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Indiana: Allen Co. GOP runs campaign finance school

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports: Recent allegations of campaign finance violations exemplify the confusing nature of some state laws and regulations governing businesses. The Allen County Republican Party has responded appropriately by scheduling a campaign finance seminar at the end of the first county GOP convention Feb. 25.

County Chairman Steve Shine’s announcement of the seminar comes a week after the Allen County Election Board quickly dispensed of two allegations of contributions above the legal limits made by Shine’s counterpart, Kevin Knuth, the Democratic chairman. In one case, no violation occurred. The board dismissed the second case after learning the excess contributions were returned.

Corporate officials should make themselves aware of election laws, and the state does offer a campaign finance manual that spells out the laws. Officials who assume the law doesn’t apply to their contributions clearly need some guidance, though, and Shine was right to put together a seminar that will educate both businesspeople and candidates.

The seminar should help contributors learn more about the potential minefields lurking in state law. The law, for example, limits contributions by corporations but not limited liability companies, sole proprietorships and other types of businesses. The law limits “sub S” corporations, which are treated the same as individuals for tax purposes but not for campaign finance purposes. -- Campaign finance school

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