Wednesday, August 27, 2008
What's happening in Campaign Violation Land?
Senator Dianne Wilkerson (MA):
"State Senator Dianne Wilkerson has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine as part of a settlement with the attorney general's office in which the Boston lawmaker admitted violating campaign finance laws for five years.
Senator Dianne Wilkerson, who is in the midst of a heated reelection fight, also relinquished a claim to almost $30,000 she said her campaign committee owed her for unreimbursed expenditures through 2007 and agreed to return $2,200 in unlawful contributions. The settlement, which involved the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, includes measures to ensure that the senator and her campaign committee fully comply with campaign finance requirements in the future, according to a press release from the state attorney general." http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2008/08/senator_wilkers.html?p1=Well_MostPop_Emailed6
Meijer Inc. Michigan:
State fines Meijer $190,000 for campaign act violation
Posted by Gazette News Service May 14, 2008 10:30AM
WALKER -- "The secretary of state is fining Meijer Inc. a record $190,139 for violating Michigan's Campaign Finance Act and is forwarding the case to the state attorney general to determine whether there were any criminal missteps.
The secretary of state signed two "conciliation agreements" with Meijer after a three-month investigation.
Meijer is being penalized for spending more than $100,000 to influence the outcomes of a 2005 referendum and a 2007 recall vote in Acme Township, without reporting the expenditures as required by law. At the time, Meijer was trying to get a superstore approved near Traverse City." http://blog.mlive.com/kzgazette/2008/05/state_fines_meijer_190000_for.html
Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado:
Gov. Bill Ritter’s campaign committee has taken out a $200,000 loan to repair violations of state campaign laws during his gubernatorial campaign in 2006 and 2007.
"Apparently, payments for direct campaign expenses were taken out of an account meant solely for Ritter’s inauguration. The discrepancy was discovered in February as the committee’s accountant began to prepare required federal forms.
After finding problems, a comprehensive review showed that up to $217,164 in campaign expenses were incorrectly paid out of the inaugural account to 28 vendors. The review also found that Greg Kolomitz, Ritter’s campaign manager, overpaid himself and his company $83,000 out of the inaugural account. Kolomitz repaid the money Monday." http://blogs.csbj.com/csbjdaily/2008/04/16/ritter-borrows-money-to-pay-for-campaign-violations/
Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury:
Court upholds Bradbury campaign violation
"The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld a campaign finance violation Wednesday against Secretary of State Bill Bradbury's 2004 re-election campaign.
The court said a special assistant attorney general was correct in concluding that the campaign committee for the state's chief elections officer, a Democrat, improperly reported payments to its advertising agent.
The campaign hired Charlton Engel Marketing to purchase advertising time from broadcasters during the 2004 campaign. For every $100 billed to the campaign by Charlton Engel, $85 went to broadcasters to pay for advertising time and $15 remained with Charlton Engel as a commission. The committee's campaign finance reports, however, did not list the 15 percent commissions."
Posted by Dave Hogan, The Oregonian April 16, 2008 16:29PM
State Senator Carole Migden:
"State Sen. Carole Migden has agreed to pay a record $350,000 in fines for 89 violations of state campaign finance laws that include using political funds for personal benefit and failing to disclose what her political committees purchased with credit cards, according to documents released Tuesday." http://articles.latimes.com/2008/mar/19/local/me-migden19
Kenny Evans, City Clerk Candidate in 2006
"For the first time in Torrance history, misdemeanor charges alleging campaign finance violations have been brought against three people involved in a city election.
One is Kenny Evans, a city clerk candidate in 2006 and a municipal water technician represented by AFSCME - the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
The two others were officers with his campaign as well as a committee that sought to recall then-Councilman Frank Scotto.
The treasurer and co-treasurer of both committees were David Gould and Michelle Moore Sanders. Gould was chief consultant of Los Angeles political consulting firm the David L. Gould Co., while Moore Sanders was an employee there.
The City Prosecutor's Office alleges the pair transferred about $1,900 from a group called Homeowners to Recall Frank Scotto to Kenny Evans' campaign committee.
That's a violation of the Municipal Code, which has a $1,000 cap on campaign contributions from a person or group." http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_9298210
Michigan State Senate Candidates get themselves into hotwater:
"...when Whitmer, Brater, Prusi, Schauer and the lot bumped up against donation limits they had to find some other way to pump their extra cash into the targeted races. The SDCC became a big giant washing machine. Insert money, detergent, rinse, repeat.
And make no mistake, that's exactly what they did. When you get right down to brass tacks, each of these campaigns laundered money through the SDCC into targeted state senate districts, effectively skirting campaign donation limits in violation of Michigan law.
Problem was, they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Each of the current state Senators accused of giving illegally demanded and received refunds from the Committee as soon as the press caught their scent. Their cases were formally closed in March by the Secretary of state. All of them... almost. Mark Schauer refuses to pursue a legal remedy and remains under investigation.
Which is fitting, since Schauer chaired the committee and made nearly half the total "contributions" personally. The Battle Crek Enquirer reported in December:
The fund raked in $440,000 above the legal limit of $20,000 per person - which the Dems don't deny. Twelve senatorial candidate committees did, with Schauer's as the worst offender at $187,000...
For state races, this is a staggering chunk of change. The grievance is pretty cut and dried..."
Mark Schauer stands accused of twenty-two distinct campaign finance violations." http://www.rightmichigan.com/story/2008/4/10/114113/454
The voters might like to punish the scoundrels, if only they could distinguish one party's scoundrel from the other...