DEVELOPING: Did gay marriage PAC violate law by taking $100,000 from one donor?

UPDATE: John DiStaso of the Union Leader has an important update on this story. The Attorney General says the contribution is legal.

UPDATE: NH Journal has learned that Shannon McGinley has officially filed an election law complaint against New Hampshire Republicans for Freedom and Equality.



New Hampshire’s campaign law lists the following examples under “Prohibited Political Contributions”:

V. By any person (1) if in excess of $5,000 in value, except for contributions made by a candidate in behalf of his own candidacy, or if in excess of $1,000 in value by any person or by any political committee to a candidate or a political committee working on behalf of a candidate who does not voluntarily agree to limit his campaign expenditures and those expenditures made on his behalf as provided in RSA 664:5-a, (2) if made anonymously or under a name not that of the donor, (3) if made in the guise of a loan, (4) if in any other manner concealed, (5) if made without the knowledge and written consent of the candidate or his fiscal agent, a political committee or its treasurer, or not to any one of the same.

Any reasonable reading of that section of the law would lead one to conclude that political action committees cannot accept donations in excess of $5,000. Right?

Well, the September 5, 2012 expenditures report for a political action committee called New Hampshire Republicans for Freedom and Equality, which is working to election pro-gay marriage Republicans, lists only two donors. One of those donors, from New York City not New Hampshire, appears to have contributed $100,000 to the group on August 28th.

Sean Owen of New York City is listed as the President of the PAC. Tyler Deaton of New Hampshire is listed as its Treasurer.


NH Journal is investigating but as of this posting, attempts to reach the Secretary of State and the Attorney General have been unsuccessful.


Author: Staff Reporter

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