Who Waits This Long?

I was fascinated to see that Tom Menino just had a banner fortnight of fundraising, reporting $160,000 in campaign contributions between October 1 and 15 -- the bulk of it coming, by my count, from 269 people ponying up the legal maximum of $500. Fascinated, because I'm thinking: if you're going to pay fealty to the mayor, why wait this long to do it? Doesn't it kind of make you look like you were waiting, maybe hoping for a Flaherty win, until the September preliminary convinced you that you'd better play ball with now and future mayor Menino?


Most of this batch of contributors work for or own construction-related companies. So, for example, we have 13 Tishman Construction employees, giving a total of $6150 in early October. (Tishman, based in New York, has a Boston office and works on some large projects here.) Of those 13, only 5 had previously donated to Menino, according to my OCPF searching -- mostly not since 2005, the last mayoral election year. By contrast, nine of those 13 had previously given to Michael Flaherty -- four of them earlier this year, when Flaherty was already a declared candidate against the man they are now writing checks for.

A change of heart, I suppose.

Six folks from NER Construction, and another six from Titan Roofing, each gave the max, although none had ever given to Menino before this month; in fact, NER company VP Frank LoConte and Titan project manager Raymond Lucci had both maxed out for Flaherty each of the last three years -- including $500 contributions this June -- but have now made their offerings to Menino. Nine folks from Walsh Brothers contributed to Menino (totalling $4250), only one of whom had ever done so before.

Some others have given to Menino before -- like some of the eight max-contributors from Capital Waste, or the 13 $250+ givers from Boston Properties (and some of their spouses). But still one wonders: why did they just get around to this show of support now? Had they not heard that their friend the mayor was running this year?

I wonder whether the next report will reveal another rush of contributions to Menino after the Boston Globe ran its recent poll showing a 20-point lead for the incumbent -- and what the mayor thinks about these late converts to his cause.

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