Thursday, September 09, 2010

Walker Campaign Finance Violations Keep Growing

One Wisconsin Now (OWN) announced that it has filed a complaint against Scott Walker's campaign with the Government Accountability Board (GAB). They did this after discovering that Scott Walker's latest campaign finance filing is missing the required employer information for 214 contributors. OWN further reports that Walker has repeatedly failed to follow these disclosure rules at least 650 times since 2009.

This kind of wilful neglect of our campaign finance laws is not just a simple mistake for Walker. One could give a candidate the benefit of the doubt under normal circumstances but for Walker it is a prolonged pattern going back many years. Consider some of the following (familiar sounding) details:

  • Walker is the owner of what was the second highest campaign related fine in state history. In this instance Walker failed to include proper disclosures in a round of robo calls for which his campaign paid. (2005)
  • Walker also failed to report at least 18 $100+ donors in 2004. County Election Commission documents also show the frustration that they had with his campaign's poor reporting in a number of areas during that same year.
  • In 2002 and 2003, Walker’s campaign failed to identify the occupations of approximately 57 donors who gave more than $100 to his campaign. One of those donors was reportedly Bruce Pfaff, who eventually managed Walker’s first gubernatorial campaign. Walker received a failing grade in a 2002 analysis by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. The failing grade was based on the total number and value of improperly reported contributions. [Capital Times, 5/14/02]

At what point does Scott Walker and his campaign have to pay a serious price for this repeated pattern of ignoring our campaign finance laws? The new OWN analysis shows that the problem is actually getting much worse and as such it warrants a more severe sanction from GAB.


Anonymous said...

How significant is the complaint? Seems to me like it's s slap on the wrist if the GAB agrees there's been violations. Nothing too substantive here. Just lousy book keeping.

Cory Liebmann said...

actually I wouldn't normally disagree with your statement...but i don't think that this situation is a normal one. here is why:

1. it has been a repeated issue for him for years.

2. it keeps getting worse with time.

3. it seems to be a suspicious pattern that missing info belongs to politically connected people such as the WMC chair and walkers various campaign operatives/key fundraisers ect.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Thanks for the explaination. I would agree that it is a pattern. So, whether or not it's intentional on Team Walker's part is another question. Surely, they must ask for this information when soliciting a contribution. However, I am unsure as to what constitutes "best efforts" under state election laws. It will be interesting to see what the GAB does with this.