Created By: Sylvia Scott on 04/16/2008 at 09:25 AM
Category: Campaign Finance Rulings
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
acting as the
SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE DISCLOSURE
DATE: April 11, 2008 OPINION NO. 2007-646
RE: In the matter of Bobby Jindal and the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee
The Louisiana Board of Ethics, in its capacity as the Supervisory Committee on Campaign Finance Disclosure (the “Board”), pursuant to the provisions of Section 1511.4 of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act (CFDA), conducted an investigation to determine whether Bobby Jindal and the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee accurately reported in-kind contributions received from the Louisiana Republican Party. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Board filed the following charges:
That Bobby Jindal, in his capacity as a candidate for Governor in the October 20, 2007 election, and his campaign committee, the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee, may have violated Section 1505.1C of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act (“CFDA”) (La. R.S. 18:1505.1C) by failing to accurately disclose in-kind contributions received from the Republican Party of Louisiana on the ninetieth day prior to the primary election report by July 23, 2007.
However, the Board, with the cooperation of Bobby Jindal and the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee, makes the following:
FINDINGS OF FACT
Bobby Jindal was the successful candidate for Governor in the October 20, 2007 election.
Bobby Jindal established and designated the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee to maintain the campaign’s records and to file his campaign finance reports. Therefore, under R.S. 18:1491.3 the campaign committee shall report in lieu of the candidate all information required to be reported. In 2007, Rolfe McCollister served as the treasurer for the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee.
3.On June 4, 2007 and June 13, 2007, the Louisiana Republican Party made expenditures totaling $118,264.76 on direct mail pieces in support of Bobby Jindal’s candidacy.
4. On July 23, 2007, the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee timely filed its 90th day prior to the primary campaign finance disclosure (90-P) report.
The expenditure by the Louisiana Republican Party was not disclosed on Bobby Jindal’s 90-P report. It is stipulated that the expenditures by the Louisiana Republican Party totaling $118,264.76 were in-kind contributions. Thereafter, the 90-P report was amended on September 7, 2007 to properly disclose the receipt of in-kind contributions from the Louisiana Republican Party in the amount of $118,264.76.
II.The CFDA defines a contribution as including “in-kind” contributions which are defined as follows:
Contributions in-kind made for any of the purposes stated in this Paragraph, having an attributable monetary value in excess of twenty-five dollars. . . Contributions shall also include expenditures made by any person in cooperation, consultation, or concert, with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, his authorized political committees, or their agents and shall be considered to be a contribution to such candidate. R.S. 18:1483(6)(b)(i).
R.S. 18:1495.4B(2) requires disclosure all contributions received between the 191st day and the 100th day prior to the election on a report due 90 days prior the primary election.
R.S. 18:1495.2B(2) provides that the candidate and his campaign treasurer shall be responsible for any errors or omissions in the records or reports of expenditures by a third party. The statute provides in pertinent part:
(2) When any person who is not the campaign treasurer or a deputy treasurer of a candidate makes any expenditure for the candidate, he shall transmit directly to the campaign treasurer or a deputy treasurer all information concerning the expenditure required by this Chapter. The candidate and his campaign treasurer, if any, shall be responsible under the provisions of this Chapter for any errors or omissions in the records or reports of such expenditures.
Furthermore, R.S. 18:1495.4A provides:
R.S. 18:1505.1C provides that the failure to accurately disclose information required by the CFDA is a violation of the CFDA.
The candidate and his campaign treasurer, if any, shall be responsible for filing a report of all information required in this Section and R.S. 18:1495.5 with the supervisory committee at the times required in this Section. The candidate and his campaign treasurer, if any, shall certify, in each report, that the information contained in the report is true and correct to the best of their knowledge, information and belief, that no expenditures have been made and no contributions have been received that are not reported therein, and that no information required by this Part has been deliberately omitted.
Candidates for governor are “major office” candidates. R.S. 18:1483(11). Major office candidates are subject to a $100 per day late fee, up to a maximum of $2,500 for each day that a campaign finance report is not accurately filed. R.S. 18:1505.4.A(2)(a)(i) and R.S. 18:1505.4B.
It is the opinion of the Board that the Louisiana Republican Party made an in-kind contribution of $118,264.76 to the Bobby Jindal Campaign on June 4, 2007 and June 13, 2007. The Bobby Jindal Campaign stipulates that the direct mail made by the Louisiana Republican Party to support Mr. Jindal’s candidacy for governor was an in-kind contribution to the campaign and should have been disclosed on the 90-P report filed by the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee. Accordingly, it is the opinion of the Board that Bobby Jindal, the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee, and the campaign’s treasurer, Rolfe McCollister, did not accurately file the 90-P report until September 7, 2007 when the report was amended to disclose the in-kind contribution from the Louisiana Republican Party.
The CFDA provides that a civil penalty of $100, per day up to a maximum of $2,500, may be assessed for each day that a campaign finance report is not accurately filed. It is the opinion of the Board that a $2,500 civil penalty shall be imposed on Bobby Jindal and the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee for failing to accurately file the 90-P campaign finance disclosure report as set forth in the CFDA.
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Board finds as a matter of fact and a conclusion of law that Bobby Jindal and the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee violated R.S. 18:1505.1C of the Louisiana Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by failing to accurately file the 90-P campaign finance disclosure report.
For the foregoing reasons:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that a two thousand five hundred dollar ($2,500) civil penalty, payable to the Treasurer of the State of Louisiana, be and is hereby imposed against Bobby Jindal and the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee.
By Order of the Board this 10th day of April 2008.
Did not participate. s/John W. Greene
Henry C. Perret, Jr. Chairman Judge John W. Greene, Vice-Chairman
s/Herbert V. Baptiste, Sr. s/Clayton Davis
Dr. Herbert V. Baptiste, Sr. Clayton Davis
s/Joanne C. Ferriot s/Gwendolyn P. Hamilton
Dr. Joanne C. Ferriot Gwendolyn P. Hamilton
Absent and did not participate. s/C. W. Lowrey, M.D.
Michael T. Johnson Dr. Cedric Lowrey
s/Joseph Maselli s/Ernest Douglas Peterson
Joseph Maselli Dr. Ernest Douglas Peterson
s/Dolores R. Spikes
Dr. Dolores R. Spikes
The undersigned (a) stipulates to the facts found by the Board; (b) waives the procedural requirements contained in R.S. 18:1511.1 et seq.; (c) admits to the violation of R.S. 18:1505.1C described above; (d) consents to the publication of this opinion; (e) agrees to comply with the conditions and orders set forth in this opinion; and, (f) agrees not to seek judicial review of the findings and actions taken in this opinion.
s/William C. Potter 3/14/08
Bobby Jindal, Rolfe McCollister, Jr., Date
and the Bobby Jindal Campaign Committee
Through their attorney of record
William C. Potter