Massachusetts Secretary of State Facing Scrutiny Over Massive Regulations

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, right, and Attorney General Martha Coakley, left, during a a special briefing held by U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., on the mortgage foreclosure crisis and its connection to the economy and financial markets held at the Statehouse in Boston, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008. Delahunt called for Congress to allow bankruptcy courts to modify the terms of “predatory” loans. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

An anti-capitalist Secretary of State is facing serious scrutiny due to his overregulation of small businesses which has hurt the financial services industry in Massachusetts.

“After nearly a quarter-century as the state’s top elections official, Secretary of State William Galvin is facing his toughest re-election campaign in decades as he tries to fend off fellow Democrat and Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim in the Sept. 4 primary,” said Boston.com. 

Though Galvin eventually won his primary, he is not out of the woods in a state that, despite voting overwhelmingly for Democrats in presidential elections, has a Republican governor with a high approval rating.

Small business owners in the state – particularly in the financial services industry – have been dismayed by Galvin’s vindictive attitude towards capitalists, whom he has crushed with fines and regulations under the guise of “fighting for the little guy,” which is socialist code for redistributing wealth from the private to the public sector.

According to an InvestmentNews report Galvin ordered $56 million worth of fines against broker-dealers between 2012 and 2013, which is nearly as much as his federal counterparts, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) imposed nationwide over the same time period.

“Bill Galvin has been a highly aggressive securities regulator for years,” said Denise Crawford, former securities commissioner of Texas. “The only reason the world doesn’t know his name is because he’s not in New York. If he were in New York, he’d be a household name nationally.”

Galvin has targeted small investment firms like SII Investments Inc. with massive punishments for inconsequential rule breakages.

“Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin banged away Friday on another independent broker-dealer for sales of nontraded real estate investment trusts (REITS), this time ordering SII Investments Inc. to pay money back to clients who bought the REITs,” said another InvestmentWatch report. “SII failed to supervise the sale of the nontraded REITs, according to a statement from Mr. Galvin’s office. As a result of the settlement, any Massachusetts investor who was identified by Mr. Galvin’s office as having been improperly sold the REITs by SII will be offered their money back.”

A year prior, Galvin charged the same company with “dishonest or unethical conduct and failure to supervise” in another overbearing attempt to quash private industry.

Galvin has also gone after companies like GPB Capital, targeting 63 broker dealers who sell GPB’s private placements.

Massachusetts voters have an opportunity on Nov. 6 to make a statement: that quashing private industry with burdensome regulations and red tape will no longer be tolerated.

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