The Editor of the Huntsville Times wanted a correction, it took me 1 day to admit my mistake. I then laid out 7 mistakes they have made this election cycle and asked for corrections. They haven’t. Will they ever get the stories right?
Additionally The Huntsville Times is showing it’s incompetence by the “bungling” of the following story…
The Huntsville Times sucks something fierce and Brian LeCompte continues his consistent cries for candidates to follow the law in this state. The Times should find out what LeCompte makes and offer to match his salary to get a competent investigative reporter on staff…
You gotta love how the Huntsville Times approaches violations of campaign finance laws. They are “paperwork errors” or the poor candidates just “bungle” them. The “bungles” in question are that Johnson’s 50-45 day primary statement wasn’t signed or notarized and (more seriously) that his 10-5 day primary statement wasn’t filed until eight days after the primary (it was due no later than five days before the primary).
I’m afraid I have a different interpretation of the law than Mr. Johnson. From Section 17-5-8 of the Code of Alabama (emphasis mine):
a) Each principal campaign committee or political action committee shall file with the Secretary of State or judge of probate, as designated in Section 17-5-9, reports of contributions and expenditures at the following times in any year in which an election is held:
(1) Regardless of whether the candidate has opposition in any election, between 50 and 45 days before and between 10 and five days before the date of any primary, special, runoff, or general election for which a political action committee or principal campaign committee receives contributions or makes expenditures with a view toward influencing such election’s result.
I’m certainly not an elections lawyer, so let’s pretend I’m way off base here and Johnson wasn’t required to file, as he claims. If you aren’t required to then why do it? If you’re going to do it voluntarily then why not do it right? The intent of the 10-5 day report is to get them posted online before the election so the public can inspect them and know where a candidate’s money is coming from. Granted, Johnson did not have opposition in the primary, but he was an official candidate, his name was on the ballot, and a law’s a law.
Read the rest here.
The Times has an obligation to get this story AND the story about Jeff Enfinger’s campaign finance infractions right.
These are broken laws. Not mistakes, paperwork errors or bungles…
Here is some info on Enfinger’s issues…
How does The Huntsville Times suck in coverage of the SD-07 race in 2010? Great question… (UPDATE: Brian at flashpointblog just wrote a post on some of this. I will steal his info)
1. Jeff Enfinger decided not to run for office in ’06 because of a sex scandal involving his fiance’, co-worker and her husband. Drugs were involved as well. This for some reason does not warrant a mention in The Huntsville Times “coverage” of the race.
2. Surprise! Jeff Enfinger ran a PAC called 2006 that he never disbanded and never filed reports for, but this doesn’t warrant a mention in any of the Huntsville Times coverage of PAC problems.
3. Jeff Enfinger has claimed in a Huntsville Times story that he disbanded the 2006 PAC, he has not. He claimed he would file reports for that PAC, he has not.
Enfinger also chairs a PAC, with Sen. “Walking” Wendell Mitchell as treasurer, named 2006 PAC. The PAC last filed a report with the AL Secretary of State’s office in 2006 and showed a balance of $29,377.34. By Enfinger’s own admission the PAC has unreported contributions and expenditures. At this time there is no way to know how much, if any, funds are still held by the PAC. Enfinger told The Huntsville Times that the PAC was disbanded, but it remains an active PAC. He also said he would file a post-due report by the end of last week, but no report has been filed.
4. Jeff Enfinger never filed his last campaign disclosure form when he decided not to run for office in ’06 even though he was the head of the campaign finance committee that makes the rules over such things. He claimed he gave his money to State Senator Gerald Dial, yet Dial shows no receipt of those funds…
Enfinger filed a post-due statement to account for his funds from 2006. The statement said he gave $20,000 to Sen. Gerald Dial. However, Dial’s campaign finance records from 2006 do not show that he received any contributions from Enfinger. Only one of them can be right.