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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: Sunshine Law

Gridley: It’s a state law

Coeur d’Alene city attorney Mike Gridley says the campaign finance law that Sen. Mike Jorgenson may have violated when he ran a $1,090 ad for Coeur d’Alene city council challenger Jim Brannon is a state law, not a city ordinance. Idaho Code 67-6610A limits contributions by an individual, corporation or political committee to $1,000 each for the primary and general elections; that limit applies to legislative, city, county or district judge races. A violation can bring a civil fine of up to $250, and potentially criminal penalties if it was a knowing violation. “It sounds like he is claiming that he didn’t know,” Gridley said. “All we’re doing is enforcing Idaho Code that our fine Legislature has passed, and that’s applicable to all elections.” However, the limit may not apply if Jorgenson’s ad is considered an independent expenditure; if that’s the case, the disclosure reports he’s arranging to file with the city may clear up the violation.

“We won’t know until we get his filing,” Gridley said. “If it’s an independent expenditure, he’s not limited by the thousand dollar amount. If he coordinates it with a campaign, then it is a contribution to that campaign, and it would violate the $1,000 and would need to be reflected on the candidate’s sunshine report, too.” Jorgenson said he did the ad on his own; he told Eye on Boise he got the list of roughly 50 campaign supporters to list in the ad from Brannon’s campaign. “I got it through his campaign headquarters - it’s available to anybody that walks in there,” Jorgenson said. “I just called them.”

Denney now says he’ll allow full hearing on Sunshine Law expansion

The Idaho House speaker who single-handedly killed legislation this year to require personal financial disclosure from the state’s elected officials now says he won’t do it again. “In the upcoming session, if it comes back, I think we will try to make sure that it gets the full hearing and see where it goes,” said House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale.

The bipartisan bill, which passed the Senate unanimously and was drafted in part by Gov. Butch Otter’s office, died this year when Denney held it at his desk and never assigned it to a committee for a hearing. Recently, Idaho was again ranked last in the nation for its financial disclosure requirements for lawmakers. Jon Hanian, spokesman for Otter, said, “We’ve worked on this issue in the past and we’re going to continue to work on it.” Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, said, “I applaud the speaker for his willingness to make progress on this legislative concept in the upcoming year, and look forward to working with” the House on the measure. You can read my full story here at www.spokesman.com.

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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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