May 1, 2007

Senate ‘06 Footnote: FEC Says Matt Brown Did Nothing Illegal

Carroll Andrew Morse

From Kate Bramson of the Projo’s 7-to-7 blog

The Federal Election Commission says that the Democratic Party in three states did not break federal campaign contribution laws when they gave money to Rhode Island U.S. Senate candidate Matt Brown last year.

The Democratic Party in Hawaii, Maine and Massachusetts funneled a total of $25,000 to Brown, who was then Rhode Island’s Secretary of State, in December 2005. He was seeking the Democratic Senate nomination.

The non-scandal (and Brown’s non-reaction to it) effectively ended former Secretary of State Brown’s U.S. Senate campaign.

Cynics will be tempted to say that this proves that campaign finance laws work exactly as intended by making political fundraising rules too onerous to be survived by candidates who are not incumbents or challengers hand-picked by party leadership.

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Matt Brown was the incumbent Secretary of State when he ran. Part of his job was to oversee state campaign finance laws. Learning the federal campaign finance laws shouldn't have been too hard for him.

Maybe he ran into trouble because he never spent the time to learn how to do his job when he got elected to Secretary of State and instead immediately began his campaign for the Senate.

Either way, I don't feel bad for him.

Although his name would be a good "Where is he now?" trivia question.

Posted by: Anthony at May 1, 2007 11:29 AM

In the "giving credit where credit is due" folder:

The story in question is actually an AP story. I had the same one online earlier this morning at about 4am courtesy of the Hawaiian AP and Ch10 was running it at 5 on Sunrise. (and no, I don't want to say why I was up at 4am)

Posted by: T. Shevlin at May 1, 2007 1:29 PM
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