Friday, July 10, 2009

More about the 28K smackers!

Returning now to the thrilling days of, well, the day before yesterday:

Spot, you mean that Entenza was fined 28K+ while running to be the most senior law enforcement officer in the state?

Guess so, grasshopper; we’ll have to look into it.

And look into it Spot did. Here’s the decision of the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board in 2006. Matt Entenza was self-financed for the Attorney General’s race in 2006. His campaign, Minnesotans for Matt, says it thought that meant at all campaign contribution limits were beneath consideration. Well, it didn’t say that exactly, but that’s in essence what it argued before the Board:

On behalf of the Committee, Mr. Weinblatt argues that the special source contribution limits imposed by Minnesota Statutes, section 10A.27, subdivision 11, do not apply to a candidate who has not agreed to a public subsidy under Minnesota Statutes, section 10A.25.  The Board does not agree, and has consistently found that contribution limits, including special source limits, apply to candidates regardless of their acceptance or refusal of the public subsidy agreement.

Spotty, what are “special source contributions?"

I’ll let the Board tell us grasshopper:

Candidate committees have an aggregate limit on contributions from certain types of contributors (special source limit) as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 10A.27, subdivision 11.  This statute sets a yearly limit on the total amount of contributions that a candidate’s committee may receive from political committees, political funds, lobbyists, and large contributors.  A “large contributor” is defined by this statute as “…an individual, other than the candidate, who contributes an amount that is more than $100 and more than one-half the amount an individual may contribute”.  In 2005, the contribution limit from an individual to a candidate for the office of Attorney General was $200.  Therefore, a contribution from an individual of over $100 was from a “large contributor” and counted against the special source limit.

The Board describes Minnesotans’ for Matt’s infraction:

In 2005, candidates for the office of Attorney General were limited to $14,588 in aggregate contributions from special sources.

Of the $42,693.33 in special source contributions accepted by the Committee, $3,125 was from registered lobbyists, $3,700 was from political committees or political funds, and $35,868.33 was from individuals who contributed more than $100.  The total amount of these contributions exceeded the special source limit by $28,105.33.

The excess contributions were not returned within 60 days as required in Minnesota Statutes, section 10A.15, subdivision 3.  Therefore, the Committee accepted the excess contributions.

In addition to having to return the excess contributions, the Entenza campaign had to pay a fine equal to the excess contributions.

That had to smart, Spotty!

Yes, grasshopper, it most assuredly did. Spot isn’t sure of the amount of the biggest fine ever levied by the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, but he’s got a box of kibble that says this one is in the top five.

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