The Journal Gazette
 
 
Wednesday, August 03, 2016 10:03 pm

Rules impede Pence's donation

Niki Kelly | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence sent almost $1.25 million last week to new GOP gubernatorial nominee Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, according to a disclosure form filed Wednesday.

The transfer came July  29 – just a few days after Holcomb was nominated for the ballot and just after questions arose about how much of his $7.5 million campaign fund Pence could give Holcomb.

The donation was oddly precise – $1,248,492.04 – which could be related to the additional federal rules complicating the contributions.

It is unclear whether this is the only money that will be given to Holcomb from Pence, whose team did not respond to email and phone calls. Holcomb’s campaign deferred to Pence.

Pence had $7.5 million on hand as of June 30, but several Federal Election Commission rulings suggested he could not transfer a large portion of that – possibly as much as two-thirds, considering the number of large donors Pence had.

Even with the infusion of cash, Holcomb is fighting an uphill battle – trying to raise money and name recognition with less than 100 days until the election.

Democrat John Gregg had $5.8 million on hand as of June 30. Since then, he has collected $824,000 in large donations, but records of his spending during that time aren’t public.

Moving the money from Pence to Holcomb became more difficult the moment Pence was officially nominated as vice president. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 treats Pence as a state-turned-federal candidate and restricts how he can spend any money that doesn’t meet federal limits.

There is a federal per-election, per-donor limit of $2,700. So anything given to Pence above that amount might not be eligible to be passed on to Holcomb. Pence can hold onto the money for another day, give to a charity not involved in elections or try to return money to donors. The third option also requires meeting accounting rules.

nkelly@jg.net


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