Under state law, a violation of any candidate's campaign-finance disclosure requirement could result in the state withholding certification of nomination, withholding salary of office, and a misdemeanor conviction that carries up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $3,000.
But the city hasn't seemed interested in enforcing those election rules. Mayoral candidate Chokwe Lumumba was a month late on the 2012 report, and filed his pre-primary election report, due Tuesday, April 30, on Election Day, May 7.
Similarly, the Jackson 20/20 PAC, which is strongly backing Jonathan Lee, did not file its pre-primary report until the day before primary day, six days late.
Lumumba and the 20/20 PAC will get a shot at redemption tomorrow, when reports covering any money raised or spent by candidates from April 28 through May 11 are due by 5 p.m.
After that, the 48-hour reports should be pouring in.
Ward 2 Councilman-elect Melvin Priester, Jr. , Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon and incumbent Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. all filed 48-hour reports last week, but they were the only ones.
Under Mississippi Sunshine Laws, candidates seeking the nomination of a party in a municipal election must file a report with the city clerk if they receive any donations of $200 or more after the tenth day, but more than 48 hours before 12:01 a.m. on the day of the election.
In English, that means that if a candidate gets a single contribution of more than $200 (which both mayoral candidates in the runoff have received consistently) then they would have to notify the City Clerk's office within 48 hours of receiving the donation.
We're hopeful all this information will be readily available, and we're ready to update the site as we receive them. Another special thanks to the Jackson City Clerk's office, which has been professional and helpful from the start of this process back in January.