Huppenthal may have violated campaign finance laws

huppenthalOn Wednesday, the head of Arizona Clean Elections Commission said he believed Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction may have violated campaign finance laws. Two separate complaints were filed with the Commission by lawyers representing the Arizona Democratic Party and Linda Brickman, a Constitutional Conservative, against Huppenthal for using Department of Education resources for his Republican Primary campaign.

In a memo released Wednesday, Clean Elections Director Tom Collins wrote that Huppenthal’s video was “indistinguishable” from his campaign message and was presented to a key constituency using state resources just before the election.

The complaints specifically alleged that Huppenthal violated ARS 16-901.01 when he “…sent an email message to all public school teachers clearly identifying himself as a candidate and, in the given context, could have no reasonable meaning other than to advocate for his reelection.”

The email was directed at every public school teacher in the state, according to the complaint.

In an article on 8/12, Brad McQueen noted that “the emailed letter also contained a link to a video posted on Youtube, also containing the AZ Dept of Education logo, where Huppenthal reiterated his campaign talking points he has used at numerous candidate debates and interviews.” McQueen was one of the teachers who received Huppenthal’s email.

The commission meets today to consider Collins’ recommendation. Should the commission vote to accept Collins’ determination after a full investigation, Huppenthal must amend his campaign finance reports and repay the value of the video message and its distribution from campaign funds.

Huppenthal also could be fined up to 10 times the value of the illegal expenditure.

Related articles:

Huppenthal sends over 60,000 teachers a campaign email/video in possible violation of law

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Arizona’s kids deserve better than a serial deceiver as their “top educator,” Mr. Huppenthal

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