Monday, February 8, 2010

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

VIA HAND DELIVERY

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.

Sincerely,


Paul K. Ogden

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

6 comments:

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...

DI,

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...

Guest,

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.