Just one day after the Glenda Ritz gubernatorial campaign revealed it had only raised $30,000 so far this year, there are now new questions surrounding that money.
Call 6 Investigates dug into the records Thursday and found possible violations of state election law.
As is required for all statewide candidates, the Ritz campaign filed a mandatory finance report earlier this week with the Indiana Election Division.
Several sources and records suggest the Ritz campaign may have violated state election law by accepting donations while the Indiana General Assembly was meeting.
The specific law prohibits a person serving as a legislator or a statewide office holder from soliciting or accepting campaign contributions – and from conducting other fundraising activities – during the regular legislative session.
This year, the legislature was at work between Jan. 6 and April 29.
A look into Ritz’s campaign fundraising filing shows that her campaign received 28 contributions totaling $8,775 while the legislature was in session . . .So, yeah, Indiana has this law that says you can't solicit and accept campaign contributions while the General Assembly is in session. The arbitrary days the rule applied this year extended from January 6 to April 29. Mike Pence raised over $20,000 the first few days of January before the barred period commenced and over $30,000 during the first two weeks of May after the period ended. Glenda Ritz received 28 contributions during this artificially-created period totaling $8,775 so she's a felon, she must be prosecuted and forced from political office. If anyone believes that any of the lawmakers or statewide elected officials aren't raising campaign dough during that supposed period campaign contributions are barred, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I will sell you. They're just smart enough not to record dates on their campaign finance reports those contributions were solicited or received that would fun afoul of the law. There's also a law that bars casino operators from making campaign contributions, but the lobbyists and law firms who represent their interests before state officials are among the largest campaign contributors in the state. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how the law is evaded, but nobody will ever be prosecuted for skirting the law.
The law is a total joke when you think about it. Decisions regarding legislation considered during any legislative session are made months ahead of the start of the legislative session when the drafting process begins. Governors of all political stripes condition their support for legislation approved by the legislature based upon a financial commitment to raise or contribute funds for his re-election so the period contributions are barred has no impact on his fundraising activities whatsoever. Glenda Ritz doesn't have a vote or veto over any legislative decision, but she's the one the law will be used to ensnare to finish her off. The education profiteers who control the state will finally exact their revenge for defeating their stooge, Tony Bennett, who got a free get-out-of-jail card after committing multiple felonies by using employees and resources of his political office for the purpose of raising campaign contributions, but Glenda Ritz is the bad guy. See how the system works for the corrupt insiders, folks?
UPDATE: The Indianapolis Star joins the fray. Ritz's folks say the contributions were received prior to the period in question but not deposited until later. A state elections official says that doesn't matter.
. . . Ritz campaign spokesman Pat Terrell said the contributions in question were actually received before the legislative session, but weren’t deposited until after the session began.
But that may still be a violation.
“The critical moment is when the check or cash is deposited into a bank account,” said Bradley King, co-director of the state election division . . .