Friday, April 25, 2014

Maggie Lewis' Curious Campaign Finance Reports

I was scanning recent campaign finance reports of some of our City-County Councillors as part of my background for the Kidde smoke detector blog entry ("Will Passage of Prop 364 Give Monopoly to Smoke Detector Company?").  I didn't see any contributions from Kidde or its parent company in the few reports I reviewed.

However, I did see a goodly number of curious expenses reported by the "Maggie Lewis Campaign" for 2013.  For those who don't know, Lewis serves as the President of the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council.  These expenses were curious for two reasons.  One, they were paid directly to Maggie Lewis with no reason for the expenditure noted.  Two, they were always whole dollar figures.  A person might expect to see 'reimbursement for expenses' and/or an indication of 'so many' dollars and 'so many' cents being paid, implying the expense was backed by receipts.

These 13 direct payments to Lewis totaled $5906 in 2013.

In 2012, Lewis' campaign finance report noted two direct payments and eight payments with "payment of debt" noted.  There was no mention of any debts owed by the campaign to Lewis in any previous finance report.  There wasn't even any contribution by Lewis to her own campaign noted in any finance report.  The 2012 direct payments totaled $200.  The "payment of debt" payments to Lewis totaled $2759.

Reaching back to 2011 we finally get to non-whole numbers as well as notes explaining the payments to Lewis.  Coded for advertising, a payment of $264.01 was reported.  Another payment to Lewis for $353.58 had the note, 'food reimbursement for fundraiser'Reported for later in 2011, though, were two payments to Lewis totaling $1000, for which no reason for the expense was provided.

Campaign finance reports for 2009 and 2010 show no payments to Lewis.

So, over three years, the curious payments to Lewis by her campaign were $1000, $2959, and $5906, coming to a grand total of $9865 even, no cents.

Still, I don't pour over campaign finance reports much; this might be something usual.  So, I went through the 2013 annual reports from all sitting Councillors.  Two, Shreve and Gooden, were appointed during the term and have yet to file campaign finance reports.  If a Councillor's 2013 report showed no expenses whatsoever, I went through that Councillor's reports until I reached a year during which there were itemized expenses.  For two Councillors, Talley and Brown, I looked at their campaign reports for 2013 for their runs as Trustees, as well.

The vast majority of Councillors didn't pay themselves a penny in the reports I reviewed.  There were four exceptions besides Lewis. Minority Leader McQuillen, whose campaign in 2013 paid him $2961.80, all noted as 'reimburse expenses' and all noted with dollars and cents. The Talley For Trustee campaign reported a single $461.83 payment to Talley and noted 'reimburse campaign expenses'.  Hunter's campaign reported two payments totaling $170 to a Keri Hunter, with explanations noted, and a $100 direct payment to Hunter himself, with no explanation.  Cain's campaign paid her $30 in 2013 with no explanation.

So, of 29 Councillors, two have no campaign finance reports filed, 22 have no payment to themselves in the most recent filing that includes itemized expenses, two have payments with explanations, and two have one payment to themselves with no explanation, and then there is Lewis.

Lewis' campaign payments to herself are curious, and stand out among her colleagues, especially in their amount.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clothes and hair appointments. Not cheap looking fabulous as you preside over the endless flow in giveaway of tens of millions in taxpayer dollars to your political camapign contributors.