Back in August, we filed a campaign finance complaint against outside special interest group Stand for Children and four Nashville school board candidates based on evidence suggesting illegal coordination. Since then, the Registry of Election Finance has held two meetings on the subject, with an extension granted to Stand and the candidates until December.
NewsChannel5 reports on the potentially steep fines the candidates and Stand face:
The four losing candidates and the Stand For Children Political Action Committee face fines of nearly $700,000 for illegally coordinating their campaigns.
If those fines sound steep, they are. And the threat of such large fines is likely what prompted the request for an extension.
Former candidate Miranda Christy said of the case:
“There’s more at stake here than my reputation. It’s also the future of Nashville’s leadership that’s at stake and the public needs to know that,” Christy said.
She said people will never run for office if they could face these kinds of fines.
We think a more appropriate warning is this: Beware of outside special interest groups spending on your campaign. Candidates and campaigns should be on notice that if they play with dark money groups, we’ll be here to call them out. Christy and the other candidates could have disavowed the support of Stand. Or even asked them not to get involved. Instead, they gladly accepted thousands of dollars of help and apparent coordination of efforts.
We’ll have to wait until December to see what, if any, fines are assessed in this case. But you can be sure we’re watching for campaign finance violations around Tennessee. When dark money attacks, we fight back.
You can help keep our fight alive!
For more on campaign finance transparency, follow @TNCitizenAction