Political Circuit

Healey, eyeing race, has money to spend

Kerry Healey spent a record $13.2 million in 2006. Kerry Healey spent a record $13.2 million in 2006. (Globe Staff/ File 2006)
By Brian Mooney, Frank Phillips and Donovan Slack
Globe Staff / August 30, 2009

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If former lieutenant governor Kerry Healey jumps into the special election to succeed the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, money shouldn’t be a problem.

In 2006, when she lost to Deval Patrick in the governor’s race, the Beverly Republican spent a record-setting $13.2 million, about $10 million of it from her family’s personal funds. If she runs again, Healey might again be able to rely on her wealthy husband, Sean M. Healey, chief executive of Affiliated Managers Group, a Beverly company that holds majority interests in a stable of boutique investment management firms. Healey’s salary is about $6 million a year, but most of his net worth is in the value of lucrative stock options.

AMG’s stock, which took a pounding last year, has doubled in value recently, and Sean Healey and other executives have been exercising their options.

Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission disclose that Healey cashed in options that netted him about $2 million on Aug. 13 and $2.2 million on May 18.

Baker flexing early financial muscle
Speaking of fund-raising, Charles D. Baker, a Republican gubernatorial candidate and a political novice who has never had to raise money for statewide office, is demonstrating some early campaign finance acumen, a critical test for the favored candidate of much of the GOP establishment.

Campaign aides said Baker will report to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance shortly that he raised about $120,000 in August, probably the toughest month to shake the trees for political contributions. After expenses, he has about $100,000 in his account. His fund-raising team, meanwhile, has booked more than 60 events over the next three months.

Still, Baker, who said he will not put any of his own money into the campaign, has a long way to go. For starters, he faces a primary battle with a multimillionaire Republican, Christy Mihos, the convenience store magnate, who is considering whether to spend as much as $15 million in his bid for governor. Those kinds of funds could dwarf anything Baker is able to raise.

The etiquette of online mourning
When news of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s death washed over Boston early Wednesday morning, it seemed the mayoral candidates couldn’t issue statements of condolences quickly enough.

Within hours, Mayor Thomas M. Menino distributed his thoughts, calling Kennedy a close friend and an inspiration. His challengers, City Councilors Michael Flaherty and Sam Yoon, soon issued their own statements praising Kennedy’s legacy. South End businessman Kevin McCrea weighed in about his respect for the senator.

But online, the mayoral candidates differed in their treatment of the senator’s death. Both Menino and Flaherty - the most experienced politicians on the ballot - prominently featured Kennedy tributes on their campaign websites much of last week. At the top of Menino’s site, the mayor wrote, “On behalf of the city of Boston, our thoughts and prayers go out to Vicki and the entire Kennedy family.’’ Flaherty cited Kennedy’s “unwavering commitment to improving the quality of life for all residents.’’

Visitors to Yoon’s and McCrea’s sites will find nothing of the sort, though. Yoon, who was first elected in 2005, instead advertises his performance at an Allston-Brighton town hall meeting on Aug. 13. (Yoon’s campaign said, however, that immediately after Kennedy’s death, the councilor posted a note saying he was suspending campaigning. “Senator Kennedy was a public servant of the highest order who dedicated his life to justice for all,’’ Yoon wrote.)

McCrea’s site instead offers a letter to voters pledging change at City Hall.