Campaign fundraising complaint filed against Representative Matt Hall

A group of liberal political activists attack Marshall Republican State Representative Matt Hall. It is also targeting Republican Jim Lilly from the region of the Netherlands.

Wisconsin Center for Media and Democracy accuses them of rigging campaign finance disclosures. Earlier in the week, the group said it would file complaints against Michigan lawmakers and followed up on the claim yesterday. The CMD filed its complaints with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

The self-proclaimed political watch group says Representative Hall had access to a software system that can be used to help manage campaigns and planning communications with voters. He claims that the use of this software should have been reported as a contribution to the campaign. The source of the software is allegedly the American Legislative Exchange Council. Representatives Hall and Lilly are listed on the Council website as co-directors of the State of Michigan.

Complaint alleges Council is a conservative policy-oriented organization. The software in question, says the CMD, amounts to a program to help political candidates manage communications with supporters and potential voters. The claim is that this makes it a campaign tool. CMD says the software is worth thousands of dollars and access to it should have been reported by Reps Hall and Lilly as a campaign contribution.

We were unable to reach the Hall representative regarding the complaint. The Detroit News quotes Rep. Lilly as saying it is a lot for nothing. He says, “It’s completely baseless. I never even used the software. Lilly also told the News he was not aware of any Michigan lawmakers using the program.

The Center for Media and Democracy has a 180 degree point of view. The group’s executive director is Arn Pearson, who says: “ALEC CARE is a cheeky program to help the majority Republican members of the ALEC get re-elected. “

The group has filed similar complaints against Republican lawmakers in more than a dozen other states. The CMD not only alleges that there is a problem with contributing to the campaign, but that nonprofits like ALEC are strictly prohibited from campaign-related activities. CMD also filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service about its claims.

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