Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Where does Pat Nelson's money come from?

Campaign finance laws? Who needs campaign finance laws when no one enforces them? Representative Pat Nelson (R-Kuykendall) has reported receiving nearly $200,000 in contributions and never specified who donated the money.  Mississippi law requires candidates to report the source of all contributions over $200.  Mr. Nelson reported the following non-itemized amounts since 2012:

June 5, 2015: $0
May 5, 2015: $0
January 12, 2015: $58,300
January 30, 2014: $0
January 31, 2013: $0
November 20, 2012: $29,219
October 30, 2012: $105,394
January 5, 2012: $3,578

 Oddly enough, Mr. Nelson reported hardly any non-sourced contributions for his initial 2011 campaign.  There must be quite a few regular folks in Desoto County  who love their representative.  Here are the number of donors at $200 per donor if Mr. Nelson's claims on his reports are to be believed:

January 15, 2015: 291 donors
November 20, 2012: 146 donors
October 30, 2012: 527 donors

That's a whole lot of grassroots donors.


Anonymous said...

My bet, he doesn't have the money and never did. He reported the cash to scare away challengers. The Governor doesn't even have that many small donors.

Anonymous said...

What a crock.

Shrill Shrillingsley said...

Those non-itemized contributions are just small clerical reporting errors that will surely be corrected on his next amended report. Small clerical errors can happen to anyone.

Anonymous said...

Why all the criticism? It's good work if you can get hired.

Anonymous said...

He should explain this. This is so improbable, it looks like he is LYING!

Anonymous said...

We need more teeth in the campaign finance laws, but that's a challenge when the same people who would be caught by toothier laws are the ones who have to pass them.

Anonymous said...

@11:42 - I think you misspelled "crook."

Anonymous said...

Are we looking for some smurfs?

Jeff Rimes said...

Kingfish, I know you think I'm just a critic but I must say this is good reporting. Hopefully, an explanation will be forthcoming. With today's technology there should be a requirement that all contributions are reported.

Reff Jimes said...

Jeff Rimes: What has technology got to do with a requirement to report. The requirement is there. Whatta you mean 'should be'?

Don said...

Not all can be reported. One example is the common practice when a candidate has a fishbowl at an event for folks to drop a $5 or $10 in the jar. That is understandable. Other donors wish to stay under the unreported amount so that they help but remain anonymous such as a family member or friends of the candidate’s challenger--I've seen it numerous times.

But $58k in "non-itemized" contributions compared to less than $4k of itemized reportings is either a lie (not really deposited in an account to intimidate his challenger) or trying to hide who his major donors are and their amounts. Nelson knows the game and knows it well. He knows people watch these reports. So which is it--a farce or shell game? Either way, he has some explaining to do.

By comparison, the Governor, in a statewide election, only shows $4k in his June filing for "non-itemized" contributions. Nelson, in the tiny District of House #40 can't be anywhere close to this amount in legitimate "non-itemized" contributions.

Anonymous said...

Good reporting KF. Where is the Clarion-Ledger on this? An elected official is caught red-handed LYING ABOUT HIS FINANCES on an official report. And he is silent. Does Nelson have a challenger?

Anonymous said...

Didn't he recently Tweet that he had donations of a reportable amount?

Jeff Rimes said...

My point was there shouldn't be a $200 minimum for reporting. All donations should be reported and the reports should be done more frequently.

Anonymous said...

How did Pickering spend 100K in an off year? There are a lot of candidates that do not report correctly or Livewitz out of there campaign accounts. Keep digging Fish.

Ashley Henley said...


CONTACT: Ashley Henley, 901-647-6255

Questions Raised Over Rep. Pat Nelson’s Campaign Finance Reports

Rep. Nelson claims nearly $200,000 in non-itemized receipts over the past three years.

SOUTHAVEN, Miss.- A news story released yesterday raises serious questions about Rep. Pat Nelson’s campaign finance reports, and where exactly his money is coming from.

All candidates for office are required to submit regular campaign finance reports indicating receipts and disbursements over $200. Contributions under $200 are considered “non-itemized” and donor information is not required.

Non-itemized contributions usually represent just a fraction of the candidate’s total receipts. Rep. Nelson has reported receiving nearly $200,000 in non-itemized receipts, while receiving less than ten percent of his total contributions in reportable "itemized" amounts over $200 during the same reporting periods. For comparison, Gov. Phil Bryant- with a statewide and national network- reported $14,000 in non-itemized receipts this year and $12,000 in the three prior years.

For Rep. Nelson to have received nearly $200,000 in non-itemized contributions as he claims, that literally means nearly 1,000 different individuals donated $200 or less to his campaign over the past three years.

“Campaign finance reports are intended to show voters where you receive your money and where you spend it,” Ashley Henley, a Republican candidate for House District 40, said. “I do not hide anything in my campaign finance report, and neither should Rep. Nelson. The voters deserve to know the truth. We must be able to trust our elected officials to follow the laws that they write."

“I call on Rep. Pat Nelson to immediately come clean with voters about the source of this $200,000.”

Link to original story:

Anonymous said...

Where is the Clarion-Ledger on this?

You've got to be joking, right?

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