Former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross is at the helm of a new political action committee as the mayoral race leads into the final days before the preliminary election.
Gross is listed as chairman of the “Real Progress Boston Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee,” which filed with the state Wednesday.
Gross did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but he has been supporting City Councilwoman Annissa Essaibi-George since the spring, so there is not too much mystery surrounding the goals of the PAC.
The committee’s statement of purpose does not highlight any candidate by name, except to say: “To support candidates for a better Boston that is for Real Progress and to oppose those who are not. Building a better Boston for the best education, secure neighborhoods, economic growth, better jobs, affordable housing, and transportation. ”
This is far from the first PAC to jump into the race, but they are usually not led by high-profile Boston political figures like Gross, who resigned as commissioner in February and briefly considered a race for mayor himself. Gross did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
One of the political disadvantages of PACs is that people can donate as much as they want to them. Candidates’ campaign committees have a ceiling of $ 1,000 per donor each year. PACs have to file reports when they spend money, which they have not done.
There are already several other PACs in the race, some of which have been very active in supporting candidates, while others have not spent a penny. PACs must operate separately from campaigns.
PAC in support of City Councilor Andrea Campbell spent e.g. June and July carpet bombing of airwaves with nearly $ 1 million in ad purchases, making it the largest single consumer in the entire race so far, more than each of the candidates’ campaign accounts with a few hundred thousand dollars.
Over the past month, other PACs have begun firing on incumbent Mayor Kim Janey and City Councilwoman Michelle Wu. PACs have spent nearly $ 360,000 in support of Wu, most of which comes in the form of a large ad purchase of $ 300,000 last month, and Janeys has now received more than $ 275,000 in PAC advertising expenses, with almost all of this in August .
The August campaign financial reports will be available over the next several days, shedding a little more light on how candidates spent their money last month and how much.
The preliminary election, to narrow the field to the top two, is September 14th.