Bond Committee Also Owes Penalty
The Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance (FCTA) learned yesterday that the Fairfax County Public Schools bond advocacy committee, Fairfax County Citizens for School Bonds, has not even attempted to file a campaign finance report this year.
In Virginia, any group that makes expenditures in a calendar year in excess of $1,000 to advocate the passage or defeat of a referendum held in a single county must file campaign finance reports. Fairfax County Citizens for School Bonds states on its website (www.fairfaxschoolbond.org) that it received at least one contribution over $1000. It also posts on its website a "Bond Referendum Facts" pamphlet that is distributed countywide.
Upon inquiry to the State Board of Elections, the FCTA learned via email from Chris Piper, administrator in the Campaign Finance Decision, that the Fairfax County Citizens for School Bonds registered in 2003 as a referendum committee. However, Mr. Piper wrote that the committee submitted reports in the wrong format and has ignored repeated requests to resubmit reports in the correct format. Mr. Piper also stated that Fairfax County Citizens for School Bonds has not attempted to file a campaign finance report in 2005 and that the group has been assessed penalties, which have not been paid.
The Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance, because it has not registered as a referendum committee this year, is limited to spending less than $1000 in opposing the referendum.
Fairfax County Citizens for School Bonds should file its campaign finance reports, disclose the names of all contributors of over $100, pay its penalties, and immediately affix to its "Bond Referendum Facts" pamphlets the name of the organization that paid for them.