A positive development from last year's General Assembly was closing the loophole that forced contributions given through third party groups (like ActBlue), that were designated for specific candidates to be reported as contributions from the person who gave them- not from the group. In other words, if you logged onto ActBlue, and said you wanted to donate $500 to a candidate, the contribution would be reported from you, not ActBlue. Otherwise, the entire disclosure system would have been destroyed as people could donate through services like this and avoid any public scrutiny. In Virginia, where we have no donation limits, and rely on disclosure laws, this was a disaster of a loophole, basically destroying our entire campaign finance system- until it was closed last year.
As a lawyer told me, "The new law defines a "designated contribution" as "a contribution that is designated specifically and in writing for a particular candidate or candidates and that is made using a political committee solely as a conduit." Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-945.1(A) (2009). Under the new rule, if a candidate's campaign committee receives a designated contribution from a Virginia political committee, an out-of-state political committee, or a federal political action committee, the campaign committee must report the name and other required information of the person who designated the contribution. Id. § 24.2-947.4(B)(3)".
I was surprised to see one campaign didn't follow this new law- it was Jon Bowerbank for Lt. Governor, led by the less than capable Jon Paul Lupo. As you can see here, the campaign is hiding the identities of over $72,000 worth of donors through ActBlue, running seriously afoul of the law.
But what makes this worse, is ActBlue discloses its donations separately and it appears Bowerbank is laundering money to himself, by donating to his campaign through ActBlue and then disclosing it as money from ActBlue. Make Sense? See this and this. Bowerbank donates $10,000 to ActBlue on 9/29, and gets $10,565 on 9/30. Hmm....
I don't have a problem with Bowerbank being a self-funded candidate, but he is going to violate campaign finance law in order to make it appear he has more public support- then we have a big problem with it.
It is also possible this is just another error by the incompetent Jon Paul Lupo, in which case Bowerbank should probably make that clear and fire him immediately.