Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Did AG Shurtleff break Federal Election Commission law?

From the Deseret News:
He spent $146 for a "clothing expense"; $45 to pay for a locksmith to open his car when he accidentally locked in his keys; and tens of thousands of dollars in donations to other politicians, including $5,000 to state Senate Majority Leader Curt Bramble, R-Provo; $2,300 to the presidential campaign of John McCain (and also used money to travel to campaign for McCain); and $5,000 to Walker's treasurer campaign.
The Deseret News states that 94% of AG Shurtleff's campaign contributions came from corporations. They also stated that Shurtleff made a $2300.00 expenditure to Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

I looked at Shurtleff's 2004 and 2008 expenditure report and could not find a donation to McCain's campaign. Was it there before it was pointed out to the D-News and removed afterwards, or did the D-News get that information from another source, or do I need new glasses?

To be fair, I'm not accusing Shurtleff of breaking FEC laws. I am however asking a important question that should be clarified. I'll take a closer look at the FEC laws on travel and personal contributions.

To be continued...


Davis Didjeridu said...

It is absolutely illegal for candidates for federal office accept money from state political committees. Federal candidates can accept money only from individuals, national party committees, PACs registered with the FEC, and the Federal accounts of State and Local parties. Donations from any other source, including the campaign accounts of candidates for state office, are illegal. All money in Federal elections must be traced to an individual. Here is the FEC page on prohibited contributions. If the $2300 came from Shurtleff's AG campaign account, it is soft money and it is an illegal contribution. The money was laundered and Shurtleff should know better! I'll accuse him of breaking the law, and accuse McCain of being sloppy.

Bob said...

As far as I can tell, Shurtleff's donation on 3/9/07 was a personal expense and not from his campaign account.
Likewise, his travel to campaign isn't showing up, leading me to think it's above board, assuming he only paid for himself to travel as there is no record of it.

I do wonder why the DNews put it in their story, however...

Davis Didjeridu said...

If the donation came from his campaign account (which, if it wasn't, why would he put it on his disclosure form?), it is not a personal donation and is illegal. If it was a personal donation, it's fine. If his McCain donation was reimbursed from his campaign account, that is also illegal. Thing is, I can't find it on his disclosure, and I don't know why the D News reported it, except that they have the crappiest campaign finance reporting anywhere.