BOSTON – State treasurer Timothy Cahill, who is running as an independent candidate for governor, sent fundraising appeals to state lawmakers at their official Statehouse e-mail accounts Monday in an apparent violation of state law.

The e-mail restates Cahill’s opposition to the national health care law signed by President Obama last week and asks supporters to donate to his campaign.

“Getting my campaign message out across the state is vital if we are going to build our organization,” Cahill says in the e-mail. “We are approaching the final few days of March, and I need your support now to help ensure a successful fundraising month.”

Cahill campaign spokeswoman Amy Birmingham said the fundraising appeal was sent in error to lawmakers. She said the campaign used the wrong database of e-mail addresses.

“This is nothing more than an oversight,” she said. “It was intended strictly for our supporters only. We take campaign finance law extremely seriously.”

Birmingham sent out a follow-up e-mail to lawmakers about two hours later apologizing for the mistake.

“It appears an incorrect query was pulled, thereby combining lists from our database that are normally kept separate from this type of communication,” she wrote.

Under Massachusetts’ campaign finance law, candidates cannot send fundraising appeals to official government e-mail addresses.

Jason Tait, a spokesman for the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, said the e-mail violates the ban on political fundraising in government buildings. He said the office has urged all candidates to purge their e-mail lists of government addresses.

The office has recently cited other candidates for similar e-mailing gaffes, including former Boston mayoral candidate Sam Yoon.

The Massachusetts Republican Party filed a complaint with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, asking they investigate whether Cahill abused access to state e-mail lists.

Last week one of Cahill’s opponents, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker, targeted Cahill’s fundraising efforts.

Baker pointed to a report by The Boston Globe that said Cahill had accepted more than 200 campaign contributions from executives in companies associated with a pension fund manager who had been allowed to invest $500 million in state funds under Cahill.

Cahill responded by accusing Baker of trying to “distance himself from his conflict of interest as one of the architects of “MassCare,” a term Cahill has invented to refer to the state’s landmark 2006 health care law.


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