CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Gov. Maggie Hassan’s re-election campaign must return $24,000 to a union’s political action committee because the donation missed a deadline, the state attorney general said in a letter released Friday.
The New Hampshire Republican Party filed a complaint with Attorney General Joseph Foster last month about a $25,000 contribution to Hassan from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ PAC.
In a seven-page letter addressing the GOP’s complaint, Foster said the donation exceeded the $1,000 limit on donations given after someone officially declares a candidacy. Hassan formally entered the race on June 12 and the $25,000 was received the next day.
Two other donations that were challenged by the GOP - $10,000 from the Service Employees International Union PAC and $10,000 from the United Food and Commercial Workers PAC - were received before the deadline, Foster determined.
Hassan’s campaign said it will return the disputed amount and asked legislators to work to clarify the state’s somewhat murky campaign finance laws.
“Numerous past candidates going back nearly two decades have accepted similar contributions based on guidelines and advice from the attorney general’s office and the secretary of state’s office, and we appreciate the Department of Justice’s quick decision upholding past practice and precedent,” campaign spokesman Aaron Jacobs said in an emailed statement.
But GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Horn said Foster’s ruling shows Hassan broke the law by trying to “funnel tens of thousands of dollars” into her campaign.
“The Department of Justice ruling has established a troubling loophole that allows elected officials like Gov. Hassan to accept infinite amounts of money from special interests while in office,” Horn said in a statement. “It appears that Gov. Hassan is the only official who has attempted to exploit this questionable exception and allow the corrupting influence of unlimited special interest donations to poison her campaign.”
Information from: Concord Monitor, https://www.cmonitor.com
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