Harsch to Board of Elections: Lynch’s Campaign Finance Reports are Incomplete

According to Edward Fitzpatrick in the Projo, Attorney General Candidate Bill Harsch has complained to the state Board of Elections about incomplete campaign finance reports filed by current Attorney General Patrick Lynch…

J. William W. Harsch, the Republican candidate for attorney general, yesterday sent a complaint to the state Board of Elections, accusing Democratic Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch of failing to fully report employment and/or address information for about 43 percent of those who have contributed to his campaign since 2003….
Harsch cited a state law requiring that campaign-finance reports contain the name, address and place of employment of each person or source that contributes more than $100. Harsch’s campaign coordinator, Tom Shevlin, said Lynch’s campaign omitted employer and/or address information for 922 contributions dating to January 2003.
The Projo provides some examples of donors who provided incomplete information…
  • Charles A. Blixt, who donated $250 to Lynch in December 2005, as general counsel/executive vice president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco.
  • J. Russell Jackson, who donated $1,000 in December 2005, as a lawyer who has represented Anheuser Busch as a partner in the Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom law firm.
  • Peter H. Cressy, who donated $250 in December 2005, as president and CEO of The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, an industry advocacy group.
  • Brennan Dawson, who donated $250 in December 2005, as senior vice president of The Tobacco Institute, which represents major cigarette manufacturers in the United States.
Attorney General Lynch disputes that he has failed to comply with campaign finance laws…
Lynch said it’s “humbling” that thousands of people have donated to his campaign since 2003. “We’ve recorded every contribution that we’ve received and comply with every applicable campaign-finance law,” he said. “My opponent’s latest attack is just a desperate attempt to bring life to his stagnant campaign in the last 21 days.”
But Rhode Island law is pretty direct on this matter. The relevant section is section 17-25-7(a)
17-25-7 Contents of reports to be filed by treasurers of candidates and committees. — (a) Each campaign treasurer of a candidate, each state and municipal committee of a political party, and each political action committee shall keep accurate records and make a full report, upon a form prescribed by the board of elections, of all contributions received by it in excess of a total of one hundred dollars ($100) from any one source within a calendar year, in furtherance of the nomination, election, or defeat of any candidate or the approval or rejection of any question submitted to the voters during the period from the date of the last report, or in the case of the initial report, beginning on the date of the appointment of the campaign treasurer for state and municipal committees and political action committees and on the date a person becomes a “candidate”, as defined in Sec. 17-25-3(2) for individual candidates. The report shall contain the name and address and place of employment of each person or source from whom the contributions in excess of one hundred dollars ($100) were received, and the amount contributed by each person or source. The report shall be filed with the board of elections on the dates designated in Sec. 17-25-11. The campaign treasurer of the candidate, or committee reporting, shall certify to the correctness of each report.
We can argue about whether these laws are good things or not, but it seems silly for an Attorney General to be arguing that he is complying with the law when he clearly isn’t.
And isn’t the office of Attorney General an office that should be filled by someone who pays attention to the details?

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17 years ago

Yeah, but the sheeple will just keep re-electing him.

17 years ago

If only he were in a position to know something about the law … oh, yeah.
If only someone in his family knew something about political campaigns … oops, covered.
Well, at least he’s admitting the problem and fixing it … oh, dear.

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