I was working on post ideas, and noted that something I hadn’t done as of yet was to post Paula Hawks’ financial disclosure forms as a candidate in her race for Congress. They’re public information, and readily available on-line, so I went to the Clerk of the US House website to look it up.
But…. it wasn’t there. That left me checking the rules as to exactly when candidates are required to file:
Individuals are required to file a Financial Disclosure Statement once they “qualify” as a candidate by raising or spending more than $5,000 in a campaign for election to the House of Representatives. Both the office-seeker’s own funds and contributions from third parties count towards the threshold. An individual who never raises or spends more than $5,000 has no financial disclosure obligations with the House, even if that person’s name appears on an election ballot. All individuals who do meet this definition must file each year that they continue to be candidates. The deadline for filing the Financial Disclosure Statement depends on whether you qualify as a candidate in an election or non-election year.
If you qualify as a candidate during an election (generally an even-numbered) year, then you must file a Financial Disclosure Statement within 30 days of becoming a candidate or May 15 of that year, whichever is later. There are two exceptions to this general rule: First, a qualifying candidate must file no later than 30 days before any election (including primaries) in which the individual is participating. Thus, if you become a candidate on January 5 in an election year and the primary is on April 22, the report is due by March 23 (no later than 30 days before the election). Second, if a candidate crosses the $5,000 threshold within the 30-day period prior to an election, the candidate must file the Financial Disclosure Statement immediately after he or she raises or spends more than $5,000. Candidates in a special election also follow this filing rule.
If you qualify during a non-election (generally an odd-numbered) year, then you must file a Financial Disclosure Statement within 30 days of becoming a candidate or May 15 of that year, whichever is later. You are then required to file a subsequent Statement on May 15 of the following year if you are still a candidate on that date. If you lose a primary election before May 15, then you are not required to file the Statement.
Wait. What? It isn’t there?
Let me get this straight. Hawks has 30 days from the point she hits $5000 raised or spent to file these Financial Disclosure Statements? And it is yet to be filed?
So, she was prepping her race from way back in July. And she’s been running since the first part of August.
And here we are a month and a half to two months away from the time she started moving in the direction of being the candidate.
And she hasn’t had to file this document yet? Which means she’s either flouting the law, or her campaign has yet to raise or spend $5000 in pursuit of the campaign against our current Congresswoman Kristi Noem.
Doesn’t she have staff, and a website, and travel, and all that stuff? Or is her campaign so anemic, underfunded, and just plain dismal at this point that she hasn’t hit that benchmark yet? What was she doing in the first 30 days of agreeing to be the sacrificial lamb? Was it similar to the stages of grief, and she was in denial that she got stuck with the hot potato?
As an allegedly credible candidate, it’s tremendously telling that she wasn’t been able to gather $5000 in the first 15 -20 days of her campaign launch.
It’s telling us that Paula Hawks not a real candidate yet. Or maybe ever.