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Please Recognize MFA For What It Is And Judge Its Messages Accordingly

Recently the Mass Fiscal Alliance group mailed a large postcard critical of State Representative Jen Benson’s carbon emission tax proposal to constituents in her district. The postcard distorted the facts about the issue, and that is a problem. But a bigger problem is that the Mass Fiscal Alliance claims to be a non-partisan objective voter education group. That claim is inaccurate; the MFA is and always has been a right-wing, conservative political action organization.
     Though the source of MFA’s funding is shadowy, the information on the mailer appears to be derived from a study published in July by the Beacon Hill Institute. The BHI was originally associated with the economics department of Suffolk University, but parted ways in 2016 when the university placed restrictions on its fundraising activities.
     The BHI has been funded by such right-wing PACs as the Koch brothers’ American Tradition Institute and their State Policy Network; by the Coors family’s Castle Rock Foundation; by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation (Harry was a founding member of the John Birch Society); and Rick Berman’s Employment Policies Institute.
     One of the co-authors of the BHI study is David Tuerck, who is the Executive Director of the BHI and the former Director of the Center for Research and Advertising at the American Enterprise Institute, which was founded in 1938 to combat the policies of the New Deal and which has received more than $3.5 million from Exxon Mobil.
     Exxon Mobil is a major fossil fuel corporation, and the Koch brothers’ financial empire is based on oil extraction. Mr. Berman’s EPI and other front groups have opposed, among other progressive policies and organizations, the EPA, government regulation of the food industry, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and all unions.
     These people and their PACs are not apolitical. Rather, they are highly politicized right- wing advocates. They are the driving forces behind the Mass Fiscal Alliance, and they use that group, under the pretense of its being a non-partisan source of information for voters, to advance a right-wing fossil fuel agenda. It is no wonder, then, that the MFA opposes Rep. Benson’s efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
      As the 2020 political campaigns heat up, the Mass Fiscal Alliance will likely distribute more literature supporting right- wing conservative views. No one should question their right to do that. But everyone should be aware that this organization is not an impartial source. Please recognize the MFA for what it is – a right-wing conservative political action committee – and judge its messages accordingly.
Mike Metzger,
10 East St Ayer MA 01432
[Sources: the BHI study of the effects of carbon taxes; “A Web of Climate Deception” (The Guardian, 4/13/15); “BHI” (DeSmogBlog); “Benson carbon pricing bill is smart policy” (Commonwealth, 7/10/19); “Right-Wing Organization MassFiscal Exposed” (Boston Globe, 4/1/19); “Dark Money”, by Jane Mayer; and Wikipedia articles on the individuals and groups mentioned.]
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