MADISON, WI – The Government Accountability Board has collected more than $23,000 in forfeitures from seven people who violated the state’s $10,000 campaign contribution limit in 2008.
The Board investigated 14 individuals who appeared to have violated Wisconsin law prohibiting individuals from making more than $10,000 in contributions to state and local political candidates and committees in a calendar year.
Investigators determined that seven of the individuals had not violated the law, based on the individuals providing documentation that contributions should have been partially attributed to a spouse.
The Board pursued action against seven individuals, and they have paid forfeitures totaling $23,499.07. The amount of the forfeiture was generally one-and-a-half times the amount of the excess contributions, although the Board approved some smaller forfeitures based on unique circumstances. The following individuals have paid forfeitures:
In Wisconsin's campaign finance law, the Legislature declared that "excessive spending on campaigns for public office jeopardizes the integrity of elections." In addition to setting limits on contributions to a specific candidate for a particular public office during a campaign cycle, the law also sets a $10,000 limit on an individual's total contributions each calendar year to any combination of Wisconsin candidates or political committees. (s. 11.26(4) Wis. Stats.)
Forfeitures collected by the Board are deposited in the State’s Common School Fund.
Board staff is now auditing 2009 campaign contributions.