So far GOP candidate for auditor Anthony Amore has been endorsed by The Boston Herald, the Lowell Sun, Gov. Charlie Baker, ex-Gov. Jane Swift and former Bush White House Chief of Staff Andy Card.
Amore is the only statewide Republican candidate who has even the slightest shot at winning on Nov. 8. Yet he remains banned from the state committee site and denounced by dead-enders on the Dark Red GOP Facebook page.
Massachusetts voters—91 percent of whom are not registered Republicans—seem to like the guy. He seems to be making an impact on Independents.
And my conversation with Melissa S. of Brockton tells why.
Melissa S. is “unenrolled,” like 60 percent of the state’s registered voters. Describing herself as left-libertarian, Melissa has relied on SNAP benefits and food stamps. An unlikely Republican voter, Melissa is one of Anthony Amore’s biggest fans.
“Recent elections forced me to look at the issues,” Melissa explained, “not just the letter behind someone’s name.”
Government inattention to welfare fraud inspired Melissa to study other forms of taxpayer exploitation. The four-figure tax on her 2020 unemployment check—arriving months after she was terminated from her public position—raised the other eyebrow.
Michelle Wu’s ascension to the mayor’s job was the last straw.
“I’m not really a big fan of Boston’s current mayor,” Melissa said. “I’m tired of seeing everyday people, working poor people, people trying to get by, their taxes subsidizing B.S. Why, for six—mostly female—protestors standing outside your house on the sidewalk, are there seventeen police officers?”
Melissa was referring to Wu’s assignment of several Boston police officers as private security during the time she was eliminating from the city payroll any individual who refused to get the Fauci Ouchie. Shortly after were the efforts by City Hall to bar those people from entering small businesses.
“I would also like more oversight…when it comes to the city’s legal department, whether it’s ordinances like the residential picketing ordinance that’s triggering Supreme Court review. When you break that down, somebody’s getting paid for that—someone specifically named Adam Cederbaum. Stop the wastefulness.”
Melissa also mentioned the corruption saturating subsidized entities like last year’s alleged real estate embezzlement by homeless shelter head Manuel Duran or the bribery in the Boston Planning & Development Agency a few years back.
Melissa, like many voters, does not easily forget imperious, arrogant Boston bureaucrats. She also doesn’t forget broken promises and sounds-good-doesn’t-work virtue-signaling, like Michelle Wu’s universal, no-cost MBTA access.
“I want my taxes to fix the MBTA because I rely on it like so many people do,” Melissa explained.
“If you ride the T; if you’ve ever been on a Red Line car with no air conditioning; if you’ve seen food, blood, litter, everything else strewn about; if you’ve stood next to someone smoking Keto on the subway platform; you know the T can’t afford to lose money. You’re flouting policies like ‘Free the T,’ but you’re not explaining how you’re going to pay for that.”
The MBTA costs millions of dollars per day to operate, and, like most public transportation systems across the United States, it operates in a deficit, requiring hundreds of millions in subsidized funding year-over year. A free T would cost billions annually.
Democrats think voters won’t run the numbers. But they will, because the money is coming out of their pockets.
“[Wu’s] spending a lot of money,” Melissa continued. “A lot of money to have 17 police officers outside the mayor’s house for people peacefully protesting. A lot of money for the Supreme Court to review things. A lot money for implementation of vaccine mandates that eventually get lifted. Someone’s got to put some checks and balances on this woman.”
In walks Anthony Amore, candidate for Massachusetts state auditor. “Turns out, he was not just campaigning,” says Melissa, “but educating the public on what an auditor actually does.”
Amore caught her attention with his presentations on the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum heist of 1990, which he has been investigating for over a decade. While the state’s assets are not paintings per se, the parallels of valuation, examination, and problem-solving carry over.
“The way that he was breaking it down—it wasn’t just, ‘We’ve got to stop the bad guys,’ but how much money is lost and why you can’t just replace one thing in the Gardner collection with another. We talk so much about economic capital, but the social…and cultural capital that’s passed along…That’s what he stands for.”
In his campaign, Amore stresses the fact that thirty percent of state agencies have not been fully audited during current auditor Suzanne Bump’s tenure. Not only could this mean waste of valuable tax dollars, it allows for corruption to loom. Amore promises constituents that he will focus primarily on the agencies hasn’t been scrutinized yet, auditing 100 percent of state commissions and committees, something he fears his Democrat opponent state Sen. Diana DiZoglio would fail to do.
“[Amore] has a lattice-work of experience in different fields that all can coalesce into somebody that can really put things on track,” Melissa says.
If the next auditor maintains the current, ineffective levels of activity, he or she won’t ever touch the new sources of potential revenue for the state.
“When it comes to assets, budgets, new industries that come up—recreational cannabis, sports betting, happy hour—all these sources of potential revenue, we need someone who is not trying to be an Auditor-Social-Media Celebrity. I want someone who wants to do the un-glamorous work.”
Melissa admits she’s seen DiZoglio’s campaign photo-ops: dancing with a lobster at a chowder fest or posed next to gubernatorial frontrunner Maura Healey. But that’s not who Melissa wants to hire for the green-eyeshade position of State Auditor. She stated bluntly, “We need more nerds in local politics. There are a lot of social media personalities. There is a lot of interest in maintaining a certain public image.”
Amore’s social-media-follow ratio does not scream political celebrity in the slightest, and that’s what attracts voters like Melissa. He believes in acute attention to detail and utmost respect for the taxpayer.
“He’s a humble, low-key guy. Just wants to do the job—do the job correctly. Serve the people. And that’s so refreshing, regardless of where you are in the political spectrum.
If Melissa reflects the 60 percent of the Massachusetts electorate who eschew party labels, perhaps the state will have one Republican in office come January.