In North Adams mayoral race, Bernard’s fundraising far outpaces Moulton’s | The Berkshire Eagle


By Adam Shanks, The Berkshire Eagle

NORTH ADAMS — Thomas Bernard has raised substantially more money than opponent Robert Moulton Jr. in the race to become the city’s next mayor.

Recently filed campaign finance reports show Bernard bringing in more than 20 times more cash than Moulton in the months leading up to Tuesday’s election.

In total, Bernard has brought in donations totaling $19,642 since launching his campaign in June, compared to the $947 Moulton reported raising this year.

Moulton is a local business owner with a decade of experience on the City Council while Bernard is a political newcomer after a career in administration at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

The two square off in the city election on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Moulton’s campaign finance report was filed on Tuesday — a day late — and encompassed the period between Sept. 2 and Oct. 31. He then amended the report to cover the period only through October 20.

In an interview with The Eagle on Tuesday, Moulton described making personal contributions to his campaign that were not listed in the reports prepared by his campaign treasurer.

The Eagle brought this discrepancy to Moulton’s attention on Wednesday, who described the omissions as inadvertent. Moulton estimated that he had spent about $2,000 on his campaign from his personal account prior to establishing a dedicated campaign account. Those expenditures were not listed in the report filed Tuesday, but Moulton said Wednesday that his campaign treasurer was working with state campaign finance officials to correct the error.

Bernard’s report, filed Monday, covers from Sept. 2 to Oct. 20, which was the latest date required under Office of Campaign and Political Finance rules.

Moulton reported raising $947 from Sept. 2 through Oct. 20, a period he ended with a $348.22 balance. In the previous report filed on Sept. 1, Moulton reported raising no money up to that point.

The pre-election report, which does not include Moulton’s personal contributions to his campaign, lists only a handful of expenditures.

The Moulton campaign’s largest expenditure during that period was $299.22 spent at Beck’s Printing.

In an amendment to the report filed on Wednesday, Moulton’s campaign listed out-of-pocket expenditures totaling $1,923.30. He spent $823.30 at Beck’s Printing for signs and campaign flyers, $1,000 with OneEighty Media for a website, and $100 at the American Legion for a meet-and-greet.

Moulton’s largest donor besides himself is his mother, Carolyn Moulton, who contributed $300 to his efforts.

Bennington business owner Charles Jewett gave Moulton’s campaign $200 while Ed Morandi and David Whitney each pitched in $100.

Moulton said he hadn’t seen Bernard’s report, but expected Bernard relies more heavily on donations from outside the city and compared the race to his 2013 challenge to Mayor Richard Alcombright.

Moulton acknowledged that Bernard’s fundraising gives him an advantage, but said “I’m pretty happy with where we’re at.”

“I think I’ve got a lot of people behind me, I think it’s a little bit of a groundswell,” Moulton said.

The Moulton campaign is gearing its efforts toward the final week, with a new campaign mailer and radio advertising, Moulton said.

“I’m happy with what I’ve done, and I think our message is getting out there,” Moulton said.

Bernard said that about 75 percent of his contributors live in North Adams, many of whom gave $50 or less.

“That really speaks to the kind of support I have in the community,” Bernard said.

Many of those who have donated from outside the city “are people with whom I have personal and professional relationships,” he added.

“Are there some familiar names in there? There are. But that’s not an indication of being beholden to any interest,” Bernard said.

Through Oct. 20, Bernard had spent less than half of the money he has raised.

Over the span of the two finance reports through Oct. 20, Bernard has received $1,000 donations from his stepfather, Thomas George Bernard, and mother, Jane Bernard, both of whom are retired and live in North Adams.

Bruce Jacobson, an engineer in Florence; Jonathan Young, a self-employed consultant in Georgia; and Toby Elliott, a computer engineer in Cambridge, all also each donated $1,000 to Bernard’s efforts.

Bernard’s campaign spent $600 renting his campaign headquarters for two months from Very Good Property Development.

It also rented event space from the Richmond Grille for $900, the American Legion for $600, and Greylock Works for $500.

Bernard has also utilized his resources on literature and advertising, spending more than $1,600 with the U.S. Postal Service and more than $1,300 with Beck’s Printing over the course of the campaign.

The campaign spent $255 advertising on radio station WNAW and more than $600 advertising on iBerkshires.com and Boxcar Media.

Both candidates’ full reports are available on the Office of Campaign and Political Finance website.

Adam Shanks can be reached at

ashanks@berkshireeagle.com

@EagleAdamShanks on Twitter and 413-496-6376

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