The Ethics Board Works, and Campaign Limits Safe for This Race

Yesterday, Chaka Fattah agreed to return money that he received before he declared his candidacy, but was clearly a candidate, that was in excess of campaign donation limits:

By U.S. REP. Chaka Fattah improperly used his mayoral exploratory committee to cover $36,767 in campaign expenses, the Board of Ethics said yesterday.

Fattah has agreed to reimburse the money to the exploratory committee. Eventually the money will be returned to the individual donors.

Shane Creamer, executive director of the board, said Fattah's exploratory committee was allowed to accept contributions above the city's contribution limits before he became an official candidate. But he couldn't spend that money to influence his campaign.

As the Daily News first reported in February, Fattah used his exploratory account to pay for his Web site, his mayoral-announcement festivities and videos. The board considered those to be campaign expenses.

Fattah looks like he clearly thought he was going to get the campaign finance laws overturned, making this all moot. Well, he didn't, and they aren't. This hasn't been a secret- in fact- Fattah has generally been up front about this stuff. He was, however, wrong, and now he is returning the money. (To his credit, Creamer said his cooperation with them was 'tremendous.')

Which means... the ethics board actually works? That is pretty cool.

Yes it does. Devil's

Yes it does.

Devil's advocate question is ... who would have handled this beforehand?

Also, does this preclude anyone else going after him? Does the ethics board subvert criminal charges by the legal department?

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Staff member of Longacre for 5th Council District.

Lock him up!

Lock him up! (Sarcasm).

It is not a criminal statute. Someone can sue for an injunction, as far as I can tell.

Since he is not violating the law, then, yes, it is pretty hard for anyone to go after him.

Hmm, let me try to rephrase

Hmm, let me try to rephrase my question.

Say there was no ethics board. Who would be the watchdog for what Fattah did? Does the Ethics board subvert their authority and keep them from going after him normally?

When Campbell was fined, who fined her?
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Staff member of Longacre for 5th Council District.

If there was no ethics

If there was no ethics board, someone would probably have to sue privately for relief.

Carol Campbell violated a State law.

Ok. So without the ethics

Ok. So without the ethics board, the campaign laws the city passed didn't have a way for the City itself to enforce them?
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Staff member of Longacre for 5th Council District.

I guess I don't really get

I guess I don't really get the point?

They provided for enforcement. We have an ethics board.

There was no point. I was

There was no point. I was just asking questions in regards to how the process works.

No ulterior motives. ;)
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Staff member of Longacre for 5th Council District.
Longacre Website

Bill 060629

Bill 060629 gave the Ethics Board oversight of the local campaign finance laws.

WWGjr

Thanks! ---------------------

Thanks!

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Staff member of Longacre for 5th Council District.
Longacre Website

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