Kyle Cheney of State House News Service, published at Metro West Daily News writes that much has been made about how the sausage is made on Beacon Hill. But what about doughnuts?
Franchise owners of the 1,350 Dunkin’ Donuts stores in Massachusetts, which employ 25,000 workers, have formed a political action committee aimed at countering the impact of “big labor, trial attorneys and other organizations that contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to help elect candidates in Massachusetts.”
“If we do not get involved to protect our own businesses, no one else will do it for us,” wrote Robert Branca, chairman of the Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise Owners Massachusetts Political Action Committee, on the group’s web site, www.ddfomasspac.org. “Indeed, there are forces working against us daily. Every season new laws and regulations are proposed or enacted that impact our bottom lines, and they never seem to protect our interests.”
“Simply put – political campaigns cost money – and political candidates who help support and promote our business ought to have our financial support, both individually and through the PAC,” the letter continues.
The Massachusetts PAC will back candidates “who understand small business issues and who will promote a legislative and regulatory climate favorable to small business operators,” according to the web site.
Dunkin’ Donuts, caffeinating Massachusetts residents since its first store opened in Quincy in 1950, today serves coffee and baked goods to 3 million customers a day in 8,835 locations in 31 countries, according to company figures.
Jim Coen, president of the Dunkin’ Donuts Independent Franchise Owners, Inc., said the PAC would be a critical voice for the company’s taxpaying business owners.
“These are people who pay real estate taxes. These are people who collect sales tax, who pay employee taxes,” Coen said in a phone interview. “These are people who make investments … in their communities. These people have a stake in Massachusetts.”
Coen said the PAC won’t be particularly visible – the company already has a lobbyist acting on its behalf in the capitol. But a PAC, he said, will enable the franchise owners to back candidates and issues directly.