State GOP Files Campaign Finance Complaint Against Speaker Mattiello's PAC

Feb 14, 2017

Speaker Mattiello declaring victory last November.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

A state Republican Party complaint filed Tuesday with the state Board of Elections charges that House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello's political action committee exceeded limits on campaign contributions last year.

The 64-page complaint against the Fund for Democratic Leadership said the PAC made $38,100 in contributions to 40 candidates and five party committees last year, in excess of the $25,000 limit for a PAC in a single year.

In a statement, Patti Doyle, who served as Mattiello's campaign spokeswoman last year, said, “Speaker Mattiello is currently reviewing the complaint. If mistakes were made, they were unintentional in nature. Everything has been reported openly and transparently and, if errors were made, we will work with the Board of Elections to address and correct them."

According to the GOP complaint, the PAC also "expended potentially $101,050 in-kind contributions to candidates in the form of advertising with GoLocalProv and on consultant and professional services with a polling firm  ...."

The complaint said, "the $31,500 expended on advertising with GoLocalProv was never reported by Mattiello's PAC as either an in-kind contribution to candidates or as an independent expenditure as would be expected under the law."

In addition, the complaint said, 21 of the candidates who received the maximum $1,000 contribution from Mattiello's PAC in a calendar year "in addition likely benefited from in-kind contributions made by Mattiello's PAC, in the form of internet advertising or assistance from professional services."

Thanks to mail ballots, Mattiello scored a narrow victory over Republican Steven Frias last year to retain what is often considered the most powerful office in state government.

In a statement, state GOP Chairman Brandon Bell said, "[I]t is clear that Mattiello's PAC also ignored campaign finance law in order to help nearly a majority of the members of the House of Representatives win re-election. Powerful politicians who ignore campaign finance laws have not set a shining example in our state as in the case of former House Speaker Gordon Fox. The Board of Elections needs to fully investigate Speaker Mattiello's PAC. "