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FEC emails supporting Rep. Mia Love in fundraising conflict don’t speak to $372K she improperly raised after convention

Updated on October 31, 2018
Rhett Wilkinson profile image

Rhett has won 12 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists or Religion Newswriters Association. He's on Twitter @rhettrites.

Rep. Mia Love's finance lawyer Matthew Sanderson discussed with the Federal Election Commission's Danita Alberico if FEC staff member Michael Dobi had been right in communicating to the Love campaign that they did not have to redesignate funds.
Rep. Mia Love's finance lawyer Matthew Sanderson discussed with the Federal Election Commission's Danita Alberico if FEC staff member Michael Dobi had been right in communicating to the Love campaign that they did not have to redesignate funds. | Source

You get the dollar figure through documentation from the Federal Election Commission.

Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) received emails from the Federal Election Commission confirming she doesn't have to give back $1.15M she raised before the April 21 Utah Republican Party convention. But the confirmations don’t speak to $372K, according to FEC documents, not suitably obtained afterward.

"It only addressed the funds raised by the Mia Love campaign prior to the convention in April. ... There were still $370,000 improperly raised after the April convention,” said Chase Thomas, executive director of Alliance for a Better Utah, a left-leaning organization that advocates government responsibility and openness.

Love sent a Tweet linking to a Dropbox item showing an email thread. In it, Federal Election Commission lawyer Danita Alberico and Matthew Sanderson, a lawyer on Love's finance committee, discuss if Alberico’s colleague, Michael Dobi, had been right when telling Sanderson “that Friends of Mia Love (the campaign) is not required to take any corrective action regarding the primary election contributions” raised before April 21. That was the date of the Utah GOP's 2018 nominating convention, where Love was the only candidate for Utah’s 4th congressional district and was selected by delegates.

The Love campaign has stated that she “plans” to give back up to $10,000 and redesignate around $370,000, KUER reported.

In fund contribution redesignation, funds are transferred from to a general-election fund granted it is accomplished within 60 days of getting the donation. Love was given $372,468 after the April convention, according to FEC documentation.

But Love has only said she would do that, “rather than returning it to voters as required," Thomas said. The FEC documents suggested that Love had to do that.

Just prior to a debate against Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams Monday for the 4th congressional district, Love said in a prepared statement: “A senior campaign finance analyst at the Federal Election Commission contacted my campaign today to inform us that the position of the FEC’s Office of General Counsel is that my campaign was legally allowed to raise primary-election contributions.”

“Let’s be clear: a conversation with an FEC staffer as related in a statement from the Love campaign is not an official clearance from the Federal Election Commission,” Thomas also said in a statement.

© 2018 Rhett Wilkinson

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