Monday, February 8, 2010

Request to Marion County Election Board to Investigate Citizens For Wishard Political Action Committee (With Update)


February 8, 2010

Mark Sullivan
Chair, Marion County Election Board
City-County Building
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Re: Complaint against Citizens for Wishard Political Action Committee

Dear Chairman Sullivan:

Please consider this a complaint against Citizens for Wishard (C4W) and a request for investigation into expenditures listed on C4W’s campaign finance reports.

In conjunction with the Wishard referendum campaign, the C4W only listed two expenditures both to Hirons & Company (hereinafter “Hirons”), a local public relations firm:

9/27/2009 to 10/9/2009 $284,871.36 to Hirons & Company
10/9/2009 to 12/31/2009 $510,316.23 to Hirons & Company
Total $845,187.59

Almost certainly C4W made several payments to Hirons during the period listed above. C4W should report each of those payments and the dates they were made, not list a total for those periods.

More important, it is very likely that C4W's payments to Hirons were for reimbursement for Wishard campaign expenses. C4W should not be permitted to use a third party vendor to conceal who is receiving campaign expenditures. If the Election Board allows this practice to stand, it will invite candidates to engage in a similar practice to conceal campaign expenditures through using a third party vendor, resulting in an undermining of the integrity of our campaign finance laws.

I would ask that you investigate my complaint and take appropriate action so that a precedent is established that the practice of using a third party vendor to conceal campaign expenditures will not be permitted.


Paul K. Ogden

cc. Secretary of State Todd Rokita
Update: According to LinkedIn, Hirons is the PR firm that employs Greg Ballard, Jr., Mayor Ballard's son.


Indy Student said...

Paul, thanks for doing this. As I believe you mentioned over at Advance Indiana, the Marion County Election Board does not have a form for citizens to fill out to file a complaint. It must be in the proper, legal form.

Downtown Indy said...

I hope they don't dump your request on a technicality:

"$510.316.23" vs "$510,316.23"

Paul K. Ogden said...


I'm sure they can figure it out.

Guest said...

Good for you. I also wish there was some remedy for being able to write a referendum such as Wishard did which was lacking information as to the costs to property taxpayers should the scheme go awry.

Paul K. Ogden said...


They snuck a provision in the bill authorizing the referendum that would allow them to avoid putting this information into the referendum. There is a legal requirement that they provide the information. They got an exception to that law.

Advance Indiana said...

I guess hiring Greg Ballard's son really paid off big time for Hirons.