MassGOP Will File FEC Complaint Against Coakley Over Unreported Loans

BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Republican Party will file the  following complaint with the Federal Elections Commission against Attorney General Martha Coakley after reports surfaced showing Coakley’s sister and committee Treasurer, Anne Gentile, spent $15,000 to aid the campaign efforts of Martha Coakley, but the committee failed to report those funds as a loan as required by law. 

"For months now new details of serious violations of multiple campaign finance laws have continued to trickle out of Coakley's inept campaign," said Kirsten Hughes, MassGOP Chairman. "It is our hope that this complaint will bring yet another instance of Coakley's pattern of legal violations to light but as the state's top campaign finance cop, she must immediately submit to an independent investigation of these matters as she is clearly unfit to investigate herself."

Anthony Herman, Esq.
Acting General Counsel
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463

Re: Complaint Against Martha Coakley and the Martha Coakley For Senate Committee

Dear Mr. Herman:

Complaint 

This letter constitutes a formal complaint filed against Martha Coakley’s federal campaign committee, Martha Coakley for Senate (“The Committee”). Based upon information and belief, set forth below the Republican Party of Massachusetts files this complaint seeking an immediate investigation by the Federal Election Commission (“FEC” or “Commission”) into the apparent illegal use of Coakley’s federal campaign funds in regards to the Treasurer’s (Anne Gentile) unreported loans to the committee that exceeded legal contribution limits.

The public record makes clear, and an investigation will no doubt confirm, that there is reason to believe that the Committee violated campaign finance regulations including accepting contributions that exceed the legal limit and improperly reporting sizable loans to the committee made by the candidates sister and committee Treasurer.

Factual Background

The Boston Globe reported Coakley’s sister and committee Treasurer, Anne Gentile, spent $15,000 to aid the campaign efforts of Martha Coakley, but the committee failed to report those funds as a loan as required by law. (Frank Phillps, “Martha Coakley moves to fix finances,” The Boston Globe, 12/31/13)

Legal Analysis

A loan, including a loan to the campaign from a member of the candidate’s family, is considered a contribution to the extent of the outstanding balance of the loan. An unpaid loan, when added to other contributions from the same contributor, must not exceed the contribution limit.

Repayments made on the loan reduce the amount of the contribution. Once repaid in full, a loan no longer counts against the contributor’s contribution limit. However, a loan exceeding the limit is unlawful even if it is repaid in full. Besides being reported as a contribution, a loan must be continuously reported until it is fully repaid. 11 CFR 100.52(a) and (b), 100.111(a) and 104.3(d)

Investigation Requested

Therefore, the Republican Party of Massachusetts respectfully requests that the Commission promptly conduct an investigation into the Committee’s violations, and to the extent violations are confirmed, require that the Committee remedy the such violations and take any other corrective action the Commission deems appropriate. The Republican Party of Massachusetts also requests that the Commission take into account numerous previous violations of the Martha Coakley for Senate Committee’s violations in adjudicating these issues.

The above is correct and accurate to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief.

Sincerely,

Kirsten Hughes
Chairman
Massachusetts Republican Party

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