Monday, August 30, 2004

Illegal fund-raising activity prior to the Republican National Convention?

One of the the ways that Republicans are raising money in the time preceding the Republican convention is holding fundraisers at sporting events, an increasing trend.

One in particular is:

"Illinois Rep. Jerry Weller (news, bio, voting record) was holding a fund-raiser Tuesday at a Cleveland Indians-New York Yankees game. The asking price was $1,500 per person or $2,500 for a pair of tickets."

Now, it's possible that AP writer just got a bit casual with the language describing the way the fundraiser works but there appears to be a double violation of New York law by having a 1) non-licensed reseller scalping tickets at 2) more than 10% above face value. And, though it's not clear, it's not obvious that the exemption/exception clause doesn't seem to apply to political campaigns (though would apply to 501c organizations, the shadowy version of 527s).

What are the penalties?

"S 25.25. Violations; penalties. 1. Every person, firm or corporation
who resells any such ticket or other evidence of right of entry or
engages in the business of reselling any such ticket or other evidence
of the right of entry, without first having procured the license
prescribed and filing of a bond required by this article shall be guilty
of a misdemeanor. Every person, firm or corporation who violates any
provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. A conviction
for any violation hereof shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed two
hundred fifty dollars for the first violation, five hundred dollars for
the second violation and one thousand dollars for any subsequent
violation or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed one year, or
both such fine and imprisonment as herein provided."

It's not clear whether the many tickets sold this way would be multiple or a single violation but it would be interesting to find out.

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