Delegate Onzlee Ware
Virginia’s State Board of Elections will take up a recommendation by David Allen, Campaign Finance Manager and either confirm or dismiss the allegation at the November 23 meeting of the Board.
The $1000 fine in plain English though full of technicalities is for failure of Delegate Onzlee Ware (D-11) to add a disclosure statement on his campaign website.
Ware was challenged by Martin Jeffrey in a June primary and by Republican Troy Bird in the general election on November 3. Ware prevailed in his reelection bid. He represents a district that encompasses the heavily democratic part of Roanoke City, the town of Vinton and parts of Roanoke County.
Per the memo to the SBE for the November 23 meeting:
“On August 21, 2009, staff received an email from Mark Powell concerning Delegate Ware’s website, http://www.delegateonzleeware.com/. Mr. Powell alleged that the website does not contain the disclosures required by § 24.2-956 of the Code of Virginia. The definition of “Print Media” under § 24.2-955.1 does include websites.
On that same date, a letter was sent to Delegate Ware advising him of the allegation. As of November 12, 2009, the website still does not have the required disclosure.”
Ware will have the opportunity to contest the findings on November 23 or ask for a reduction of the fine. Had Powell made the complaint 14 days prior to the November 3 election the fine would have been assessed at $2500.
In reading past minutes of the SBE first time candidates are given some leeway – reduction of fine and in some cases forgiveness. Extenuating circumstances also seems to mellow the SBE.
According to Allen the fine can be paid from existing campaign funds and would only require that it be reported as an expenditure. This same scenario applies to attorney’s fees if incurred.
The Virginian-Pilot’s take on campaign finance: The Virginian-Pilot recognizes Virginia’s campaign expenditure loophole
The only other HOD candidate facing a similar fine is the Republican Melody Scalley who challenged incumbent Democrat Delegate Lynwood Lewis in the 100th district. Lewis prevailed in his reelection bid by a wide margin. Lewis is the complainant. Scalley is accused of airing radio ads that did not contain a disclosure. A civil penalty of $500 is to be assessed for each violation in her case.
The complaints and accused are a diverse bunch. They are PACs, Partys, current office holders and individuals. There are no others in this batch from Roanoke’s surrounding area except for Delegate Ware.
CLICK HERE for the entire mix of complaints and recommendation coming before the SBE on November 23.
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Election 2009, Finance, Politics, State Politics
Tags: corruption, democrat, house_of_delegates, Onzlee_Ware, republican