March 9, 2006

Personal PAC and Campaign Finance reports

There seems to be some confusion, judging by some comments I've received, over this situation and how it works.

Personal PAC is an independent political action committee whose purpose is to defend a woman's right to choose. They, like any outside group, can decide to do a calling campaign such as the one they did against Rumler, or some other campaign activity, and do so at any time.

If and when they do something whose purpose is to benefit a specific candidate however, they must then report it to the Illinois Board of Elections as an in-kind donation to that candidate's campaign, which in this case was the Jacobs campaign.

As I understand it, the campaign which benefits from these efforts on it's behalf is not responsible for reporting this expense to the Illinois Board of Elections, rather the outside group making the in-kind donation is. Personal PAC reported its phone calls promoting Jacobs while misrepresenting Rumler's views as $27,000 worth of in-kind donations benefiting the Jacobs campaign. Peronal PAC reported this to the Illinois Board of Elections, not the Jacobs campaign.

The campaign activity and the reporting of the in-kind donation is not necessarily coordinated with the campaign it is designed to help. As a matter of fact, if it were, it would be a criminal offense. Coordination of the activities of an outside group with the campaign of the candidate it is designed to help is a huge no-no and someone might end up in jail.

While the outside group or PAC is forbidden from coordinating their activities with the campaign they're trying to assist, there is no rule against letting the campaign know about their plans ahead of time and getting the campaign's tacit blessing to run such a phone campaign, do a mailing, or whatever the activity may be.

The outside group and the campaign can't strategize or otherwise work together on the project and there is supposed to be a so-called firewall between the campaign and the group doing the outside campaigning.

Karl Allemeier quotes the head of Personal PAC in the Dispatch, "The candidate doesn't oversee it," Mr. Cosgrave said. "It is all done by me through contracted companies."

The key word here is "oversee". The candidate who benefits from such efforts can't have any part in planning, running, or "overseeing" the operation, though they may be, and likely are, fully aware of it.

Theoretically, it's possible for the campaign which these outside efforts are designed to help to have no knowledge of the group's activities on it's behalf. And it's possible that a campaign might actually feel that a group's "help" does more harm than good and might try to discourage them. But in the real world, campaigns are generally aware of and informed about what such groups are planning to do.

Any group who gives more than $500.00 to a campaign within 30 days of an election must file an A-1 form. As soon as that form was filed by Peronal PAC on Tuesday March 6th and showed up on the Jacobs campaign finance report, the Jacobs campaign surely knew what was going on, if not much sooner.

Personal PAC reported their in-kind donation in the amount of $27,043.93 to the Jacobs campaign to the Illinois Board of Elections on Monday March 6th.

Any statements that Jacobs has made about the matter must be judged against the information above.


At 3/09/2006 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, that sure is a thin line Dope. You can tacitly bless the Slander? I'm betting dollars to donuts that Mike did more than a little nudging to get this Pac to do such a thing. Think about it, why would a Pac spend 27K against someone who had 2K in the bank?

Another point here dope, if the Pac wanted to Slander Rumler that's one thing, but to be so coordinated to be pushing Jacobs (to the point of handing out yard signs) doesn't make sense.

I ask you this Dope. If Personal Pac had slandered a candidate in a three party race, whose financial report would it show up on? What I'm saying is that you don't have to buy the line that simply because the calls benefitted Jacobs he had to accept financial responsibility for them.

This whole thing doesn't add up Dope. You're going to have a hard time convincing me that Personal Pac decided on their own accord to bash a relatively unknown (and huge underdog) candidate simply because he didn't return their survey. Mike and Denny played no part in this???

At 3/09/2006 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about that (at least) one voter who was asked if they wanted a Jacobs yard sign at the end of the phone call? Does that connect the PAC to his campaign? It all seems a little shady to me.

At 3/09/2006 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terry Cosgrove is a pro. He plays by the rules. That's his job. When candidates don't responsd to surveys, they invite these actions.
This interest group action is very common these days. All the huffing and puffing about who did it and how unfair it is and finger pointing at the Jacobs campaign is grossly unfair. Time for apologies, folks. If Rumler's campaign had been the beneficiary, you would be celebrating and saying , "A major pro choice group in Illinois is backing Rumler."

You can't have it both ways, folks.

At 3/09/2006 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope, I can't find any other cases (on the Personal Pac's finance report) where they gave anywhere close to 27,000 to an individual candidate. Why Mike Jacobs?

Dope, can you see if it is common to spend that much money on a relatively small-time campaign (and candidate) as Rumler?

At 3/09/2006 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumler took a calculated risk in not filling out the questions. He didn't want to hurt his catholic base. It was all OK untill the phone calls started. My understanding is that Rumler has generated so much press on the issue that a pro life campaign will be done to all the catholics against Rumler.

At 3/09/2006 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you people going to cry when the right to life group comes in this district in the General election. They have been doing this for years. Not giving the money to the needy. I bet Jacobs won't cry like a baby.

At 3/09/2006 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most Dems are for the right to choose. All the other candidates probably filled out the questions.

At 3/09/2006 5:40 PM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

Asking people if they would like a yard sign is standard operating procedure for groups calling in a race with an endorsed candidates.

The group (I am most familiar with labor groups) will contact voters and go through their script. They will then sometimes ask if the voter wants a yard sign. Usually the group has ordered their own signs, or has gotten a stack from the campaign, and they will then distribute those to supporters.

At 3/09/2006 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't confuse federal election laws with state election laws. I am not aware of ANY State of Illinois campaign finance law other than disclosure that would apply to this situation. I am also not aware of any coordination between PersonalPac and the candidate, but even if there was, it would not be a minor legal problem, let alone a serious one.

At 3/09/2006 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When is the secret weapon "the whip" comming to save the day for Rumler. If he doesn't come I whill eat the whip on a sunday.

At 3/10/2006 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Highxlr8r, the point is the Jacobs certainly knew about the attack campaign. The money was on his books. Furthermore, these groups don't order the yard signs on their own, they get them from the candidate.

I love how Mike keeps saying that Rumler is "crying" about this issue. The choice of words is at about the right maturity level for Jacobs. Does anyone remember how loud Mikey was crying when Beydler suggested that the people at the pork plant meeting were voting for Rumler? I think he went on about that for weeks. He kept accusing Beydler of being a "news maker upper". Just imagine how much b*tching he'd do if someone slandered him, like they did against Rumler.

At 3/10/2006 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was nice to see the mail from Jacobs with the whole Democratic team. Obama is supposed to come to town for Jacobs also. Since Obama is from this state it would help Mike even more than the whip from Maryland.

At 3/10/2006 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama wouldn't come near the disaster that is Appointed Mike Jacobs.

Nice tactic Mike. Put the democratic team on there, none of them having formally endorsed you. Another easy way to circumvent the democratic process and try to fool the voters into thinking that your IQ is actually over 90.

At 3/10/2006 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike is the only candidate in the race for senate that has a masters degree. This proves that mike is the smarter of the two.

At 3/10/2006 3:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Mike Jacobs understands the day-to-day concerns of people in the Quad Cities because he's always been one of us. Mike is part of the Democratic Team getting results for regular people. He deserves our support."

-- Congressman Lane Evans

Sure sounds like an endorsement to me!

Wait till next week!

At 3/10/2006 4:09 PM, Blogger Youngvoter said...

Don't try to get into a 'who is smarter debate', everyone knows how that will turnout.

Rumler = Summa Cum Laude

Jacobs = "took the pretties girl in the stands home with me"

What an idiot.

At 3/10/2006 4:27 PM, Anonymous Bill said...

Isn't it nice that after 25 years of marriage Senator Jacobs still thinks his wife was the prettiest girl in the stands? If that makes him an idiot then I'm all for him!

At 3/10/2006 4:41 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well, I was going to point out that being incredibly schmaltzy and sappy doesn't necessarily mean someone's stupid. That's true.
Willing to say nauseating things in order to pander to voters, maybe, but not necessarily stupid.

But since he's rarely able to see his wife, I think a few compliments are probably a good idea. And... the fact remains that his wife is, indeed, very pretty, in addition to being a fun and kind woman.

(and from a staunch Republican family, I might add, the daughter of a former Republican Moline mayor. Love knows no ideology, perhaps?)

At 3/10/2006 6:30 PM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

Anon 7:59:

I would disagree that it was an "attack" campaign at all. If a cnadidate doesn't respond to my organization's questionnaire, I have to suppose that the candidate doesn't support my issues, regardless of what he says elsewhere. Further, who cares if Mike Jacobs knew that phone calls are being made. It happens every day of the week during the political season.

And it is foolish to think that Rumler doesn't know how to play politics, too. I have a great deal of respect for Steny Hoyer, and I know he knows how to wage a tough campaign. I think it's unlikely his employee didn't pick up any pointers.

As a comparison, many of the posts on this blog are "attacks" on Mike Jacobs, and it's quite possible that some of the posters have told Rumler what they posted. Does that make him complicit?

It's hypocritical to object to a third-party organization's phone campaign on behalf of an endorsed candidate, but not speak up about the off-topic unwarranted comments that often appear here.

At 3/11/2006 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if Personal PAC was offering yard signs - the effort HAD to be coordinated didn't it?

afterall they had to know there were yard signs available from the Jacob's campaign and where they were eh?

At 3/11/2006 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumler knows the consequences of failing to return a survey, and should have expected this tactic from Personal PAC after he avoided their questions.

BOTH candidates are babies in this race!

At 3/11/2006 8:17 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon above... not surprisingly, I disagree.

First of all, you can think that Rumler or whomever handled these things for him fumbled the ball in not returning the questionaire. That's a legitimate opinion. I've never run a campaign, so don't know if it's standard practice to return each and every survey that piles up in your mail. Somehow I don't think so.

I also think that if they contacted him twice, it probably would have been a good cue to just send the damn thing back to them.

That said though, I very much disagree with your suggesting that Rumler should have somehow expected this response from Personal PAC.

It's preposterous to expect any group to automatically spend MORE than they have in any other race, pounding you by phone bank and MISREPRESENTING (LYING) about your views!!!!

OK, he didn't return the questionaire, maybe expect them to be pissed or whatever.. but to suddenly mount a nearly $30,000 campaign where they LIE to voters about your views???!!!

PLEASE! Don't tell me that's just an automatic reaction that Rumler, or ANYONE, should have expected.

That's way, way out of line and from left field, which is why I'm convinced that there's more here than meets the eye, especially if what some have said about the Daddy Jacobs/Jesse White/Personal PAC connection is in any way true.

This PAC took tens of thousands of honest people's money, who donated to the cause because they believe in a woman's right to choose, and BLEW it all running some campaign against a guy who was PRO-CHOICE????!!!!

You tell me how that makes ANY freaking sense in the world, let alone why anyone in their right mind would "expect" that to happen.

Let's keep it real, as they say.

You know it's bullshit, so stop trying to act like it's just a routine thing. It's obviously not.

At 3/11/2006 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, he wasn't pro choice. His lack of response meant that he was at best shy to the issue. They feel that he would not represent their views. Rumler was the only Democrat in the state to not fill out a survey. Every other candidate found the time and the resources to get this task done. The real question here that you Dope never answer is why would Rumler choose to not fill in the survey? ou are right you get a load of questionairs as a candidate. You have to read them and decide which you want to send in and which you want shy away from. Rumler didn't think choice was a good issue for him and cried foul afterwords.

At 3/11/2006 8:54 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Please point me to where it says Rumler is the only candidate in the state who didn't return this questionaire, otherwise I can't assume that's true.

And do I ask you to answer what the motivations or thought processes of Mike Jacobs are? I should hope not.

Why am I suddenly supposed to answer for Rumler?

At 3/11/2006 11:18 AM, Blogger rope-a-dope said...

Rumler knows if you fail to return a group's questionnaires, that the interest group will likely take it as a sign you are at the very least indifferent to their cause, and it's likely a sign of hostility.

How do I know that Paul Rumler knows all about questionnaires and the consequences of failing to respond to them??? Paul interned for me back when he was attending Black Hawk, I was managing a fellow Democrat’s run for General Assembly, and I stressed the importance of questionnaires and went over the decision process involved in determining which ones a candidate should or shouldn’t respond to. If I remember correctly, Paul helped me fill candidate questionnaires out on more than one occasion.

If Rumler was proud of his stance on the topic of a woman's right to choose, he would have answered PersonalPAC's questions. At the very least he's already ignored/alienated one of the key voting blocks necessary to win as a Democrat.

I don't know how much they spent, but PersonalPAC made similar calls into this area two years ago in the Ahern - Boland primary.


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