RIGOP files complaint against Mattiello’s pac for violating campaign finance law

Republican Party Chairman Brandon S. Bell today filed a complaint with the R.I.
Board of Elections calling upon the Board to investigate various campaign violations
committed by the Fund for Democratic Leadership PAC of which Speaker Nicholas Mattiello
is Chairman. First, under R.I. law, a PAC is limited to contributing no more than
$25,000 made in total to candidates and party committees in a single year. In 2016,
the Fund for Democratic Leadership PAC made $38,100 in monetary contributions to
40 candidates and 5 party committees. In addition, in 2016, Mattiello’s PAC expended
potentially $101,050 in-kind contributions to candidates in the form of advertising
with GoLocalProv and on consultant and professional services with a polling firm,
a company located at Rep. Mia Ackerman’s residence, and with a consulting operation
headed by Jeff Britt.. Second, the $31,500 expended on advertising with GoLocalProv
was never reported by Mattiello’s PAC as either an in-kind contribution to candidates
or as an independent expenditure as would be expected under the law. Third, candidates
cannot receive a donation from a PAC in excess of $1,000 in a single year. In 2016,
21 candidates received a $1,000 monetary contribution from Mattiello’s PAC, but
in addition likely benefited from in-kind contributions made by Mattiello’s PAC,
in the form of internet advertising or assistance from professional services.
Bell stated: «In order to win by 85 mail ballots, Mattiello’s campaign ignored campaign
finance law by coordinating with Shawna Lawton on her endorsement mailer. Now,
it is clear that Mattiello’s PAC also ignored campaign finance law in order to help
nearly a majority of the members of the House of Representatives win re-election.
Powerful politicians who ignore campaign finance laws have not set a shining example
in our state as in the case of former House Speaker Gordon Fox. The Board of Elections
needs to fully investigate Speaker Mattiello’s PAC. «