Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Party aside, PAC transfers are wrong

From's Tuesday afternoon report to subscribers ...
-- GOP gubernatorial candidate Mark Green said today that he has no plans to return PAC money he transferred from his federal war chest to his gubernatorial account, saying that he followed state laws governing the transfer.

Green said that Gov. Jim Doyle transferred money from his attorney general’s fund to his gubernatorial account without raising questions and that Tom Barrett did the same with money from his congressional fund when he ran for governor in 2002.

“Democrats only want to raise this question when it’s a Republican candidate,” Green said...
Green is conveniently rewriting history.

When then-Congressman Tom Barrett, a Democrat, wanted to transfer money in 2002 from his Congressional campaign account to his governor's campaign, Jim Doyle's campaign strongly objected and argued before the State Elections Board. So did the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (WDC).

The Doyle objections about Barrett were the same as the Democracy Campaign is raising about Green -- that money from federal political action committees who could not legally give to the governor's race, because they are not registered here, was being laundered through the Congressional account. In Green's case it's about $500,000 in PAC money of a total of $1.3-million transferred in. Since he did that the loophole has been closed, and such transfers from federal to state campaigns will not be allowed. It was already illegal to transfer state campaign money to a federal race.

Here's what WDC had to say on its Big Money Blog:
The Democracy Campaign has long opposed allowing federal office holders to use money raised for federal campaigns in order to run for state office. We opposed Democrat Tom Barrett's transfer of money he raised as a member of Congress to help finance his 2002 run for the state's highest office. It was wrong when Barrett did it, and it's wrong for Green to do it.
The Green smokescreen about Doyle changing his campaign from attorney general to governor has nothing to do with the issue. Both are state campaigns subject to the same limits and rules. The issue is about using federal PAC money, which could not be legally given to a campaign for governor. For once I agree with WDC: It was wrong when Barrett did it, and it's wrong now.

Rock Netroots on "We already spent the money."


At 2:25 PM, Blogger publius said...

Are you suggesting the law be retroactively applied?

Isn't that a slippery slope to go down - not just in politics, but for the entire penal code?

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Xoff said...

WDC is suggesting that has always been the law, although it was not applied to Barrett.

The law has been changed, so what Green and Barrett did won't be allowed in the future.

I don't claim what they did was illegal. I said it was wrong. There is a difference. They used a legal loophole to launder money. It was legal, I believe, but still wrong. That's why the loophole has been closed now.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Paul_Robeson said...

It's telling that Graul has referred to complying with "the letter of the law" in the PAC transfers -- which is basically a tacit admission that the transfers contravened the spirit of the law.

Given the Election Board's notorious lack of backbone in such matters, I'm sure that the WDC complaint will go nowhere. But it gives the Doyle camp some ammunition anyway.


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