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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Free Signs for Ken Smart?

There's an interesting nugget in the pre-primary campaign finance reports on the City website.

If you look at the reports of the team of Ken Smart, DelRay Rokke and Dave Hafner, there's something funny: Only Rokke and Hafner appear to have paid for the "Smart" signs (which also have Rokke and Hafner in the small print) around town. Rokke's report lists a $430.50 expenditure for signs; Hafner's lists $847.55; and Smart's doesn't list any sign expense, even though his name appears most prominently. Since their campaigns are explicitly coordinating (joint signs and literature, etc.), this suggests that the $400+ that Smart owed for his share should be reported -- either as an in-kind contribution from Mr. Hafner (and an illegal one, over the $300 limit), or as an expenditure of the Smart campaign (if his campaign did actually pay for some or all of it).

For a trio that touts their financial expertise as CPAs and whatnot, this isn't a good sign, suggesting that they either can't be troubled to comply with campaign finance law or fill out their paperwork correctly. Remind you of anyone? What other contributions or expenditures might they be failing to report, either out of sloppiness or an intent to deceive?

Under Minnesota law, any resident has standing to file a complaint with the Office of Administrative Hearings to pursue violations of campaign finance laws like this. Maybe they'll file corrected reports before someone else files a complaint.

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Ah John, anyone can put anyone's name on a sign. The 2x4 Wellstone yard signs in the second election weren't even paid for by the Wellstone committee. Only the small signs were.

Did Smart give his permission to be on the signs? You don't know do you.

A requirement to split costs equally? Where did you dream that up? I never saw that in any AG opinions.

Frankly, your accusations are a bunch of BS.

Find something substantial to hang your hat on. This is kids stuff. Get something with some meat on it.

At the bottom of the signs it says, "Prepared and paid for by: Del Ray Rokke, Dave Hafner, & Ken Smart campaigns."

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