Tovo, Shade face the $64,000 question
By Wells Dunbar,
2:02PM, Wed. May 25, 2011
We learned late last week that Randi Shade’s campaign finance complaint against Kathie Tovo campaign was dismissed. On Monday, Shade filed a related complaint with the City Clerk. Was Shade successful in preventing Tovo from receiving some $64,000 in public funds? Short answer: Nuh-uh.
Shade’s initial complaint was tossed out Friday by the city Ethics Review Commission, due to their lack of jurisdiction. This week, Shade charged Tovo violated the Fair Campaign Ordinance by accepting the Save Town Lake e-mail list that was target of her initial complaint, as a contribution.
“There is no question that the fair market value of a ‘opt in’ email list of over 8,000 local recipients exceeds the legal contribution limit of $350,” Shade wrote in a statement Tuesday. “By accepting a contribution of greater value than the legal limit, Kathie Tovo violated the City Charter, as well as the terms of the ‘Fair Campaign’ contract she signed to secure public funding for her campaign. Yesterday, I wrote to the City Clerk and asked her to investigate the violation. If the City Clerk finds that a violation occurred, the Tovo campaign should not receive public funds.”
However, later that Tuesday, that’s just what happened: Tovo received $64,157 from the City Clerk; again, Shade’s complaint fell outside the city clerk’s purview. City Clerk Shirley Gentry writes “While Ms. Tovo has met the requirements for receipt of funds, the city reserves all rights and remedies under the terms of the March 11, 2011 Candidate Contract.”