Pre-election campaign finance reports were due by 4 p.m. yesterday. However, the LCRP didn't file their report until 4:30, according to the file stamp time.
Additionally, they report only $2,000 raised from a single donor and no expenditures, though Board of Elections staff said they were planning to file an amended report listing their expenses. Kelly Bensman and Jon Stainbrook indicated that their expenses were less than $1,000 and were not required to be reported.
More to follow...
I've had a chance to go through the Ohio Revised Code regarding the rules for political parties. My question had to do with the fact that the LCRP did not file a report of their expenditures. My recollection was that either spending or receipting $1,000 prompted the requirement that a complete finance report needed to be filed.
Here's what I found:
Ohio Administrative Code 111-5-04
(2) If, from the last statement filed through the twentieth day before the election, a political action committee, political contributing entity, political party, or legislative campaign fund made any expenditures to influence the results of an election and received one thousand dollars or more in contributions or made one thousand dollars or more in expenditures, then that political action committee, political contributing entity, political party, or legislative campaign fund is required to file the preelection statement required under division (A)(1) of section 3517.10 of the Revised Code.
So, if the LCRP , as a political party under Ohio law, made any expenditure to influence an election AND received $1,000 or more in contributions, they needed to file the a statement as described in ORC 3517.10.
ORC 3517.10 states:
3517.10 Statements of campaign contributions and expenditures.
(A) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every campaign committee, political action committee, legislative campaign fund, political party, and political contributing entity that made or received a contribution or made an expenditure in connection with the nomination or election of any candidate or in connection with any ballot issue or question at any election held or to be held in this state shall file, on a form prescribed under this section or by electronic means of transmission as provided in this section and section 3517.106 of the Revised Code, a full, true, and itemized statement, made under penalty of election falsification, setting forth in detail the contributions and expenditures, not later than four p.m. of the following dates:
(1) The twelfth day before the election to reflect contributions received and expenditures made from the close of business on the last day reflected in the last previously filed statement, if any, to the close of business on the twentieth day before the election;
I'm not an election law attorney, but it seems to me that the LCRP was required to provide a listing of their expenditures, no matter how much they totaled because they've obviously expended some funds to influence and election AND they admit to receiving $2,000 in contributions.
I will check back with the BOE to see when their file their amended report and will share with you what it says.