Fundraising in an Election

I’ve a couple of updates here….rumors have been swirling that the SCCCPOA and the DSA are combining the PAC money their bodies voted to direct in support of Kevin Jensen’s campaign.  This is official, there is a PAC combining the two getting ready to tell our communities exactly why it is the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office is in need of change of leadership.

The second rumor, which I am trying to confirm, is that this PAC is holding at least $500K in funding and possibly as much as $750K.  I am digging to confirm this, but if this is the case, this will be a war chest to contend with.  These groups have been notoriously tightfisted in political funding in the past, so this makes quite a statement in and of itself.

Which brings me to the last point I’ve been asked about by several people now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m no lawyer. I don’t have all the answers. I certainly can not untangle election law for myself, but sometimes things pop out and you have to question is the law that twisted up or is there something going wrong here?

I have been directed back by several people to the posting of Sheriff Smith’s public fundraising filings that I had posted in the past, specifically to her filing for the first half of 2013.

Now, if someone can explain how this is above board that would be great.  I really don’t understand what I’m seeing and neither do the people who are asking me.  So if you know a bit more about election law can campaign finance, could you please chime in here, it would be greatly appreciated.

So some time ago, Aug 27, 2013, to be exact, the Board of Supervisors approved Ordinance No. NS-19.40 increasing the maximum donation amount you can make to a candidates campaign from $500 to $1,000.  This was directed to take affect one month later, after Sept. 27, 2013.  We know this because this information was provided to me by the DSA when I erroneously posted the old maximum in another post.  So it is my understanding that no single entity, prior to Sept. 27, 2013, could donate more than the maximum of $500.  Below are several images taken directly from the filing from 01-10-2013 to 06-30-2013 that indicate a number of people who made donations prior to the Sept, 28, 2013 date in excess of $500.  No single donation exceeded the $500 amount, but under the cumulative column, it indicates these people donate $1,000 each.

Now, I was led to understand, the $1000 can be contribute cumulatively, but no one could do so  prior to the September date.  All these donations were made and filed prior to that date. So my question, an the question of several others, is there a way for this to not have violated campaign finance law?

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Like I said, no lawyer here, but opening to learning more about election law from someone who knows better — if you can explain this to me, either hit the comments below or feel free to click on my email link and let me know how this works.

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One thought on “Fundraising in an Election

  1. Howdy all, I am Lance Scimeca, the President of the CPOA. I understand that there are some questions about if there is a PAC that is a joint effort by the CPOA and the DSA. Well…. Yes, and speaking for the CPOA, to use poker vernacular, “We are all in!”

    I am pleased to announce the formation of:

    “Santa Clara County Public Safety Workers
    Support Kevin Jensen for Sheriff 2014 (ID# 1362659)”
    c/o Olson Hagel & Fishburn
    555 Capitol Mall, Suite 1425
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    The committee is permitted to accept unlimited contributions from donors — individuals, businesses, and political committees are permitted to contribute any amount. Labor unions and other organizations should contribute from a political committee established to engage in candidate support activities. The committee may not accept contributions from foreign nationals. The committee is prohibited from accepting cash contributions of $100 or more.

    Any organization wishing to use general funds to contribute to the committee is advised to first consult with a tax and/or campaign law professional regarding the tax and/or campaign disclosure implications of making such a contribution. Major donors and other political committees who contribute $1,000 or more within 90 days of the primary or runoff elections will be required to disclose contributions within 24-hours. Individual contributors will be asked to provide first and last name, street address and occupation and employer Contributions to Santa Clara County Public Safety Workers Support Kevin Jensen for Sheriff 2014 are not tax deductible.

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