Monday, February 06, 2023

ELECTION: Time for accounting

| December 22, 2010 9:00 PM

Contributions received by or on behalf of a candidate to pay for a post-election lawsuit to challenge or uphold election the result are subject to reporting requirements and contribution limits.

Please, don't take my word for it, because the preceding sentence was written by none other than Timothy Hurst, the Chief Deputy of the Idaho Secretary of State. I found it in a letter that was sent to the Coeur d'Alene city attorney, Mike Gridley, earlier this year. In other words, when the city of Coeur d'Alene gave Mike Kennedy $69,000, they were knowingly and deliberately giving him a campaign contribution in excess of the $1,000 limit.

On page nine of the Idaho Campaign Disclosure Manual, the rule is clear. It says "Current officeholders are considered Candidates until the Candidate filing deadline for the next election for his or her office." In other words, Mike Kennedy is a candidate, and will remain a candidate until the next election for his seat.

The only way the city can argue that the $69,000 was not a campaign donation is that they claim they are just settling a lawsuit. This claim is dubious at best, but if the city is right that this convoluted scheme is by some fluke legal, it would be a loophole you could drive a freight train through. Let's look at a future election use for a minute.

"Gee, Senator, I sure would like to help you more, but that pesky law says I can only give you $1,000. Wait! I just thought of something! Just have your campaign sue me for some silly reason, like I didn't hold a big enough fundraiser for you at the country club last week, and to settle the lawsuit, I can give your campaign $50,000. It worked for the city, so it will work for us!"

And to think that some people still wonder why the city's nickname is "Corrupt d'Alene."


Kootenai County

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