Rep. Speliotis accepts campaign contributions from Kinder Morgan pipeline lobbyist

26 Oct

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

For months I’ve been giving Representative Ted Speliotis the benefit of the doubt, hoping all along that he would unconditionally be on the side of the thousands of West Peabody, Middleton and Danvers residents, who passionately oppose the potentially dangerous and totally unnecessary Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal.

Ted Speliotis

Ted Speliotis

There have been days when Rep. Speliotis has seemingly been with us. But then we’ve been puzzled on days when he’s either been on the fence, or curiously, seemed to discourage our opposition efforts.

He has been all over the place, never really 100% committing to opposing this project, which would not only threaten homes and Peabody’s pristine Independence Greenway bikepath, but also the Ipswich River, which provides public drinking water to 350,000 residents on the North Shore.

His lack of total commitment had been puzzling, but maybe we now know why he hasn’t been 100% with residents on opposing the pipeline.

On the rep’s two most-recent campaign finance reports, posted on the Mass. Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF), there are several contributions — worth more than a thousand dollars — from lobbyists who represent the natural gas industry.

But one contributor stands out above all others. In the last two reporting periods, Brian Hickey of Brian Hickey & Associates — who was hired to represent Kinder Morgan’s Massachusetts interests — has given Rep. Speliotis two checks for $200 each. By the way, $200 is the most a lobbyist can give to a State Rep legally in one year, so you have to wonder how much he would have received had there been no limits.  Here’s the link to Speliotis’ full campaign finance report

For a year now, Hickey and KM Chief Propaganda Office Allen Fore have been peddling truths, half-truths and flat out lies to Mass. State Legislators, while filling several campaign war chests with thousands of dollars.

There is, of course, nothing illegal going on here. After all, greasing palms is standard operating procedure for lobbyists on Beacon Hill, and I can’t blame Mr. Hickey for trying to make a living.

But how thoroughly disappointed are we in Rep. Speliotis?

Didn’t we elect him to work for the people of West Peabody, Danvers and Middleton, and oppose this project that will endanger resident quality of life, while providing no benefit to the people of the 13th Essex District. Didn’t we expect that he wouldn’t be taking any of this “blood money?”

The fact is, no matter how much Kinder Morgan tries to avoid the question – and trump up a fake scenario for local demand – we feel that this gas is destined for lucrative foreign markets. The residents of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire are being used as a pass through for this potentially destructive gas highway.

Rep. Speliotis knows this, and maybe, just maybe he should have sent back this KM blood money? Shame on you, Ted, but I guess at least we now know why you haven’t been 100% supportive of our opposition.

16 Responses to “Rep. Speliotis accepts campaign contributions from Kinder Morgan pipeline lobbyist”

  1. Anonymous October 26, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    This is so disappointing..It is such a shame that Peabody’s one state rep can not stand behind the residents.

  2. Ted must go October 26, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

    Why would this surprise anyone? This guy spends 98% of his time as a state rep cow towing to the leadership. I think he was seen washing DeLeo’s car this morning. He is not state rep for Peabody and Danvers. He is the state rep for all of Massachusetts, just ask him and that is what he will tell you.

  3. Anonymous October 26, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    This guy is really on his last leg. Will you please get Barry to run against him?

  4. Anonymous October 26, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    Bob. You live in his area. Why don’t you run? I would sign up for that.

  5. Bob Croce October 26, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    When I saw Ted’s campaign finance report today I have to tell you that it REALLY outraged me! By the way, it’s not just Kinder Morgan’s lobbyist. He’s taken several other campaign contributions from lobbyists who work for other natural gas company special interests. I’ve counted over $1,000 in these contributions, and I’ve only gone back far as 2014 so far.

    The rep has some explaining to do, but it does make sense to us all now as to why he was never really 100% supportive of our opposition efforts. If you see him at any other pipeline opposition meetings, please go up to him and politely tell him what a hypocrite he is.

  6. redel17 October 26, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

    Very disappointed in Ted. He certainly has been straddling the fence. A few months back I vowed that I would never vote for him again and then then in an individual discussion with him at a later Kinder Morgan opposition meeting he started to regain my trust. No More. The end – time to replace Ted Spiliotis with someone that is committed to the best interests of our district.

  7. Presidential Heights October 26, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

    Looks like he can kiss West Peabody goodbye forever when it comes to his elections. This is getting around fast like an out of control wildfire. Ran into people at Hannafords who were talking about it, Bob. Great work here. I hope either Bob or Barry take this guy on next year!

    • redel17 October 26, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

      The problem is that West Peabody is like an unwanted stepchild for a Danvers based Rep.

  8. ward 6 October 27, 2015 at 5:41 am #

    Didnt he lose West Peabody in the last election anyway? I think the voters here have seen what he was really all about for a long time and are now done with him! The question is who will run against him? Peabody already has to replace a rep and most likely will get another good ol boy so what will change really? If we want this to not go through we have to be sure of who we elect at both ends of the city! Peabody is a big voting block, but you have to offer them change to get them to bother to go out to the pols.

  9. HSHouseC October 27, 2015 at 9:54 am #

    Don’t stop there.
    List the Peabody School Committee finance reports.
    While low in total , its the WHO that contributes.
    Levine is superintendant for one reason- he bought it!

    Wonder if Carpenters police program contributed to her?
    What about Charest and the YMCA?

    Cole accepted from anybody…

    Mr. Ice cream ( gould) too…

    AND don’t bother showing the Mayor’s …. direct correlation to jobs in the city!!!

    • Bob Croce October 27, 2015 at 10:03 am #

      But there is a big difference here, House. Out of those you mention, Ted Speliotis is the only one talking out of both sides of his mouth. On one hand he tries to make believe he is with our opposition to the pipeline. On the other hand, he is taking money from the company that is trying to crush our opposition. I have a lot of trouble with politicians who play both ends against the middle. The ones you mention above are clearly sometimes influenced by contributors (all politicians are to some degree), but in our rep’s case he’s trying to have his cake and eat it too.

  10. Anonymous October 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

    I would be very surprised if Speliotis comes out in support of the pipeline and I consider Kinder Morgan has enough money to spread around the political pie. Kinder Morgan wastes its money with these donations, but wait a minute…. it’s the cost of doing business and it comes out of the consumer’s (our) pocketbook in the end.

    • Bob Croce October 27, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

      I think the chances are very slim that the Rep would support the pipeline. That’s not what has us troubled. What concerns me most is that Mr. Speliotis is playing both ends against the middle, and has never fully committed to helping us oppose this project. In fact, he’s even at times discouraged us when it comes to pushing back on this Texas-based company. He’d never publicly admit it, but clearly he enjoys getting lots of money from lobbyists, and to get that money he has to be nice to the lobbyists.

      If you look at all of his campaign finance reports, an overwhelming amount of the money he’s raised has come from lobbyists and not constituents. To me it looks like it’s more important to him that he fills up his war chest than it is for him to show 100% support for those constituents he represents.

  11. Anonymous October 27, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

    Ted Speliotis is in trouble right now. The pipeline is a polarizing issue and how does he squirm his way out of this one? Let’s here the spin. This whole political process makes me sick. Bob is right. Speliotis is a hypocrite. It’s taking blood money. Please will somebody qualified step up and run against this self serving, greedy lifetime politician.

  12. Ed Hutchins October 29, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    Why not post all of Ted’s contact information here so that those who don’t have it can contact him and express their concerns with the pipeline and/or disgust with him.

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