|Whole lotta debt! 2011 Mason Municipal Campaign Q Oct. 15, 2014 ELEC|
Nothing illegal there! Not at all! Oooooh, no.
But, these are the strange facts: Mason's 2011 Municipal Campaign (just fined $9,400 for ELEC reporting violations) is deeply in debt... to Beth and Ricky Mason!
The campaign's Quarterly Oct. 15, 2014 report, shows a $60,500 obligation to Treasurer Ricky Mason and a $276,396.47 obligation to Candidate Beth Mason. And an account balance of $979.94.
WOW. Why is the campaign carrying so much debt?
Why haven't they"forgiven" the loans to, um... themselves?
Perhaps because according to rules: if, at the conclusion of an election, a candidate or committee plans to participate in a future election, but has debt or net liabilities, the committee has two options: transfer the debt or net liabilities to the next election or retire the debt or net liabilities. If the debt or net liabilities are transferred to the next election, the committee must file quarterly reports on the appropriate quarterly reporting dates.
Once debts and liabilities are paid off, a campaign "must terminate its election fund reporting at the 20-day post-election report, or at the first post-election quarterly report," and "designate the next election in which they are participating by filing a D-1 or D-2 form. Quarterly reports would continue to be filed until the year in which the next election is held (in this example, 2015)"
So, by leaving their campaign in a mountain of debt (to themselves) but not transferring debt to the "next" election, Candidate Beth Mason uses the 'old' election fund for unethical "in kind contributions" to pay her operatives and political consultants without scrutiny.
Instead of timely filings, the Masons' quarterly filings seem to ebb and flow with the swishing and swashing of "in-kind contributions" to political operatives and consultants.
Note the campaign "Obligations" increase from the post-election filings submitted on July 19, 2012.