Feb 25, 2008
Did Jim Oberweis Violate the “Millionaires’ Amendment”?Jim Oberweis, the Republican Congressional candidate in IL-14, appears to have broken federal election law by triggering the Millionaires' Amendment without notifying his opponent as required by law. This would not be the first time Oberweis broke the law or tried to deceive voters.
"Jim Oberweis has a disturbing pattern of violating federal election law and deceiving voters" said Jennifer Crider, Communications Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "This time, it looks like Jim Oberweis personally and deliberately failed to follow the law, pouring money into this race that he made investing in Chinese companies that threaten American jobs. Jim Oberweis acts like the rules and law don't apply to him - Illinois voters deserve better."
According to his most recent FEC filing, Oberweis put in $640,000 of his own money. [http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/dcdev/forms/C00436642/324695/sc/ALL]
$300,000.00 on February 7, 2008 $340,000.00 on February 11, 2008
The Millionaires' Amendment is a part of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law. McCain-Feingold increases contribution limits for candidates facing opponents who put substantial sums of their personal funds into their own campaigns. An individual who puts in more than $350,000 into their House race risks triggering the Millionaires' Amendment. Once the millionaire candidate trips this threshold, the candidate must notify his opponents and the FEC by filing a FEC Form 10 within 24 hours. The opponent can have access to higher limits depending on his or her own spending and fundraising. [http://www.fec.gov/press/bkgnd/MillionairesAmendment.html]
Jim Oberweis' Pattern of Violating Federal Election Law and Deceiving Voters
Oberweis was previously fined $21,000 by the FEC for breaking federal election law. The FEC said Oberweis benefited from a television ad he appeared in for the Oberweis Dairy in the 2004 Senate race and that the ad constituted a corporate contribution which is prohibited by federal campaign laws. [Associated Press, 7/27/07]
Oberweis used fake headlines in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign. Oberweis ran two TV ads that use made-up newspaper headlines to attack his opponents integrity. The words were displayed as if they appeared on the front pages of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the State Journal-Register. The St Louis Post-Dispatch ran a story with the headline "Ads for Oberweis using Fake Headlines..." after TV spots he ran attacking is opponent used replicas of real newspapers with fake headlines." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/2/06] [Chicago Tribune, 3/1/06]
Candidates That Violate the Millionaires' Amendment Receive Significant Fines
$91,000 Fine for Former Representative Charles Taylor. In December 2006, the FEC Taylor On December 27, the FEC fined Taylor, R-Brevard, $91,000 for failing to properly report loans and contributions totaling more than $800,000 that he made to his 2004 congressional campaign. [Asheville Citizen-Times, 1/6/07]
$71,000 Fine for J. Edgar Broyhill II (NC-05). In July 2006, the FEC fined for J. Edgar Broyhill II, a candidate in the 2004 primary election, for violating the reporting requirements of the Millionaire's Amendment, along with other reporting requirements of federal election law. [$71,100 CIVIL PENALTY PAID BY BROYHILL FOR VIOLATIONS OF MILLIONAIRE'S AMENDMENT States News Service July 19, 2006 Wednesday]
$68,250 Fine for James R. Socas (VA-10). In March 2006, the FEC fined James R. Socas, a candidate in the 2004 general election for for violating the reporting requirements of the Millionaire's Amendment. [SOCAS PAYS CIVIL PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS OF MILLIONAIRE'S AMENDMENT States News Service March 16, 2006 Thursday]