Thursday, September 14, 2006

Green Files for Injunction in Elections Board Case

U.S. Rep. Mark Green, the Republican candidate for governor, has filed for an injunction to a ruling by the state Elections Board ordering him to divest his campaign of $468,000 in federal political action committee money.

A 1:30 p.m. hearing has been set for Sept. 21 in the case.

In the filing, Green's attorneys argue that the Elections Board order violates the constitutional right to equal protection because it treats federal campaigns that convert cash to state campaigns differently from state campaigns that convert cash to another state campaign.

The PAC donations in question were raised while Green was still a candidate for federal office. They were converted to his state gubernatorial fund in January 2005 as part of a nearly $1.3 million transfer. The Elections Board said Green had to divest himself of any money from PACs not registered in the state, and to get under the $485,190 limit for PAC contributions in a gubernatorial cycle.

Green's lawyers also argue that the Elections Board order constitutes "retroactive rulemaking by imposing an additional registration requirement on funds that were already lawfully on hand" prior to the ruling, and orders that the cash was lawfully spent before the ruling.

In a supporting affadavit from Green Campaign treasurer Victoria Renard, she states of the $1,285,973 transferred by Green from his federal account, $503,656 was from PACs registered with the Federal Elections Commission. Of that roughly half-million in PAC money, no more than $467,884 was contributed by PACs not registered with th estate.

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