Loose Lips

OCF: Pump That Go-Go


The Office of Campaign Finance says allegations of campaign finance violations made against the campaigns of both Mayor Adrian Fenty and Almost Mayor Vincent Gray should be dismissed.

LL first reported that Gray volunteer James Abely filed a complaint with OCF saying that Fenty's No. 1 supporter, Ron Moten, was breaking campaign finance rules with all of his pro-Fenty go-go concerts, songs, music videos, magazine and website

OCF, according to a filing on its website, is recommending the complaint be dismissed by the Board of Elections and Ethics. According to the filing, Fenty campaign lawyer Marc Elias argued that the campaign had "neither requested nor contributed" to Moten's videos and magazine and its website, and that Moten's music videos were similar to the "Obama Girl" YouTube smash hit, which we are all assuming had nothing to do with Obama's campaign.

Curiously enough, Fenty campaign chairman Bill Lightfoot also said the campaign "did not coordinate any activity with the producers of the videos," but the Fenty campaign would "include the estimated value of the videos in its October 10" filing as "an in-kind contribution." LL is curious to see how much that winds up costing.

The OCF is also recommending that at complaint against the Gray campaign, filed by the D.C. Republican Party, be dismissed. The complaint stemmed two full page ads in the Hill Rag and a handbill for a Gray fundraiser that did not have the required language (like "paid for") on them. Gray campaign manager Adam Rubinson and lobbyist David Wilmot appeared before the OCF and told them that the ads were paid for by Ward 6 volunteer coordinator Charles Berger without consulting the campaign, and the fundraising handbill "was not cleared through" the Gray campaign, but any money raised from the event would be reported.

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  • Really?

    Once AGAIN this administration is trying to forgo the laws. The case against Moton should not be dismissed he violated the laws and the CITIZENS of the District of Columbia have the RIGHT to know who funded the go-go events, the magazine, and the websites and how they spent the money.

    Moton has a record of receiving funding, paying himself a nice salary, and not having to show in a coherent manner how the money was spent. DC Citizens deserve accountability and transparency!

    What is a Political Committee?
    (DC Official Code § 1-1101.01(5))

    A political committee is a proposer, individual, committee (including a principal campaign committee), club, association, organization or other group of individuals organized for the purpose of, or engaged in, promoting or opposing a political party, the nomination or election of an individual to office, or any initiative, referendum or recall.

    A political committee is either an authorized or an unauthorized committee (well according to the Fenty folks he was unauthorized) An authorized committee means the principal campaign committee or any other political committee is authorized and designated by a candidate on the Statement of Candidacy form to receive contributions or make expenditures on behalf of such candidate. An unauthorized committee is any other political committee, which has not been designated by a candidate.

    Political Committee Registration Requirements
    (DC Official Code § 1-1102.04)

    All political committees, authorized or unauthorized, including campaign committees, independent or political action committees, and initiative, referendum or recall committees, must register with the Office of Campaign Finance and file a Statement of Organization form within ten (10) days of organization or designation by a candidate on the Statement of Candidacy form. A political committee must have a treasurer and a chairperson.

    Political Committee Reporting Requirements
    (DC Official Code § 1-1102.06)

    The treasurer of each political committee must file a Report of Receipts and Expenditures on January 31st, and the 10th day of March, June, August, October, December, and 8 days preceding the date of each election, if the political committee is actively supporting candidates during the year in which an election is held. Political committees not supporting candidates during a year, in which an election is held, must file a Notification of Non-Support form with the Office of Campaign Finance on or before January 31st of the year in which an election is held. Reports must be filed by January 31st and July 31st from political committees filing Notifications of Non-Support and by all other political committees during a non-election year.

  • Tom

    Until we get tough in our enforcement of the law (not just fines and traffic violations) we will never be a world class city. Since it was said that if a federal position is on the ballot, then the follow federal campaign finance laws. How can a person/organization that is not authorized by the campaign committee, be allowed to support a campaign AND coordinate with the same campaign?

    Basically, in this situation you can donate to the Fenty Campaign and then donate to Moten. Moten and the Fenty campaign get together and discuss how to plan events and commercials, thus circumventing campaign finance limits.

    Why do we even bother with laws in this city? If it was a an uncut lawn a NIMBY or ANC would be all over the homeowner with fines, or a traffic violation where DC would want you to pay up. But a major campaign finance law being broken is fine?