Monday, July 20, 2015

Ritz's Alleged Finance Violations More Than Problematic

Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz is struggling to put the toothpaste back in the tube in light of the revelation last week by WRTV that her campaign may have inadvertently violated Indiana campaign finance rules in her bid to become the next Governor of Indiana.

Ritz's campaign reported far less in contributions than frontrunner for the Democratic nomination John Gregg, but, buried in the details, were a number of questionable transactions that showed the candidate for Governor's campaign raised money during the 2015 General Assembly session.  This is a legal no-no and is likely going to cost the candidate money in fines and returned contributions.

It's no wonder this came to light.  After all, my good friend Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, a WRTV political insider, has been out to politically destroy Ritz since she defeated his best buddy Tony Bennett in 2012.  The problem is that a lack of attention to detail such as this one only gives folks like Abdul grist for their attack mill.

Her haters in the punditosphere and aside, Ritz is also in a three-way fight for the Democratic nomination, and actions such as this one can and will be used against her by the two more polished and experienced candidates.  Gregg nearly defeated Governor Mike Pence in 2012, and Indiana Senator Karen Tallian is a veteran of legislative campaigns.

In the race for Governor, there is no time for amateur hour or on-the-job training.  While Ritz has supporters and a platform highlighting education, the biggest question is can she run the entire State of Indiana?  This is a pretty big mistake her campaign made, and, ultimately, the candidate is responsible.  It doesn't speak well in answering the question about her qualifications to be Governor.  After all, as I said earlier, everyone in the Statehouse is pretty much out to get her.  I'd think you'd want to go above and beyond and ensure every I was dotted and T was crossed on every report.

To her credit, as I said earlier, Ritz is taking steps to put her campaign in compliance with state law and has agreed correct problems and to return any illegal donations which she claims were unsolicited.  She also has announced changes to her campaign staff to prevent these things from happening again.  It was a strong response to something that shouldn't have happened in the first place.

I will be interested to see how this story plays out and what action the Indiana state government will take against Ritz's campaign.

As far as numbers go, Gregg raised $1.76 million for his run.  Tallian reports $23,875 raised.  Ritz had reported barely more raised at $30,529.  Pence raised $1.63 million.

3 comments:

Abdul said...

John,

She is "refunding" $900 so she raised less than $30,000. Also with the potential fines that she could be hit with, her campaign could be broke. What kind of "candidate" has less money in the bank AFTER they announce they're running?

Rosemary said...

But Tony Bennett's 100 counts of wire fraud is no big deal to Terry Curry.

Anonymous said...

Interested in knowing the campaign staff changes Ritz made. I haven't read any of this. Do you have a link? Thanks.