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Cross-posted on Right Michigan at www.RightMichigan.com.
More than two years after committing over twenty specific, egregious campaign finance violations, freshman Democratic Congressman Mark Schauer is finally being forced to pay the piper.
Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land announced this week that Schauer has been hit with the largest punishment for campaign finance violations in the history of the state of Michigan! According to the Lansing State Journal:
The campaign fund of former Democratic state Sen. Mark Schauer of Battle Creek is paying the state $208,250 for improperly donating money to help elect Democrats to the Senate in 2006.
Thus concludes a story we’ve been discussing here on Right Michigan since all the way back in December. Of 2007. The Battle Creek Enquirer reported at the time:
Schauer chaired the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee and oversaw the Senate Democratic Fund, for which his bombastic chief of staff, Ken Brock, took over as treasurer.
The fund raked in $440,000 above the legal limit of $20,000 per person – which the Dems don’t deny. Twelve senatorial candidate committees did, with Schauer’s as the worst offender at $187,000.
The moolah was instantly pumped into the campaigns of four key candidates, three of whom were trounced anyway.
For state races, this is a staggering chunk of change. The grievance is pretty cut and dried (some might call it money laundering). When seven candidates got wind of the GOP’s secretary of state complaint, they ostensibly demanded a refund. Marky-Mark did not.
Here’s how Schauer’s illegal scheme worked. The Congressman, then a state legislator decided to go ahead and raise a bunch of illegal campaign cash. He received illegal money from Democrats including Carl Williams, Alexander Lipsey, Bob Schockman, Gretchen Whitmer, Mickey Switalski, Buzz Thomas, Liz Brater, Mike Prusi, Gilda Jacobs, Glenn Anderson and Mark Slavens and then pitched in $187,000 himself. Mind you, the limit is $20,000.
Once the Democrats realized they’d been discovered each of the folks who were still working in the legislature went ahead and asked for refunds.
Essentially they said “oops, our mistake, don’t punish us for it!” Prusi, Whitmer, Switalski, Brater, Thomas, Slavens and Jacobs all took their illegal cash back, admitting they’d been caught with their hands in the cookie jar and trying to make things right (well after the fact).
But no such change of heart from Mark Schauer. When he breaks the law he stands by his criminal activity! And he stands by his man, too. Ken Brock, the anti-Semite who’s racist comments drew the ire of everyone in Michigan except Mark Schauer, was the Senator’s treasurer on this particular money laundering operation and signed all of the papers.
Until this week there was no backing down from either of them.
Still, the settlement with the Secretary of State winds up being a peach of a deal, compared with the penalties that COULD be exacted. Each violation of this particular statute brings along a penalty of as much as 90 days in jail and / or serious monetary fines. Schauer admitted to twenty-two violations.
That’s nearly 5 ½ years in jail.
By comparison, I’d say Congressman Schauer got off pretty easy. Only time will tell, though, how seriously his constituents frown on an admission from their Representative in DC that he broke the law twenty-two times.