Government employees in Massachusetts are leaving their tax-paid jobs on a daily and sometimes hourly basis to campaign for their bosses this fall.
It underscores a unique advantage enjoyed when incumbent politicians run for office. They have a publicly funded infrastructure they can count on that isn’t available to outsider candidates.
Employees getting their salary and benefits paid by the government are free to shift to political work, as long as they’re on their own time. But it’s a distinction that can be hard to see and even harder to police.
In the past week, top aides to state treasurer and independent gubernatorial candidate Timothy Cahill have been spotted at mid-afternoon campaign events. The same has been true the past month for aides to U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, Gov. Deval Patrick and Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray.