know a few things about me: I love everybody; I like 1990s hip-hop more than is reasonable; and I'm all for demanding disclosure and transparency concerning money in politics, regardless of party or ideology.

So I'll be happy to complain, as time goes on, that Mass Uniting -- the organization running the "Bobblehead Brown" campaign I blogged about this morning -- is being too secretive about their backers and where their money is going and all that.

But A) they aren't being secretive about the things RedMassGroup says they're being secretive about; and B) you really don't get to complain about lack of disclosure for political activity, in defense of THE GUY WHO CAST THE DECIDING VOTE TO PREVENT THE DISCLOSE ACT FROM PASSAGE, unless you want me to mock you mercilessly. (With love.)

Anyway, after a slight detour through Wisconsin unions and godaddy domain registrations and sending somebody to the secretary of state's office, Eno and his RedMass chums uncovered what I learned this morning before I finished my first cup of coffee: Bobblehead Brown is a campaign of Mass Uniting -- as it says on its web page. (Another clue, later in the day, was the headline of the press release: "MassUniting Releases New Ad & Web Site -- Bobble Head Brown.") I was already aware of the group, but I got more information at Mass Uniting's web site, cleverly concealed at, which lists its coalition partners. I mentioned several of them in my blog post, and if I was letting loose state secrets, someone forgot to inform the national Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, which blasted out my post in a mass email, without even removing my description of Mass Uniting as "a coalition of progressive organizations, including City Life/Vida Urbana, Massachusetts Jobs for Justice, the Chinese Progressive Association, Chelsea Collaborative, MCAN, and Project RIGHT." (DSCC didn't even correct my erroneous undercaffeinated "Jobs for" instead of "Jobs With" Justice.)

I made another quick click to see that Mass Uniting registered in Watertown, Massachusetts, in April, listing Patrick McCabe and Cliff Cohn as officers; as RedMassGroup's sleuthing revealed, McCabe and Cohn make little secret of the fact that they are executive directors for SEIU locals 888 and 509 respectively -- two of the member organizations of Jobs With Justice, whose name on the Mass Uniting web page should have been a pretty clear signal that labor is part of the Mass Uniting coalition.

So, when Rob Eno writes "So much for openness and transparency in their advertising," I think he means "Gosh, these guys are pretty straightforward about who's involved, despite the fact that Scott Brown personally ensured that they are not required to disclose any of this -- indeed, they could have learned from Mitt Romney and funneled unlimited contributions to a SuperPAC through a fly-by-night Delaware-registered LLP in total anonymity. And all because Scott Brown cast the deciding 41st vote to prevent the DISCLOSE Act from reaching a floor vote in the Senate!"

Incidentally, it sounds like McCabe and Cohn, after helping facilitate the creation of Mass Uniting, are not particularly key players in the operations. At least, that's according to Mass Uniting's spokesperson Jason Stephany, with whom I chatted about the organization. I didn't even have to speak in code or anything; I called him up and he talked about the organization, mentioned some newer coalition partners not yet listed on the web site, and gave me a pretty good roster of staff and others helping out. (S/o Darrin Howell!)

Unfortunately, I very much doubt that Mass Uniting will be disclosing much about the specifics of who gave what and what was spent where. They don't have to, but I might very well end up chastising them anyway.

But if Scott Brown and his defenders want to chastise them, they can expect more mockery from me. With love, of course.

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