"Lumumba, 20/20 PAC End Week in Campaign Reporting Hall of Shame" by Politics Blog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Politics Blog

Lumumba, 20/20 PAC End Week in Campaign Reporting Hall of Shame

After a crazy week of receiving, analyzing and posting PDFs of city election campaign finance reports from candidates and PACs, we are ending the week shaking our head at those who didn't bother to follow state law and get them in on time on Tuesday, April 30.

Leading that pack is mayoral candidate Chokwe Lumumba, who still hasn't returned a report in as of our last check with the city clerk's office at 4:45 p.m. today. Reached yesterday by phone, Lumumba seemed surprised at the deadline for the final reporting deadline a week before the primary and said he would get it in. It still wasn't there today, the city clerk's office said. He also thumbed his nose at the reporting requirement for Jan. 31 this year for 2012. He finally gave us a report weeks after the deadline after we keep harassing him about it.

Lumumba's report is only one of the major mayoral candidates who has not filed a report to date.

Our other disappointment on this front is the Jackson 20/20 PAC. After they didn't file a report Tuesday, we called the PAC's attorney Dorsey Carson who told us they didn't have to file because they were a state PAC. We called the secretary of state's office, which confirmed that anyone who contributed to a municipal candidate in the primaries had to file by April 30. Carson then told us treasurer Michael Lewis would file the report "ASAP."

But as of today, it still wasn't filed. When reached by phone, Lewis said he's been busy and hadn't "gotten around to it." When asked when he was going to do it because it was due last Tuesday, he said, "probably at my earliest convenience. I just can't stop on a dime (and do it). I know a lot of folks are interested ... I'll get to it at my earliest convenience. Maybe around Monday."

When pressed on the need to file campaign-finance reports before the day before election so folks have time to examine them, Lewis said he would take photos of what he has so far and send it to us. He texted me the following two images of an unfiled report, which does not include a list of receipts from donors. It does include one disbursement—$250 to City Council candidate De'Keither Stamps, whom the PAC endorsed last Monday, along with Kevin Lavine, who is running for mayor of Byram, and Joseph Kendrick, running for mayor of Terry. The report does not show that Lavine and Kendrick have gotten any money, yet, from the PAC, which the reports says has $4,548.63 on hand. The PAC raised $25,925 in 2012 and paid most of it to candidate Jonathan Lee's campaign advisers.

Following is the full list of candidates that we do not show have filed a campaign-finance report less than four days before voting starts. If they raised or spent any money, we should have a report. (If your name is in the Hall of Shame and you have filed a report, get us a copy and we'll post it and apologize to you!)

Mayor Chokwe Lumumba John H. Jones Jr.

Ward 1 Quentin Whitwell (running unopposed; may not have raised money)

Ward 2 Stacey Webb

Ward 3 Harrison Michael II Albert Wilson

Ward 4 Barron Banks Dorothy Benford Jerry Lindsey Kourtney Paige Dexter Robinson

Ward 5 Bettye Dagner-Cook Cortinthian Sanders Courtney Walker

Ward 6 Sylvester McDonald

Council candidate Melvin Priester Jr. gets a gold star for also filing a 48-hour report this week, which all candidates who have received any money since Tuesday are supposed to do. Should we assume he is the only one who raised money since Tuesday? Right. (Update: Mayor Harvey Johnson and Margaret Barrett-Simon filed 48-hour reports as well.)

Also, we must give a major shout-out to Deputy City Clerk Ashley Drummer who has PDF'd and sent us the campaign reports as they've come in. She gets the Sunshine Hero of the Year Award for 2013 so far.

P.S. This stuff is important, folks. It is not personal that we are watchdogs of campaign transparency. The laws are there to help the voters make educated choices. When you do not file a report, you are in violation of the law. It ain't cool.

All reports we have received are up as PDFs at jfp.ms/documents

UPDATE, 8 p.m., Friday:

Margaret Barrett-Simon sent us camera-photos of her report that she filed Tuesday. We'll get and post the PDF of it on Monday. Others are welcome to do the same if yours is missing. Here are hers:

Comments

donnaladd 4 years, 5 months ago

Margaret Barrett-Simon's folks say she was one of the first to file one Tuesday a.m. We will update the list above as soon as we get a copy.

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donnaladd 4 years, 5 months ago

CORRECTION: The Harvey Johnson campaign's 48-hour reports are included in this PDF already.

And I just got an email from Jackson City Clerk Brenda Press (at 10:15 p.m. on a Friday!) confirming that Margaret Barrett-Simon just file her report on Tuesday.

Meantime, can I say how thrilled I am to be getting emails this late on a Friday confirming that these reports are in?! Imagine a Jackson where all candidates take these filings, and the pubic scrutiny, seriously. We can do this, Jackson.

Remember this: It is your right to ask candidates any damn thing you want and to push for public disclosure. Do not let anyone tell you any differently. They are public servants, or trying to be.

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kdavis 4 years, 5 months ago

Is there a penalty for not filing a report? I have a difficult time casting a vote for any candidate who can't meet this simple requirement.

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donnaladd 4 years, 5 months ago

Brenda Pree, not Press. She confirmed that Barrett-Simon did file Tuesday. Tomorrow morning, she's checking her list against what we received and alerting me if others on our list have filed as well. Thanks to her!

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donnaladd 4 years, 5 months ago

Ms. Pree asked me to post this as well, verbatim:

Announcement

The City of Jackson is excited to announce the use of a new Digital Scanning Voting System, the DS200™. It will be implemented for the May 7 Municipal Primary and June 4 General Election. The Voting System is supplied and supported by Election Systems & Software (ES&S). ES&S has a regional office in Hinds County and supports all of the State’s 82 counties. The DS200™ is the nation’s most widely used paper-based digital precinct scanner with more than 15,000 units in use. The DS200 equips the City of Jackson with the most advanced tabulation technology available. Technicians will be located around the City on Election Day to assist at all precincts. Polls open at 7:00 am and closeat 7:00 pm.
Interested in learning more? Check outwww.essvote.com/CityofJackson.

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donnaladd 4 years, 5 months ago

Update: The Jackson City Clerk compared our list to hers this morning and sent these reports we hadn't received, but that were filed on time. We apologize to these folks for their 24 hours on the Wall of Shame! It has been corrected above!

James Paige Charity Wright Tom Stingley Plavise Patterson Charles Alexander

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