Eleven Local Politicians Fail to Meet Deadline on Campaign Money Reports

Eleven candidates who ran in November for Cambridge City Council and School Committee seats failed to meet a December 17th deadline for filing campaign contribution and expense reports, the Cambridge City clerk said yesterday.

Paul E. Healy said the list of candidates includes incumbent City Councillor Alfred E. Vellucci, but that Vellucci did file his report two days late on December 19. Vellucci could not be reached to comment.

"I would estimate that there are now only six reports outstanding and when you're dealing with a total of 60 candidates that's a pretty good return," Healy said.

Imprisonment

The maximum penalty for violators is a six-month imprisonment or a $500 fine.

The reports were originally due December 6. The law states that persons failing to meet the first deadline are allowed an 11-day extension to get the reports in.

This year is the first year that candidates must file campaign finance reports.

"It's hard to get people to do something they were never interested in before," Healy said. "Only since Watergate has this really become an issue."

"It's a good return and there are probably good reasons for a person failing to get his report in," Healy added. "People lost interest after they were defeated, or they moved and just didn't receive the notice of the deadline."

Healy said he must now report to the state attorney general's office the names of those who did not make the deadline.

"The attorney general is the one who takes legal action, but he can also choose not to do anything," Healy said.