Saturday, October 13, 2018

OOPS, I Did It Again: FEC Tells McSally Campaign Its "Best Compliance Team" Still Not Cutting It

After putting together what her spokeswoman said was "the best compliance team in the country", the Federal Election Commission is telling Rep. Martha McSally that she is STILL not complying with reporting laws. The most recent campaign reports demonstrate that more than 20% of the contributions received this year for the Senate campaign do not properly indicate the employers or occupations of the donor.*

Martha McSally's House campaign committee had significant problems with complying with these basic Federal Election Commission requirements, and were the subject of a long-running complaint that led to a thorough audit of the campaign's 2014 election cycle finances. It was concluded earlier this year with findings that more than $600,000 of contributions were not properly identified. (Other findings were that the Committee had overstated its receipts by $94,000, that more than $300,000 was collected above and beyond contribution limits, that timely 48-hour reports were not filed for $100,000 of contributions, and that $32,000 of political committee contributions were not properly itemized.

The FEC adopted the audit findings and indicated that future enforcement actions may be taken. McSally for Senate spokesperson Torunn Sinclair told the Arizona Republic that "we built the best compliance team in the country, compiled of former FEC auditors, accountants and smart legal minds to address any issues and help us stay in compliance."

That was this past May. However, at that very moment, the campaign was taking in thousands of donations for the Senate race and not obtaining employer/occupation information from the donors. The FEC was watching, and has sent the campaign what are titled "Requests for Additional Information," for both the 2nd quarter report (April-June) and the pre-primary report (July-Aug. 8) The McSally campaign has two more weeks to respond, although no amended reports have been filed as of this date. (And, the September quarterly report is due on Monday.)

Ms. Sinclair has not responded to repeated requests from Arizona's Politics for comment.

A review of the McSally for Senate reports indicates that more than 2,000 of the approximately 9,000 individual contributions are not properly identified. (By comparison and in the same time period, the Sinema campaign has not been able to identify 23 such contributions.)

Arizona's Politics has posted the audit report, the most recent McSally campaign filings and the FEC's RFAIs below, and will update this article once the campaign responds to our questions and/or files a response to the FEC.

*The purposes of the disclosure requirements that are part of both the laws and regulations are clear -  so that regulators and the public are able to view where a candidate's monies are coming from.

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