The Boston Globe ran this headline Friday morning: “Why is there no political opposition to the Olympic bid?”
One anonymous figure involved in the Boston bid told the Globe, “fixing the Boston public schools or fixing the MBTA. . . . People have died on those mountains. [The Olympics] is bright and shiny and new.” Another anonymous lawmaker went so far as to say, for American politicians, speaking out against the Olympic bid would be, at the present time, “unpatriotic.”
So what are the political affiliations of perhaps the biggest proponent of a potential Boston Olympics?
During the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish, the leader and face of the 2024 Boston Olympic movement, contributed more than $200,000 to political campaigns. The vast majority of Fish’s donations – made between 2011 and 2014 – have been towards Massachusetts Democrats or PACs, including Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), former Governor Deval Patrick (D), and President Barack Obama; however, during that same three-year stretch, the Suffolk Co. CEO sprinkled in donations to a few prominent Republican figures.
In 2011, Fish donated $2,500 to then-U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA); in 2013, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FLA) and junior U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) received $5,000 and $2,600 contributions, respectively; and, in 2014, Fish donated another $5,000 to The Freedom Project, a fundraising PAC lead by Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, which has been raising money for Republican candidates since 1995.
The $15,100 Fish donated to Republicans between 2011 and 2014 pales in comparison to the funding he tossed to the blue team: In the previous two election cycles, Fish contributed $194,100 to Democratic campaigns and fundraising committees. Fish’s most notable single donations to Democratic candidates or PAC’s were given to Sen. Markey, former Gov. Patrick and President Obama. Those include: a $12,600 donation to Sen. Markey in June 2013; separate donations of $10,000 and $20,000 to U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in Feb. 2011 and Aug. 2013 – respectively; three donations totaling $12,500 made to Gov. Patrick in 2011 and 2013; and two $17, 900 donations to President Obama in May 2011.
Other notable Democrats funded by Fish include: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D – MA), U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy (D – MA, 4th District) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D – NH).
Overall, Fish’s recent campaign contributions indicate the Boston power broker is very much a friend of the Democrats, especially Mass. Democrats. The donations to Republicans – Boehner, Rubio and Toomey – appear to be outliers, though notable ones, nonetheless.
Early on, the Boston Olympic Committee recruited Mitt Romney as an advisor. If Romney does, as he has suggested recently, run for president for a third time, there’s still time for Fish’s spending habits to change.
Photo via Boston Mayor’s Office