EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 23, 2014

Kappy's brass backing Finegold's bid for treasurer

BOSTON – In his bid to become the next state treasurer, an office that oversees the alcoholic beverages industry in Massachusetts, Andover Democrat Sen. Barry Finegold is getting a lift from a leader in the industry.

According to Finegold’s April 21 campaign deposit report, Kappy’s Liquors owner Ralph Kaplan gave the maximum $500 contribution to Finegold and a Harriet Kaplan who listed the same Swampscott address as Ralph Kaplan also gave the maximum individual contribution.

Kappy’s managers Brian Moore and Steven Selby each gave $500 and Kappy’s President Robert Mark Selby donated $500 as well. Many of the donors in the report filing did not list their occupation or employer, which is not uncommon on such filings.

On its website, Kappy’s describes itself as “the leader in providing the largest selection of quality products, exemplary service, and low prices in Massachusetts.”

Treasurer Steven Grossman is running for governor and giving up his post as treasurer where he oversees the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission. On his site, Grossman says the commission’s objective is “to provide uniform control over the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages in the state.”

Asked about the contributions, Finegold campaign advisor Dan Cence described the candidate as “friendly” with the Kaplans and Kappy’s executives in the report, who have given to Finegold in the past. Cence also said that Kaplan did not host a fundraiser for Finegold, nor was the candidate making a concerted effort to raise money from the liquor industry.

Campaign finance records show that Ralph Kaplan and Robert Mark Selby have given generously over the years to Bay State politicians from both parties, including Grossman. Both men donated previously to Finegold on the same day – June 26, 2013 – of last year.

“Sen. Finegold has received support from throughout the Commonwealth from folks in many industries and he’s shown in the past and will continue to show he’s an independent voice and makes decision relative to his principles and the information he has available to him and never considers where donations come from,” Cence said.

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