I was perusing Mark Martin’s Campaign Contribution & Expenditure (CC&E) Reports today when I noticed this in Martin’s July report:
(click to increase ironic beauty)
Now, as you may well know, Arkansas Code Annotated § 7-6-203 (2010) limits the total contributions that a PAC may make to a candidate to $2000 per election (i.e. $2000 for the primary, $2000 for the general).
It shall be unlawful for any person to make a contribution to a candidate for any public office, except the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer of State, Auditor of State, Attorney General, and Commissioner of State Lands, or to any person acting on the candidate’s behalf, which in the aggregate exceeds two thousand dollars ($2,000) per election.
(“Person” is defined to include PACs under § 7-6-201.) As both of the contributions here were indicated as for the general election, Martin’s CC&E would seem to be indicating that something untoward was going on here. That could be a problem; the CC&E forms clearly state that “[t]he law provides for a maximum penalty of $2,000 per violation and/or imprisonment for not more than one year for any person who knowingly or willfully fails to comply with the provisions of A.C.A. § 7-6-201 through § 7-6-227.”
What’s more, a quick glance at the Secretary of State’s list of registered PACs — a PAC must register under § 7-6-215 before it may solicit or contribute funds — shows that Arkansas Victory Fund is not registered.
(click to increase gap where “Arkansas Victory Fund” would go)
Could it be that Martin, who is currently claiming that Pat O’Brien violated federal law, actually violated state election laws?
Or is it simply that Martin, who is currently claiming that a now-corrected clerical error by O’Brien’s office is a big deal, committed a clerical error? Either way, there’s some sweet, sweet delicious irony right there.
In the interest of expediting Martin’s attempt to explain himself, I tried to track down the answer to these questions today. From what I’ve heard, this was, in fact, a mistake by Martin in filling out his form; the donation should have been from the Republican Party of Arkansas, which makes sense given that the Arkansas Victory Fund address is ARGOP headquarters. (The $2500 donation from a political party is acceptable.)
I also hear through the grapevine that Martin will file an amended report to correct this error (more than a month after the fact). What I want to know, however, is what Martin would have done had an intrepid and rakishly handsome liberal blogger not brought this to his attention?
You’re welcome, Mark.