Monday, December 13, 2010

Pass the hat campaign donations are illegal (Part II)

UPDATE 12/13: Money laundering a few hundred dollars. It has been interesting to watch but proves the old saying “what a tangled web we weave when  when we first practice to deceive.”

Following my earlier post on Friday an email went out saying the “pass the hat” was actually a collection for incidental expenses for the Christmas party. The email explained that the official made a mistake when he said it was for the candidate.

This drew the ire of an attendee who contributed to what she thought was a campaign contribution. She said, “I find it despicable that you passed the hat under the announced pretense of raising some extra change for ….”

Shortly after another email was issued stating that after discussing with the irate attendee the “committee will make a donation directly to “blank” campaign equal to the amount which was collected. This was generously given in small amounts …”

Have we dug this hole deep enough yet? The Virginia State Board of Elections on illegality of “pass the hat.” CLICK HERE and go to page 27.

12/10: Pass the hat campaign donations are illegal (Part I)A word of caution to candidates as they seek dollars to fund their campaigns. Political fundraisers and party get-togethers can tempt a candidate staffer to “pass the hat” to collect a few bucks for the candidate.

Virginia is a disclosure state. That means all contributor names, addresses and professions must be disclosed in campaign finance reports. This applies to expenditures as well as contributions.

The assumption is that citizens will flock to the Virginia State Board of Elections website or Virginia Public Access Project and look up who is giving to (expecting favors from) a candidate should they get elected.

A “pass the hat” donation is anonymous and that is a no-no in Virginia. Anonymous is not synonymous with disclosure.

At least for heaven’s sake don’t send out an e-mail to the world saying how successful the “pass the hat” was at the political gathering for your candidate. Elected officials should know better and so should campaign staff.

It makes you wonder how often this “pass the hat” campaign funding occurs. How will this be reported in January? If on the campaign finance report there is a contributor named “pass the hat” I’ll fall out of my chair laughing!

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Crime, Elections, Politics

Tags: , ,

Comments (5)

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December 13th, 2010 at 1:49 PM    

Are you sure passing the hat is illegal? I thought you only had to report contributions over $100?


December 13th, 2010 at 2:49 PM    


Yes I’m sure – Common Fundraising Scenarios
The Act requires that all contributions collected by individuals for a committee be accompanied by certain identifying information. Anonymous contributions are illegal. As a result of this requirement, SBE has provided some examples of fundraising scenarios to avoid:
Pass the Hat
In a “pass the hat” scenario, the persons in the room may already be large contributors. Thus, any additional monies contributed would have to be reported. However, the contributor‟s required information is not being gathered. Further, it is likely that someone in the room could contribute more than $100. It is because of these issues that “pass the hat” fundraisers are illegal.

Page 27

Katherin Spangler

October 18th, 2016 at 5:02 PM    

How do I get help from Pass the hat. I am in Rocky mount va and am homeless and need help. I am 58 years old and have been u say homeless for 4 years now and cant find any help. Please call me at 15408141589 and leave message, I really need a home because its getting winter time and I have no help, I am on Social Security

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