Thursday, September 25, 2008

[LCSD] Who is funding the anti-recall campaign?

Word has it there are both anti-recall shirts and large (4' x 8') signs around Lebanon. Lots and lots of them.

Neither of those things, especially T-shirts, are cheap.

So who is footing the bill? With CARES, it's obvious - most of their donors have been named. They formed a PAC and followed state laws regarding political donations.

So who are the benefactors for Alexander and Wineteer? I'm not saying they or their supports have broken the law - I suppose it's feasible (someone correct me if I am wrong) for someone to just spend their personal money on a bunch of anti-recall lit - but it's sure interesting that they seem to have at least as many financial resources as CARES.

I wonder if Mr. Alexander's stated belief in transparency extends to who is paying for all this stuff or not?

Anyone out there have any information?

As a result of the third comment, I went online and found the 2008 Campaign Finance Manual for Oregon (PDF). A few minutes looking through it suggests that the commenter is exactly right. The conclusion I am drawing is that either Alexander and Wineteer should be filing with the state, or their mystery benefactor should be filing with the state, or both. Check out page 74 of the manual for penalties. I'm no expert, but it looks like if no one is filing anything for the anti-recall campaign, then they could already be in trouble.

One additional (and interesting) note: I've looked all over ORESTAR for any record of any mention of the names Alexander and Wineteer, and I cannot find them, either in candidate filings or as related to any existing or discontinued committee. It's entirely possible that either I'm missing them, or that any records that do exist are so new they've not been posted online yet. However, if past history is any guide, I'd guess that neither them nor their supporters have actually filed.

My somewhat hypothetical question: If violations in campaign finance law are discovered, does that change anything about the election, or are the penalties merely assessed after the fact?

UPDATE 2: In response to the fourth comment, it's possible that individuals have all donated small enough amounts to the anti-recall campaign to avoid having to file. However, if the total value to the candidate is over $300, then the candidates - and both Alexander and Wineteer count according to the manual - have to file, and again, I found no record of that happening.


Anonymous said...

Who is funding the cost of the recall election? (Example: ballots, postage, ballot counters, etc.)

Dennis said...

By law, the school district has to fund the cost of the election.

Anonymous said...

Refer to the Oregon Elections Division Campaign Finance Manual. Generally, if any campaign expects to spend more than $300 it must register with the division and report contributions and expenditures, either cash or in-kind. Individuals or entities that independently pay for goods or services that benefit the campaign must also file Elections Form PC 10, Statement of Independent Expenditures, if the individual/entity spends more than $100 of its own money for the campaign.

Draw your own conclusions.

Anonymous said...

"Draw your own conclusions"

My conclusion would be that people don't know the law. People in the town are excited, and they want to contribute to "their" side. I think it is sad that it has to be reported, but that's the way it goes. However, a sign probably alone cost less than $100. Someone could easily make or design a t-shirt that multiple people could have done for them and stay under $100. I would like to know the final cost of the recall to the district. I am sure Rick will find out for us!

Also, if the recall goes through, is it immediate? Or in 30 days, etc.

Anonymous said...

I will read the PDF later, so this question may already have an answer. How can Rick or Josh report the money if someone else is doing the campaigning? I understand with an organized campaign, but what if I want to have a sign made on my own, and decide not to report it. How can Rick or Josh be responsible? They may never know it happened. So would I get the penalties? Or will Josh and Rick get them?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dennis, if you are to spend over $300 on campaign you have to file with the county election too. Has Rick and Josh file any with the county stating that they will campaign? Those signs are not less than $300 value. Ask anybody that ran for public office they know the law. Oh yeah, Rick and Josh don't care about the laws. I won't be surprise. Got to call the county clerk.

Anonymous 10:45 signs are not cheap. They run over a $100 for a big sign like that. Shirts are between $5-$10 a piece. 100 shirts are equivalent of over $500 to a $1000. You do the math..

Dennis said...

Anon @ 8:20 - I believe (but am not sure) that if someone spends $100 or more in support of a candidate, the individual who spends the money has to file.

And if the candidate receives $300 worth of value, the candidate has to file. It doesn't matter if it's organized or not.

So if lots of people are spontaneously spending $20 here and there on the anti-recall stuff, and it's added up to $300, Alexander and Wineteer might be in trouble. If any individual in support of them has spent $100 or more and not reported it, they might be in trouble.

Trouble here means mostly fines. Lots of fines.

Anonymous said...

Talked to the State election department this morning, Rick and Josh had not file any with the State. Individuals or groups paying for the signs have to file with the State if they spent over $100. If the donations were say $20 a piece but then all added and total over $100 whoever is the one in charge of buying the campaign materials if they are over $100 have to file with the State. They have not done so and I will be surprise if they do.

Also Sand Ridge parent that is on the committee to raise fund against the recall said she was forced to be part but will not participate.

Anonymous said...

If they don't know, they should.
If they don't care, they should.
Since both Rick A. and Josh W. work so closely with P. Meadowbrook and J. Jackson--both lawyers--there is no excuse for them not to know if the anti-recall poses any ethics violation for them or their supporters.
It is not wrong to support someone; but it is wrong to do so without following the laws concerning elected officials and ethics.

Dennis said...

One thing I don't get about all this: After all that has happened, one would think that Alexander, Wineteer, Northern, Jackson, and their supporters would have learned that there are bound to be rules regarding campaigns, so might be a good idea to find out what those are.

It does lend credence to the "they don't care" theory, since I refuse to believe they really don't know any better by now... though I suppose it is possible they are not learning.

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that the NO RECALL effort is truly a spontaneous grassroots deal that neither Josh or Rick actually are involved with, though no-doubt appreciate. And that seems possibly true -- the signs look handmade and the boards could have just been plywood stored in someone's shed before being painted. Maybe someone else just decided to print up some shirts.

It seems like the anti-recall people I know are pleasantly surprised to see the shirts and signs -- I really don't think it's an organized effort with anyone donating money.

Dennis said...

Anon @ 4:15 - the thing is, under Oregon campaign laws, Alexander and Wineteer still have to report it if they receive $300 or more in cash and in-kind donations. Even old plywood lying around counts, as does anything else with value that's not cash.

I am a huge fan of spontaneous, grassroots movements, so part of me is annoyed at the reporting requirements, and impressed at what I've heard about the anti-recall effort (though I do ultimately support the recall). However, I can hazard a pretty safe guess that the requirements are in place to prevent someone from simply bankrolling a massive campaign from the shadows.

Anonymous said...

The School Board is a Legislative Body (sets policies and directions), as well as oversees the District Budget.
Any of the Teachers; other Employees, including Charter School Employees; Lawyers;
family members; or anyone that would be affected by issues the Board may vote on in the future (legislative or administrative interests) donate more than 24 hours of time, or more than $50 per quarter calendar, or any other "gifts" worth anything more than $50 all together to the campaign--grassroots/spontaneous or not--to keep Rick A. and Josh W. on the Board those people (and Rick and Josh if they know about it) must report it under ORS 244

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that this a spontaneous effort! The plywood used will be returned to the person who had it laying around, therefore, it is "borrowed", not a "gift" or "donation". There were only about 20 t-shirts made, so there is no way this effort has reached close to $100.00, let alone $300.00.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, September 26 @ 11:04am states: "Also Sand Ridge parent that is on the committee to raise fund against the recall....".

Assuming this statement is accurate, it establishes there is an organized anti-recall effort. It is subject to the same registration and reporting requirements as the pro-recall committees.

Dennis said...

I am not sure there is a category for 'borrowed' in the manual. Be careful about making assumptions, especially those that benefit someone you support.

And 20 T-shirts would cost more than $100. There's no way anyone paid $5/shirt.

Like I've said, I don't *know* that any laws or statutes are being violated. I just doubt that the total value of the materials provided to Alexander and Wineteer has been less than $300. Can either of them prove it if asked?

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with people supporting candidates or a position.
Making signs or T-shirts. Letting others know where they stand.
This is --at the moment--still a free county and I'm glad we have those freedoms.
What I do have a problem with is those supporters doing it the wrong WAY and thinking the end justifies the means.
I am so frustrated with that kind of behavior.
That is primarily why Alexander and Wineteer should be recalled.
They model this behavior and allow, if not outright encourage, this behavior in other adults.
What about the students seeing all this going on???

Anonymous said...

So if I make a T-shirt on my own in support of an issue, the person I am supporting (even if they don't know I am doing it) needs to file a report that I donated to their cause if enough people do this to total $300 worth of support? I think NOT! A person cannot be responsible for what another person does in support of them ON THEIR OWN.

This thinking sounds like someone is trying to find another way to support the recall efforts!

Makes me want to go get a shirt made!

Dennis said...

A person cannot be responsible for what another person does in support of them ON THEIR OWN.

The Oregon Campaign Finance Manual appear to say otherwise, and there are civil penalties - fines - if this is violated.

Whether you think it's fair or not is irrelevant. It's state law.

... I don't think it's necessarily that fair either, but I also think such rules are probably in place to avoid a single person bankrolling whole campaigns - in other words, I think I understand why the rules exist, even if I don't like them.

And I can't emphasize enough that one can't just claim the rules are unfair and then violate them. That's just childish.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 2:58pm, that is exactly how Rick and Josh think and most of their supporters. Does not matter what the law says but what they think its right to advance their agenda. The lawless crew...

Anonymous said...

this is ridiculous. i just don't believe you are correct about the law. if it were so....i could sure get lots of folks in trouble just by deciding to, on my own, contribute to their cause somehow without their knowledge. i just don't think you are correct about that being illegal.

But of course, you have decided that it is the law and anyone disagreeing is "just like Rick and Josh." I am really glad I voted "NO" and sent my ballot in! Rick and Josh are the rational ones here!

Dennis said...

Anon @ 5:28, below are some excerpts from the campaign finance manual I linked to in the original post:

Page 8:

ORS Chapter 260, “Campaign Finance Regulation; Election Offenses,” requires disclosure of contributions and expenditures related to any candidate, measure, or political party active in any election including initiative, referendum and recall petition drives.

Page 18:

“Candidate” includes any of the following:

...a public office holder against whom a recall petition has been completed and filed

Page 79:

A contribution includes: the payment, loan, gift, forgiving of indebtedness, or furnishing without equivalent compensation or consideration, of money, services other than personal services for which no compensation is asked or given, supplies, equipment or any other thing of value: for the purpose of influencing an election for public office or an election on a measure, or of reducing the debt of a candidate for nomination or election to public offi ce or the
debt of a political committee or to or on behalf of a candidate, political committee or measure.

Page 58:

Oregon election law requires all accounts of contributions and expenditures to be current not later than the seventh day after the contribution is received or expenditure is made. Failure to do so may subject the committee to civil penalties.

Page 37:

Independent Expenditures

An independent expenditure is an expenditure made for a communication in support of or opposition to a clearly identified candidate or measure. An independent expenditure is not made with the cooperation or with the prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or any agent or authorized committee of the candidate, or any political committee or agent of a political committee supporting or opposing a measure.

A person, other than a committee, who makes expenditures of their own funds of more than $100 aggregate
for the entire calendar year to support or oppose any candidate or measure, must file a Statement of
Independent Expenditures (form PC 10) with the Elections Division.

Page 50:

A candidate who serves as the candidate’s own treasurer,
does not have an existing committee and does not expect to receive or spend more than $300 for the
calendar year is not required to establish a campaign account, file a statement of organization or file
contribution and expenditure transactions. The $300 includes the spending of personal funds for any
campaign-related costs. However, if at any time the candidate exceeds $300 in either contributions or
expenditures, the candidate must establish a campaign account, file a statement of organization and file
contribution and expenditure transactions going back to the beginning of the calendar year.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5:28 that is the reason why we are here today with this recall. People like Rick, Josh and I will include yourself who disregard the law of the land. Regardless if we like it we have to abide by it. I wonder why some students in this community do not pass math. They learn from their parents behaviors at public meetings. Always blame somebody elses for their own short fall. Why expect the student to pass math when some school board members don't follow the law. The best way to start fresh is to support the RECALL. I will be working the phones to make sure they will be recall.

Anonymous said...

Well..noone who knows me would consider me part of a "lawless crew" but guess I am by your definition. guess I have something in common with those who formed our government -- a lawless crew!

hummm. amazing my student does well in math! well, maybe that's because my student takes math classes now only at LBCC! amazing that my child learns well in an lbcc class but not in an LHS math class...of course we KNOW the problem is us bad parents...but WAIT...the parent is the same but the teachers have changed...hummmm.

Dennis said...

My definition? The definition of the state of Oregon, maybe. Still not sure. But not mine.

Anonymous said...

sorry dennis...i was speaking to anon at 7:19...the personal talking of "the lawless crew".

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