Tag Archives: campaign finance

Pevely Election MEC Fallout

9 Oct

The 2014 Pevely alderman election was quite contentious, and the aftermath has spilled over to the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC), which polices campaign finance laws. No fewer than five of the six candidates in that election have been subject to MEC complaints and subsequent fines for failures to adequately complete the required “paid for by” statements correctly. The sanctioned candidates, the dates of the rulings, and their fines are as follows:

The first three people on the list above won the election and now sit on the board of aldermen. Given the recent dates on the last two complaints, I would not rule out the existence of a complaint against the sixth candidate in the Pevely election, Russ Shackelford. He is mentioned in the latter two candidates’ rulings, because they all shared the costs of some candy and door hangers.

I don’t get too riled up about these fines. Campaign finance law can be difficult for newbies and non-politicians (although some of the above candidates have more experience than others). And campaigns often watch closely for, and report, violations on the other side to score points. Which is not to say that the violations did not occur – hence the MEC rulings. I just think this is a measure of the bitterness of Pevely politics, and it would be an interesting exacta if every candidate in the election received an MEC fine. Maybe it would be some sort of record.


MEC Sanctions JeffCo GOP

26 Nov

Waaaaay back in August/September 2012 I wrote about some shady dealings involving political action committees associated with the Jefferson County GOP Central Committee (here and here). Well, 14 months later, something has come of this saga, per the Post-Dispatch.

The Missouri Ethics Commission has sanctioned the Jefferson County Central Republican Committee —  as well as its treasurer Leslie Hanson, its chairwoman Janet Engelbach and her husband George “Bob” Engelbach, a county council member — and the Voters for Good Government committee and its treasurer, William “Buddy” Hardin IV, a St. Charles County-based Republican activist, for illegal campaigning before the August 2012 election.

Full report here. A total of $2,300 in fines were levied against those involved (more if they don’t pay within 45 days or if they violate other campaign rules in the next two years).


JeffCo Tea Party Cited for Election Finance Violation

27 May

It looks like the Jefferson County Tea Party (JCTP) committed some election finance infractions over the past three years, as charged by the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC). These infractions involved failing to file expenditure reports after purchasing newspaper ads naming candidates for office shortly before election dates. The group also improperly stated the “paid for by” disclaimers on these ads. Tea Party founder and former head Ken Horton was named on this citation. This is because some of the infractions took place before the JCTP was registered as a committee and a non-profit organization. It looks like one of the three cited advertisements was published after he left the group to run for county treasurer.

The penalty levied for these violations was a fine of $3,700, although if $460 is paid within 45 days, and the group stays clean for two years, the rest of the fine will be waived.

Recall that the JCTP started up in 2010. The first infraction occurred that October. I ascribe these violations to inexperience with election reporting requirements. That does not excuse them, though, since you need to know the requirements if you are going to participate in politics. Also, these infractions continued into 2012.

MEC violations happen locally with some frequency (search for them here). Recent violators include Ron Counts (failure to file financial disclosure), Phil Amato (improper declaration of donations), and some guy named Brian Smith from something called the Conservative Coalition of Jefferson County (failure to file committee organization and expenditure reports)

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