Arizona: Shadegg Targeted by Coming FEC Complaint

Posted January 22, 2008 at 6:45pm

Arizona Democrats are asking federal regulators to look into campaign contributions made to a political action committee run by Rep. John Shadegg (R).

Shadegg is named in a complaint brought by the Arizona Democratic Party that is expected to be filed with the Federal Election Commission today. In it, Democrats allege that Shaddeg’s campaign committee and his PAC “may have colluded together to avoid the individual contribution limits to a federal candidate and in violation of several FEC regulations.”

Last summer, the complaint alleges, Shadegg’s re-election committee received two $4,600 payments — the maximum combined amount an individual may give per cycle for both the primary and general elections — from John Dawson and David Van Denburgh. Not soon after, the complaint continues, Dawson and Van Denburgh also each gave Shadegg’s leadership PAC an additional $5,000 apiece, the maximum amount an individual may give to a federal PAC during a calendar year.

The problem? Within weeks, Shadegg’s leadership PAC had transferred $10,000 to Shadegg’s primary campaign account, a transaction Democrats claim was “really designed to circumvent the individual contribution limits.”

Democrats also allege that Dawson and Van Denburgh violated campaign finance laws by knowingly taking part in the scheme and claim Ian MacPherson, the treasurer for both committees, also violated federal law for glossing over the transaction.

“The questionable propriety of these contributions should have been obvious to the campaign’s treasurer,” the complaint alleges. “He is also the PAC’s treasurer, so he would be familiar with the campaign finance reports of both political committees.”

Shadegg’s office declined to comment on the complaint.
— Matthew Murray