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Following the rules: Enforcing campaign disclosure

July 09. 2018 10:54PM

We should make sure we’re properly enforcing existing laws before we pass new ones.

This is a common refrain during gun control debates, but is equally true regarding campaign finance limits.

For years, New Hampshire’s campaign finance reporting system has been functionally voluntary for down-ballot races, since no one from the state reviewed them unless someone else filed a complaint. This has been a long-held pet peeve of our columnist, Kathy Sullivan.

Last year, Attorney General Gordon MacDonald requested $500,000 to enforce state campaign finance laws. For the first time, New Hampshire authorities are now reading every report.

MacDonald’s office found errors on more than half of the receipt and expenditure reports filed in June. Candidates were sent letters warning them to clean up their reports. Most of the errors were minor, but letting minor errors go uncorrected could allow larger violations to go unnoticed.

Sen. Bob Giuda thinks MacDonald should spend his time and limited resources prosecuting voter fraud. We think Giuda and his fellow candidates should follow the law. Laws that aren’t enforced cease to exist.

State Government Editorial

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