Hyde Park businessman, Wellesley financial analyst donate to Essaibi George super PAC

Bostonians for Real Progress

A screenshot from the website of the pro-Essaibi George super PAC, "Bostonians for Real Progress."

A Hyde Park businessman is pouring money into a super PAC supporting Annissa Essaibi George’s mayoral campaign, according to publicly available documents filed with state regulators.

Sixteen companies tied to Elias Akiki, who owns a towing and auto repair business in Hyde Park, each donated roughly $1,000 to "Bostonians for Real Progress." The super PAC surfaced in July and said it was backing Essaibi George, an at-large city councillor from Dorchester and one of five major mayoral candidates.

The limited liability companies are focused on managing and investing in real estate, according to filings with state regulators. Their contributions to the super PAC totaled $16,000.

Akiki, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday, has donated to Essaibi George’s mayoral campaign, as well as to South End state Rep. Jon Santiago, before he dropped out of the race for mayor earlier this year.

“Bostonians for Real Progress” also received $10,000 from John Foley, who is listed as a financial analyst in Wellesley.

A spokesman for the super PAC, which is chaired by Carol Martinez, did not respond to a request for comment. Its disclosure of donors was filed earlier this week. The outside group, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money in the race, has spent $5,500 on creating a website, according to regulatory filings.

Separately, on Wednesday, a top supporter of Essaibi George formed his own super PAC. William Gross, the former Boston police commissioner, filed paperwork with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance to establish the “Real Progress Boston” super PAC.

“Real Progress Boston” has not yet filed reports detailing its fundraising or spending.

Alongside “Bostonians for Real Progress,” the other active super PACs in the race are:

-- Two for Acting Mayor Kim Janey, tied the UNITE HERE Local 26 union and a liberal coalition known as Right to the City Vote. The union’s super PAC on Friday indicated it has spent money on radio in support of Janey, as well as produced an ad against City Councillor Andrea Campbell. The anti-Campbell ad takes aim at the super PAC supporting Campbell. (More on that below.)

-- Two for City Councillor At-Large Michelle Wu. One is tied to the Environmental League of Massachusetts and the other is run by Jason Burrell, a former aide to US Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Burrell’s super PAC has made a $300,000 ad buy, while the environmental group has spent $24,600 on mailings and $47,000 on digital ads.

-- One for Campbell. The donors for “Better Boston” include a co-founder of Netflix, local business owners and charter school supporters. The super PAC on Friday sought to capitalize on the Boston Globe editorial board’s endorsement of Campbell by crafting a new ad touting the daily newspaper’s support for the councillor.

Super PACs have already collectively spent more than $1.6 million on the 2021 mayoral race, with much of that coming from the pro-Campbell super PAC’s TV advertising buys.

Other super PACs have filed paperwork to signal their formation but have not yet ramped up spending.


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