No fine for Democrats

It appears that the State Board of Elections has backed off it’s initial stance of fining the Democratic Governors Association for poor campaign fundraising reporting.

  • Fail to report hundreds of thousands (millions?) of dollars of funding = no problem

    Leave a disclaimer off a flyer = $2,500 fine

    Does anyone think there’s a slight inconsistency in enforcement here?

  • Both are bad and I’m not buying the story about those flyers either, but you’re right.

    Can the SBE be taken to court and forced to do something?

  • Hmmm……I’m not so sure now after visiting the link.

    “James Alcorn, policy adviser for the election board, said disclosure by the DGA late Tuesday night fell within the 10-day window for filing. He said the association was in compliance with state law because its report showed no contributions received from April 16 to May 10.

    Because of the incident, Alcorn said the state board has begun a review of all out-of-state political action committees. Others appear to have incomplete reports of contributions, he said.” –

    It doesn’t look so cut and dry. Even if its a technicality they still haven’t broken the law. The good news is that if other out of state Pacs are incomplete then there’s good chance they’re connected to McAuliffe since he seems to be getting the lion’s share of contributions from states outside of Virginia.

  • Britt, if you knew how often I see political things that should’ve had disclaimers on them, you’d lose your lunch.

    Websites. Palm cards. Usually I email the campaigns and remind them what they’re supposed to have on there.

    There was a candidate for Mayor in Virginia Beach that had people handing me campaign information at a convention – no disclaimer on it.

    I’ve seen political email blasts – no disclaimer. Once I saw a fundraising letter for a Delegate’s race – no disclaimer.

    The Sessoms flyer was wrong to not have a disclaimer on it, but let’s get serious. There are many instances of the same or worse violations and nothing really happens.

    Just like here.

    And if you can’t comply with Virginia’s campaign finance laws, you must really be in trouble. These are the simplest laws in the country.

  • Jim Hewitt

    I have ran for School Board here in Portsmouth twice. Once in 2004 (lost by 181 votes) and again in 2006 (won by over 500 votes). Both times I knew the importance of ensuring that all campaign material had the proper information on them. I made sure to check each template thoroughly to ensure they were in compliance. It is not that hard to comply with the rules that are set forth. Even the sample ballots on Election Day have certain rules as to what can and cannot be on them.
    The rules are there for a reason…and I have found (as have the majority of candidates) that following them are not difficult. What concerns me is if the rules are not being followed in this area, then are there other areas? Are these just “honest mistakes” or is it a more pervasive and cavalier attitude that infects the campaigns of others? If so, how would that person be as an elected official if that attitude is prevelant in only the campaign stage? Something to consider when looking at cases like this in the federal, state and local elections…

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