SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston) has been cleared by the Office of Campaign and Political Finance of charges of accepting corporate contributions through a senior citizen picnic this past summer.
The Massachusetts Republican Party filed a complaint with the office in September saying Dykema accepted donations from local businesses to be used as raffle prizes at the annual senior picnic in Hopkinton, which Dykema's re-election campaign sponsored.
Massachusetts law bars political candidates from accepting anything from corporations that will benefit their campaigns.
In a Nov. 20 letter, office Director Michael Sullivan wrote the event "was not political in nature," as sitting state representatives have sponsored the picnic every year for the past 20 years. Sullivan added the prizes the businesses donated were given out to seniors as door prizes, and no raffle tickets were sold and no money was raised for Dykema's campaign.
"We believe, however, that the prizes were donated to benefit the seniors, not to benefit Representative Dykema's campaign, and that many of the donors have donated similar prizes in the past, regardless of who was hosting the event," Sullivan wrote.
"I'm glad this issue has been resolved," Dykema said. "In its finding, OCPF has confirmed what residents of this district have always known: the senior picnic is about our community and our seniors and not about campaign politics. I'm pleased that next year's picnic can go on as planned and I'm looking forward to continuing to recognize our seniors for all they contribute to our towns."
Dykema's district includes Southborough and parts of Westborough. She recently won reelection to her seat, defeating Republican challenger Marty Lamb on Nov. 6.