Thursday, January 2, 2014

Star Press Reports Delaware County Election Board Fines Referendum PACs

From the Muncie Star-Press:

The Delaware County Election Board on Monday voted to impose $1,000 fines on two political action committees formed in support of last month’s local referendum.

However, those fines will be reduced to $250 if the PACS — Muncie Stakeholders for Student Buses, led by Muncie Community Schools Superintendent Tim Heller, and Voices of the Unheard, believed to consist of local school bus drivers — are up to date in their filing of finance reports by Jan. 15.

The Muncie Stakeholders group has filed one such report — reflecting spending of $3,569 — but did so 46 days after a deadline, according to Will Statom, county Republican Party chairman and his party’s representative on the election board.

Since their filing as a political action committee, Voices of the Unheard have not been heard from at all, at least by the election board.

The referendum — which sought a tax hike on behalf of Muncie Community Schools — was rejected, with nearly 54 percent of voters casting “no” votes.

“They asked the election board to hold this election for them,” Delaware County Clerk Steve Craycraft said. “We can’t get them to do their part, which is basically just submitting a finance report.”

“This is just part of the process when you solicit public funds for your cause,” Statom said, noting that the officers of PACs are “personally responsible” to pay such fines under state law.

Board President Denise Moore, the Democratic appointment on the board, joined Statom and Craycraft in voting to impose the fines.