Flaherty shows strength in '08 fundraising

In his biggest haul yet, Councillor at-Large Michael Flaherty has pulled in over $224,800 in campaign contributions in the last six months, state campaign finance records show.

Flaherty, widely expected to run against Mayor Thomas Menino as he makes a bid for an unprecedented fifth term next year, pulled in a little under $100,000 more than in previous first halves of the year. In the most recent deposit, filed this week, Flaherty banked $74,000, made up of donors from both the Boston area, along with Hingham, Wellesley and as far away as Texas.

Some of the donations came from local political action committees, including the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. Flaherty also received $500 each from Michael Athanas, one of the owners of the popular restaurant, Anthony's Pier 4, and William Carito, a principal at Sage Systems, a firm widely used by politicians, including Flaherty.

Menino has also been raking in tens of thousands of dollars in donations, receiving over $100,000 in May alone, underscoring the tough fight Flaherty has ahead of him if he ultimately chooses to run.

One $500 donation to Menino's political committee came from an individual who listed himself as an "entertainer" and his employer, the Dropkick Murphys, a popular local band. That was Kenneth Casey, the band's bassist, who was raised in Dorchester and lives in Hingham with his wife. She, too, contributed $500 to Menino.