Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rex Griswold makes campaign finance error

Did anyone else catch this story about Rex Griswold's campaign finance error today? Gee, it was awfully nice of Claudia Walters to point out error - too bad he didn't figure it out himself. If he thought he was getting close to the limit, he should have asked someone.

Instead, he went over the limit, and then when he was caught, he claims that the laws are "murky." I know its not that big of a deal, but how about a little accountability? He fixed the error by paying himself back - so that must mean he doesn't want to blow the cap off for anyone else.

Here is a funny line from one of the commenters named mesaazusa:

"I'm shocked! A Mesa City Councilman, over-budget, spending money in ways he shouldn't, and shifting funds around to cover his tracks! I'm shocked, I tell you, I'm shocked!"

Now, I am not a lawyer, but I looked at the Arizona Statutes, and I think I found the applicable law in 16-905:

F. The use of a candidate's personal monies is not subject to the limitations of this section but affects the application of these limitations to the candidate's opponents as follows:

1. For a candidate for an office other than a statewide office:
(a) If a candidate contributes or promises amounts of more than fifteen thousand six hundred seventy dollars of those personal monies, the candidate, within twenty-four hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and other legal holidays, shall give written notice by certified mail of the amount contributed or promised as of the date of the notice to all other candidates and the candidates' campaign committees for the same office at the address on file with the filing officer and to the filing officer. Other candidates for the same office and contributors to those candidates are not subject to the limitations of subsections A, C and E of this section after receiving the notice until these candidates receive contributions totaling the amount of personal monies contributed or promised by the candidate giving this notice.


Jumping down a bit, I think that this pretty much lays out the punishment:

P. If any notice prescribed by subsection F or G of this section is not given in a timely manner, the designating individual, in the case of an exploratory committee, or the candidate, in the case of a candidate's campaign committee, is subject to a civil penalty of three times the amount of personal monies that were contributed, expended or promised in violation. The civil penalty shall be imposed as prescribed by section 16-924.

Maybe I am wrong here, but judging by the law, it looks like his violation should add up to a $6,120 fine to his campaign.

I guess we will have to wait and see what they come up with on Monday. It will probably just be a slap on the wrist.

3 comments:

Mesa said...

I looked it up using your link. It also says right above it who is included in personal funds including all of the people he said he didn't know were included. I would almost buy it if Smith claimed this since he's never run before but Rex has is running his THIRD campaign!! The law seems pretty clear to me so I'm not sure how he missed it. Makes you question what else is missing from his report. Like how much he's really spent on signs.

Mesa said...

The article also mentions a few more things that I'm sure they'll be talking about on Monday. If this happened 5 months or so ago as Smith alluded in the end of the article, the statute also states the following-
3. If any notice prescribed by this subsection is not timely given the other candidates are not subject to the limitations of subsections A, B and C of this section for an additional five hundred ninety dollars for each day the notice was delinquent.
This basically gives free reign to both candidates to pump in as much of their own money as they want. While the $6K fine would hurt Griswold, releasing contribution caps for his two competitors would be even bigger.
Either way, it took two minutes to find this information and neither of us have run for office twice before. There's no excuse for it especially when he wants to run the city and it's almost billion dollar budget!

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