Jim Steineke Forced to Return Illegal Campaign Funds to Taxpayers

Oct 28, 2010

For Immediate Release                                                                                 Contact: Nicholl Caruso, ADCC Director
October 27, 2010                                                                                                                  608-258-9225

Jim Steineke Forced to Return Illegal
Campaign Funds to Taxpayers

MADISON – Jim Steineke, candidate for the 5th Assembly District, was forced to return $2,250 in taxpayer funded Wisconsin Election Campaign Fund grant money today after it was discovered that he had broken state law by accepting contributions from political action committees on top of the maximum amount awarded under the grant. Steineke chose to keep money from political action committees and Madison party leadership.

“The money that Steineke chose to keep should show the voters of the 5th Assembly district where Jim Steineke’s priorities really lie,” said Caruso.  “The WECF isn’t a loan program.  Steineke violated the spirit and the letter of the state public financing law by accepting the grant, spending it and then returning only a portion of it.”

Steineke was forced to return the funds following formal GAB complaints by Caruso earlier this week that alerted the board to discrepancies in Steineke’s finance report, and after calls from the ADCC that Steineke freeze his campaign spending until he was back in compliance with the law.

On October 4th, 2010, Steineke accepted the Government Accountability Board’s public grant totaling $7,763.  Taking the maximum grant amount precludes Steineke from accepting additional contributions from other committees, such as political action committees or other candidates’ campaign committees.

Despite receiving these public monies, Steineke accepted an additional $2,250 from committees, a violation of Wisconsin state statute 11.50 (9), 11.26 (9), 11.26 (11) and 11.26 (14).  Steineke has since returned $2,250 to the WECF grant.

Caruso continued the ADCC’s call for the GAB to aggressively pursue the investigation against Steineke. “Jim Steineke always seems to be two steps behind when it comes to following the law,” said ADCC Director Nicholl Caruso.  “If he hadn’t been caught so quickly, would he have done the right thing?  His history suggests otherwise.”

Copy of ADCC GAB complaints can be found HERE and HERE

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