BOTA, Gutierrez/Bordallo filings raise questions - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

BOTA, Gutierrez/Bordallo filings raise questions

Posted: Apr 11, 2018 2:14 PM Updated:

The BOTA team may have some explaining to do.

A review of the Republican Tenorio/Ada team’s organizational report filed in January 2018 shows apparent violations that could mean the BOTA team filed their campaign finance information several months later than required by law.

An organizational report for Ray Tenorio for Governor was filed at the Guam Election Commission in February 2017 – but election law requires a new organizational report to be filed when a significant change is made to a political organization – for example, the addition of a running mate to a gubernatorial team.

An organizational report must also be filed when a team spends or raises more than $250.

According to Tenorio/Ada’s campaign finance information filed in January of 2018, a “village organization fundraiser” was held on September 22, 2017 – meaning Tenorio/Ada may have had to file ten days after that fundraiser.

 

Pictures from BOTA’s Facebook page clearly show Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio and former Senator Tony Ada campaigning at the event – posing for pictures with supporters in front of a “BOTA” backdrop.

The BOTA team raised over $7,000 at the September event, and their campaign finance report shows thousands of dollars were raised and spent in June, August, September, October and December of 2017.

In a comment for this story, the BOTA campaign said “the Tenorio/Ada campaign will continue to work closely with the Guam Election Commission to ensure full compliance with election laws.”

The Tenorio/Ada campaign is sticking to their story that Tenorio and Ada were not “officially” together until they filed their paperwork with GEC in January of this year as “required by law” – even though the pair campaigned together as far back as August of last year.

I guess the question is – what is the meaning of “official”?

A BOTA Facebook post from September says “we had a great gathering with the Tenorio and Ada family last night. Over 400 people showed up … thank you all for your love and support.”

It’s clear that Tenorio/Ada were campaigning together and promoting themselves as a team at various events and fundraisers in 2017 – according to their own social media.

So why didn’t they file ten days after they started campaigning together?

After all, they were accepting donations as a team – this could be why information from Tenorio/Ada’s campaign finance report was flagged for review by GEC.

Staff members found over the limit donations from RKM Property and other businesses and individuals on the Tenorio/Ada report.

Had the team filed an amended organizational report earlier, these donations would not have been over the limit since contribution limits are higher for Governor and Lt. Governor teams.

The Gutierrez/Bordallo team also filed more than ten days after they announced their candidacy.

KUAM News files show the pair announced their bid for Adelup on January 16 of this year. They didn’t file the required organizational report until April 2.

The 2018 organizational report filed by the lone Republican gubernatorial team was signed by Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio.

Possible outcomes of filing violations include a $1,000 fine or the candidates being made to return questionable contributions or reimburse questionable spending of campaign funds.

If violations were found to be “willful” investigative findings may be forwarded to the Attorney General’s office for prosecution.

AG Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson told KUAM News it could be problematic to prosecute campaign finance violations because of the technical wording of the election law.

However, the AG did say if GEC sends a “test case” for prosecution, the office would move forward accordingly.

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