Contact: Matt Kozlowski, Admin@ProDane.org, (715) 571-1577
19 OF 31 CANDIDATES FAIL TO FILE APPROPRIATELY
Campaign Finance Filings Riddled with Errors
With just days remaining before the April 2nd Election, Progressive Dane members were upset to find extensive errors in many of the Campaign Finance Filings that were due Monday, March 25.
These errors range from egregious to minor, but in their totality prove the lack of respect that many campaigns pay to financial disclosure. These filings exist to help voters make their decision at the polls, to keep candidates honest about where their contributions are coming from, and to prevent fraud and abuses of campaign funds. When campaigns fail to complete their forms correctly, or fail to file at all, they are doing a disservice to Madison voters.
“As a voter in Madison, it’s disheartening to see that campaign finance disclosures are treated with such a lack of respect,” said Matt Kozlowski, Progressive Dane Treasurer. “Candidates don’t seem to take it seriously at all. As Progressives, we value the right of voters to have accessible, easy to understand information about the sources of campaign funding.”
Following initial reviews of the campaign finance reports, Progressive Dane members have identified the following problems:
- Candidates failing to disclose employment information for donors aggregating over $200 in contributions.
- Failing to disclose conduit contributions.
- Accepting excessive contributions when claiming exemptions from filing.
- Candidates filing disclosure forms in 5pt font, making their submissions almost impossible to review.
- Reported balances are inconsistent with statements and messaging from campaigns.
- Failing to file reports before reporting deadlines
- Candidates failing to file at all.
“The intent of Progressive Dane is not to have these candidates removed from the ballot, or to face any penalties harsher than a fine at this point,” said Mike Martez Johnson, Progressive Dane Co-Chair. “There are policies that can be implemented to prevent these errors in coming elections, and it’s our responsibility as Progressives to make sure that happens.”
Some of the solutions Progressive Dane is proposing include:
- Require candidates to file reports on the standard, state-provided form to ensure voters are able to read and understand financial disclosures.
- Requiring that the Clerk’s office actively report when candidates fail to file adequately or at all.
- Increase the frequency of annual audits of campaign committees and publish any and all findings.
- Require reports to be typed or presented in a clearly legible fashion.
- Increase the frequency of campaign finance reporting in order to ensure voters receive financial disclosures in a timely manner.
“These solutions can be implemented at little to no cost to the taxpayer, and would allow this information to be more easily and frequently accessible,” says Kozlowski, who has committed to making himself available to local candidates who have questions about their filings.
Twelve candidates filed on non-standard forms, making their filings difficult to read. The following candidates for Madison Common Council, County Board of Supervisors, and Madison Metropolitan School Board have more serious errors in their reports:
- Paul Skidmore, D9 – Failure to disclose conduit contributions, accepting excessive contributions when claiming exemption from filing
- Bryan Post, D2 – Failure to disclose employment information for donors aggregating over $200, illegible filings
- Sarah Manski, SB3 – Failure to file
- Steve King, D7 – Failing to disclose source of conduit contributions
- Spencer White, D17 – Failing to disclose employment information for donors aggregating over $200
- Matt Phair, D20 –Accepting committee contributions in excess of contribution limits, illegible filings
- Lauren Cnare, D3 – Failing to aggregate donor totals, Failed to file before filing deadline
- Timothy Bruer, D14 – Reporting committee contributions as contributions from individuals, In-Kind contributions without disbursement information
- Larry Palm, D12 – Illegible filings
- Anita Weier, D18 – Illegible filings
- Mark Clear, D19 – Illegible filings
- Mary Kolar, CB1 – Illegible filings
Progressive Dane is a Progressive Political Party in Dane County, Wisconsin.
PO Box 1222, Madison, WI 53701