State House News Service is reporting that the United Food and Commercial Workers Federal PAC gave illegal contributions to the state accounts of Deval Patrick and the Democratic Party amongst others.
The federal political action committee of a major food union made illegal state campaign finance contributions between 2006 and 2008 and has paid $3,500 to “resolve the matter,” according to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Active Ballot Club made prohibited contributions of $5,000 to Gov. Deval Patrick’s Victory Fund on May 31, 2006; $15,000 to the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee’s account on Oct. 13, 2006; $5,000 to the Kenneth Donnelly Committee on Nov. 4, 2007; and $10,500 to the Douglas Belanger Committee in March and August of 2008, according to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
State laws do not allow federal PACs to make contributions to Massachusetts candidates and political party committees. The contributions cited by OCPF were disclosed in Federal Election Commission reports. State campaign finances regulators said recipients of the funds were unaware they were from a prohibited source.
The notion that the recipients didn’t know these contributions were from a prohibited source is hogwash. The donations to the individual candidates were well over the $500 state limit. And the $15,000 to the state committee as reported in OCPF is well over the $5000 limit that the state party can accept. None of these committees refunded the money as is required by law. How do I know, because the “expenditures” search I did for United Food only shows these returned expenditures.
The contributions themselves were reported, at least in the case of the Democratic State Committee.
Instead of being cutesy and asking Charlie Baker questions, perhaps John Walsh would like to explain how his committee kept $20,000 in illegal contributions, including $15,000 over the legal limit.