More Illegal Union PAC Contributions Reveal Troubling Pattern
Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today filed a second complaint with New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster, asking him to expand his investigation of Governor Maggie Hassan's campaign finances after more illegal contributions came to light. NH Journal and the Concord Monitor reported this morning that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Committee on Political Education and the United Food and Commercial (UFCW) Active Ballot Club PAC each gave Hassan $10,000 donations that exceeded contribution limits.
"It is now clear that Governor Hassan has repeatedly and intentionally ignored contribution limits and solicited limitless donations from special interest groups. The governor doesn't think that she needs to follow the same rules that other candidates follow, and she has made a mockery out of New Hampshire's campaign finance laws," said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. "Governor Hassan believes that it is acceptable for her to sit in the corner office in Concord and take unlimited amounts of money from special interest groups that have business before state government. This is a clear violation of the spirit and letter of New Hampshire's finance laws."
Below is the letter that the New Hampshire Republican State Committee sent to the New Hampshire Department of Justice today:
Attorney General Joseph Foster
New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301
Dear Attorney General Joseph Foster,
On behalf of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, I am writing to request that you expand your investigation into Governor Maggie Hassan's illegal campaign fundraising scheme. According to media reports, in addition to the illegal $25,000 contribution that the governor accepted from International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) PAC, the governor's campaign also accepted two $10,000 contributions from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Committee on Political Education PAC (Exhibit A) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Active Ballot Club PAC (Exhibit B). These donations far exceed the $5,000 pre-declaration of candidacy limit that has been established in previous Department of Justice opinions.
Documents filed with the Secretary of State's office show that the SEIU Committee on Political Education PAC and the UFCW Active Ballot Club PAC both donated $10,000 to "Friends of Maggie Hassan" on June 12, 2014. This is the same day that the IBEW PAC donated $25,000 to "Friends of Maggie Hassan" and the same day that Governor Hassan officially filed her candidacy for re-election. Like the IBEW PAC, the SEIU Committee on Political Education and the UFCW Active Ballot Club PAC failed to follow New Hampshire law by disclosing any of their itemized receipts. The source of their funding is a mystery.
Further, Governor Hassan's campaign has stated in response to our previous letter that she is not required to adhere to any campaign finance limits in her pre-declaration of candidacy stage. Her interpretation clearly undermines the spirit and letter of New Hampshire law and directly contradicts the opinion provided by the Department of Justice and currently posted on the Secretary of State's website. This opinion, which provides guidance to all candidates running for state office, clearly states that candidate committees are limited to $5,000 donations before they declare their candidacy.
As Governor Hassan stated in her June 12, 2014 letter to Secretary Gardner "Friends of Maggie Hassan" was a candidate committee before and after its name was changed to "Maggie 14." (Exhibit C) Before its name change, "Friends of Maggie Hassan" served as a candidate committee making direct expenditures to support Governor Hassan's reelection campaign by paying for political expenses and a staff that included a re-election campaign manager who was named on April 11, 2014.
It is clear that Governor Hassan has operated a political fundraising operation for her re-election campaign that has not followed any of the contribution limits that are required by New Hampshire law. She has refused to follow the rules that have been laid out for every other state candidate by opinions released by the Department of Justice. In her view, she is allowed to sit in the corner office in Concord and take unlimited amounts of money from the special interest groups that have business before state government.
Given the fact that Governor Hassan's re-election campaign is currently in possession of illegal campaign contributions that could improperly influence the upcoming elections, I ask that you please complete your review in an expedited manner. I also ask that you please investigate why the union affiliated PACs mentioned in this complaint have not disclosed their itemized receipts as required by law.
New Hampshire Republican State Committee