Lucinda Tate Denied VOE Money, But Not Why You'd Think
Over the wires from Portland Online comes news that the City has denied candidate Lucinda Tate's request for public financing certification. The reasons are detailed in the "determination letter (pdf):"
Reason for denying certification:Ooops. When you take in too much money, you have to declare it BEFORE you turn in your sheets. Tate admitted her mistake too late, albeit honestly. Of course you knew that Francois would go over Tate's certification request with the finest-tooth comb possible (and I wouldn't be surprised if Auditor Blackmer was hovering over her shoulder at least part of the time), but this is a fairly clear-cut denial. Francois specifically told me over the phone some weeks ago, that if you find mistakes you MUST clear them up BEFORE you turn in your sheets. Whether Tate found them too late or simply didn't report them until too late is unclear, but either way, the number of qualifying candidates for public financing now stands at three...and waiting.
Candidate did not file Request to Remain Eligible (Form AUD 210-P), documenting the return of two prohibited contributions and affirming the failure to comply was the result of an unintentional administrative or accounting error, prior to filing Request for Certification. This is a violation of the Campaign Finance Code and Administrative Rules and makes the candidate ineligible for certification. See relevant code and rule provisions on following page.
The Auditor also notes that there is a discrepancy in the candidate's filings regarding when the two prohibited contributions were returned. The Form AUD 210-P states that the funds were not returned until 4/4/06, which if true, is a second violation of the code and administrative rules. However, because the candidate's contribution and expenditure report filed on 3/30/06 states that the prohibited contributions were returned on 3/29/06, the Auditor has not relied on this as a basis for denial of certification.
• Request for Certification was filed at 5:00 PM on the 3/30/06 deadline
• Request to Remain Eligible was filed 4/4/06 and documented the return of two prohibited qualifying contributions in excess of $5
o Contributor 1: Sharon Streeter
-$5 qualifying contribution accepted 3/4/06, documented on AUD 210-Q sheet number 102, line 7
-$5 qualifying contribution accepted 11/1/05, documented on AUD 210-Q sheet number 103, line 7 (line blacked out by candidate)
-prohibited contribution returned and documented on AUD 210-P filed with Auditor 4/4/06 (although returned contribution is mistakenly listed on form AUD 210-P as being received on 3/4/06 instead of 11/1/05)
o Contributor 2: John Sweeney
-$5 qualifying contribution accepted 2/23/06, documented on AUD 210-Q sheet number 57, line 8
-$5 qualifying contribution accepted 3/7/06, documented on AUD 210-Q sheet number 100, line 1 (line blacked out by candidate)
-prohibited contribution returned and documented on AUD 210-P filed with Auditor 4/4/06
• Actions candidate may take to become certified: none
• Candidate may appeal this determination by filing a request for a hearing on form AUD 210-H (attached) within 7 business days of the mailing of this letter.