Tuesday, October 23, 2007

News Sentinel Covers Kelty's Missing Campaign Finance Report

Kathleen Quilligan has a story in today's NS about my letter to the election board regarding Matt Kelty's missing campaign finance report.
Jeff Pruitt, a contributor to the blog Fort Wayne Left, wrote the election board Monday, saying the Kelty for Mayor campaign did not file the appropriate paperwork after it received a $1,000 donation from Kelty supporter and fellow blogger Dan Turkette.

The donation was received by the campaign May 3, which was after the pre-primary finance report deadline, April 13. According to Indiana statute, candidates are required to file paperwork listing contributions of $1,000 or more after that deadline until 48 hours before the primary election.

"I hope that they apply the law as it's supposed to be applied, because I don't think they did last time,” said Pruitt, adding he wasn't sure if his reading of the law is correct.

Kelty said his campaign became aware there was a question that they filed the correct paperwork for the contribution after the Election Board closed Monday night. He said the campaign was looking through its files to make sure the donation was recorded properly, and if it discovered there was an oversight, it would talk with the Election Board this morning.

“In the closing days of the election, all kinds of checks come in,” Kelty said.

Readers might remember that although "all kinds of checks come in" right before the primary the only one that happened to not have a supplemental filing was Dan Turkette's. I hope to have more on this later today.

Quilligan's article states that the fine for a late filing can be up to $100. But let's not kid ourselves, this isn't a late filing, this is a failure of the Kelty campaign to file the required report. So what's the penalty for that?

IC 3-14-1-14
Failure to file required report

Sec. 14. A person who fails to file a report with the proper office as required by IC 3-9 commits a Class B misdemeanor.

IC 35-50-3-3
Class B misdemeanor

Sec. 3. A person who commits a Class B misdemeanor shall be imprisoned for a fixed term of not more than one hundred eighty (180) days; in addition, he may be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).


J Q Taxpayer said...

Jeff, while I think you did a good job of finding this I do have to ask this question in all fairness. Did you go through Henry's report with the same effort as you did Kelty's?

If you did and found no errors then a tip of the hat to you. If not you owe it to your readers to say you did not. You are not required to but it would make it clear you are looking at both sides.

Jeff Pruitt said...


I didn't feel the need to announce that because I thought the answer would be quite obvious. But since you asked:

No, I did not go through Tom Henry's campaign finance reports whatsoever. I support Tom Henry for mayor and I do not support Matt Kelty. I am not an unbiased journalist and I don't want anyone to get that impression.

Do I go after politicians from both parties? Yes and I think my record shows that. But that doesn't mean I will succumb to the traditional media mentality that there must be two sides to every story and they deserve equal weight. I reject that premise and I think that's why people have become disenchanted with traditional media sources. When readers come to FWL they will get the news that I think is important and they will get it from my perspective. Frankly, I think that's why people enjoy the blogosphere; we don't filter out any sign of bias/partisanship - we embrace it.

I'm sure there are numerous Kelty supporters pouring through Henry's campaign finance report - that's politics.

J Q Taxpayer said...

Jeff, enough said. I have no problem with your satement and defend you in stating it.

I just wonder how many things like you pointed out happen all the time and I mean to both parties?

But why Dan's?

It leaves me wondering what may be going on? My next question then becomes, is it by accident or on purpose?

Jeff Pruitt said...


You bring up some interesting questions and I hope to have a future post discussing them.

As far as the first question is concerned - I'm just not sure. The election board should catch these things but do they? And shouldn't they certainly catch them for the biggest race in the city when a candidate has a history of campaign finance issues? To be fair, they might've eventually caught it as reports were only in for one business day before I wrote my letter...

J Q Taxpayer said...

Jeff, the system is better then nothing so that is a plus. But not as good as it could be.

The thing is if I wanted to hide money I could send it to a PAC, make a phone call, then onto some other state party, and then it ends back up with the person I wanted it to go to. Is it illegal? Yes but very very hard to ever prove.

Have a good one and take care

GLSB Guru said...

"But why Dan's?"

That's easy. It's called "plausible deniability." This way, the Kelty campaign as a whole could have continued to go on record as saying that they had no idea who Dan Turkette was.

So much for that plan, I guess.

de_tokeville said...

I sure wouldn't want to own up to him.

otto said...

If you want to ask honest questions about the election, you might ask yourself why all of this stuff keeps happening and not bitch about someone who has been fair but opposes Kelty.

How can Kelty possibly run a city when he can't run a campaign or keep his workers inline? It isn't like Jeff is out on a fishing expedition. ...there are serious questions about Matt's character and leadership when all of this crap keeps happening. I think that is a more interesting and fruitful line of thinking-if you are intellectually honest.