Hassan campaign returns additional $9,000 in contributions
Gov. Maggie Hassan’s campaign returned $33,000 in contributions from two political action committees Monday.
The attorney general’s office ruled last week that Hassan had to return $24,000 to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC because it was received a day late. But the campaign confirmed yesterday that it also returned $9,000 to a different political committee, as first reported by the Telegraph.
At issue with both of the donations is the day they were received. According to the attorney general’s office, a candidate can collect unlimited PAC donations through his or her candidate committee before he or she officially files for office. But Hassan’s campaign took the contributions from the IBEW and the plumbers and steamfitters political committee June 13, the day after she filed. The New Hampshire Republican Party, which filed the initial complaint, filed a second complaint about the plumbers and steamfitters donation yesterday, but Hassan’s campaign said it returned those funds Monday.
The campaign hasn’t received any other donations that will need to be returned based on the attorney general’s ruling, campaign spokesman Aaron Jacobs said. In a statement, he said that both checks were written June 12, but that they were not physically picked up until the 13th.
“While the June 12, 2014 contribution by the Plumbers and Steamfitters political committee was issued before the deadline, the funds were physically delivered the next day and the campaign already returned the funds on Monday in line with the new guidance. The 2012 contribution was both issued and physically delivered the day of the filing,” Jacobs said.
The state Republican Party called on Hassan to release her full campaign finance report before the Aug. 20 deadline, but Jacobs said the campaign will not file early. In response to the news about the returned $9,000 contribution, Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Horn said Hassan is engaging in a “troubling pattern of illegal behavior.”
“The dark ethical cloud hanging over the Hassan Administration has undermined public confidence in state government and called Governor Hassan’s integrity into question. It’s time for the governor to come clean by disclosing any further illegal donations she may have received and immediately releasing her campaign finance reports,” Horn said.
Jacobs called the Republican Party’s attacks “desperate” and an effort to distract from its own bad candidates.
“It’s clear from the New Hampshire Republican Party’s desperate attacks that they’re trying to distract from the fact that their candidates are simply rehashing the same disastrous Bill O’Brien/Koch Brothers agenda that voters rejected in 2012 . . . Granite Staters support Governor Hassan because she’s moving the state in the right direction and getting things done for New Hampshire’s people, businesses and economy,” he said.
(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kronayne.)