Conroe, January 31 – Montgomery County District Clerk candidate Cynthia Jamieson, who is working closely on her campaign with the Davenport Ring as well as the retiring District Clerk Barbara Adamick, made a Facebook post this afternoon in which she attempted to respond to an article in today’s edition of The Golden Hammer: “District Clerk Candidate Jamieson’s Ethics Report Fails to Identify Major Contribution,” The Golden Hammer, January 31, 2018.
Instead of defending herself, Jamieson actually revealed an even larger failure in her campaign finance report filings than this newspaper previously reported.
In today’s article, The Golden Hammer reported that Jamieson failed to report a $1,000 campaign contribution from Adamick, which Adamick reported on her own official Campaign Finance Report filing as having occurred on December 21, 2017. Jamieson claims she didn’t report the contribution because she didn’t receive it until after “January 1, 2017” (sic) and during a reporting period.
The much larger problem, however, that Jamieson has now made clear is that she failed to show all of her expenditures for her campaign as political contributions she received from a gimmicky special purpose political committee that Jamieson established. Jamieson directly violated Texas Election law in the manner in which she failed to report for her own campaign and in her filings as a special purpose political committee.
How Jamieson violated Texas Election law
As a local candidate running for District Clerk, Jamieson must file her campaign finance reports with the Montgomery County Elections Administrator in Conroe. In order to avoid disclosing her campaign finances, Jamieson established a “specific purpose committee” for which she filed the paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission in Austin. So far, there’s nothing wrong with that procedure.
All of the political contributions Jamieson took in between July 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, Jamieson deposited into a bank account for her committee which she named “Cynthia Jamieson Campaign.” There’s nothing wrong with that either.
All of the expenditures Jamieson made between July 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, for Jamieson’s campaign went through her “specific purpose committee,” through which Jamieson then made all of the expenditures on her campaign, including her candidate filing fee paid to the Montgomery County Republican Party, her advertising, and her political signs. There’s nothing wrong with that either, until she got to the point of reporting what she had done.
In her reporting is where Jamieson’s problems erupt.
Jamieson admitted in her post that “I chose to file a committee and put all campaign funds through my committee.” That’s perfectly legal.
Nevertheless, the Texas Ethics Commission instructions for filing a Campaign Finance Report for a special committee, such as Jamieson’s states,
A “direct campaign expenditure” to benefit a candidate is not a “political contribution” to that candidate. A direct campaign expenditure is a campaign expenditure that the committee makes on someone else’s behalf and without the prior consent or approval of that person. This is in contrast to a political contribution, which the person has the opportunity to accept or reject.
Since Jamieson used her special committee for expenditures, such as her filing fee, which obviously Jamieson had the “opportunity to accept or reject,” all of the special committee’s expenditures were “political contributions” by the Cynthia Jamieson Campaign Committee to Cynthia Jamieson, the candidate. Jamieson’s special purpose committee failed to report the contributions to Jamieson.
Far more significantly, however, Jamieson had a legal duty to show that she received campaign contributions from the Cynthia Jamieson Committee on her January 16, 2018, Campaign Finance Report filing with the Montgomery County Elections Administrator.
Instead, Jamieson showed that he had received $0 in political contributions, which was most clearly and most certainly false.
In this instance, Jamieson’s attempt to skirt local campaign finance disclosure requirements has portrayed the “establishment” candidate in quite a bad light.