A couple of interesting points in relation to the Tapio campaign today. As you’ll recall, Neal stated today that he’s put $115,000 of his own money in the campaign so far:
This caused me to remember that I hadn’t posted his financial disclosure to the Clerk of the US House yet, so I went to pull it, but found this curious memo:
So that means that as of March 8, 2018, Neal noted to the Clerk of the US House that he hadn’t raised or spent $5000 in his campaign. But 30 days later, he’s declaring that he’s
spent loaned his campaign $115,000. That’s seems like a strong burn rate for 30 days, especially coming off of a period where less than 5k was spent. (Senator Tapio wished it clarified that while he has loaned that much to his campaign, he may not have spent that yet.)
In about another week, Tapio’s first campaign finance report for the first quarter of the year (1/1 – 3/31) should be due which will further flesh out his campaign finances, and provide some insight as to
what he’s spent why he’s loaned his campaign $115,000 on over the course of the past month.
Individuals are required to file an FD 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. If you receive a notice to file a Statement before you have raised or spent more than $5,000 on the campaign, you should notify the Clerk of the House in writing or through the electronic filing system that the campaign has not yet crossed the $5,000 threshold.
Funds loaned to a campaign from any source, including from the candidate, as well as funds expended for state filing fees, count toward the $5,000 threshold.”
Yet, Neal has no disclosure form into the Clerk of the US House at this time, despite his claim of $115k of loans
Update: Senator Tapio contacted me this morning and pointed out this passage that indicates that his report is not due until May 5th since he did not enter the race until 2018:
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).
Same page 3 as cited above. So, we have to wait another 3 1/2 weeks for the financial disclosure form, but we should see first quarter campaign finance filings by next week.
Another Update: Senator Tapio wished for me to explicitly clarify that the $115,000 is a loan put into his campaign, and does not reflect his expenditures:
I loaned my campaign over $5,000. The ethics rules indicate that exceeding the $5,000 threshold makes me a candidate, which then requires me to file a financial disclosure. Your correction correctly denotes that I have not violated the financial disclosure rules, as they clearly indicate May 5 as the actual deadline.
However, your continued use of “expenses” terminology is legally troublesome. Loans to campaigns are not an expense. By stating I have $115,000 in expenses or that I have a high burn rate is slander. The $5,000 threshold doesn’t have anything to do with expenses. Therefore, nothing factual leads you to that headline.
If you keep that headline and stand by the claim of loans are expenses, you are proving your ignorance in front of people with whom you work. Failure to correct that important factual issue, can have deleterious affects on your credibility, and can undermine the credibility of those with whom you associate.
A loan to an organization is never classified as an expense. Revenues, such as donations which will not be paid back, and expenses, legitimate expenditures of a campaign, appear on a profit and loss statement. Loans are simply classified as a liability on a balance sheet, and in no way indicate the money was either used or not used for expenditures.
And there you go.
The campaign finance report can come out anytime now. Anytime…..