Does Republican Presidential Candidate Jim Rundberg Owe Tens of Thousands of Dollars in Campaign Fines?
As the Federal Election Commission documents, Jim Rundberg is an officially-registered Republican Party candidate for President of the United States, having filed his papers on February 1 2015. Shortly after that declaration, Peregrin Wood wrote a brief review of Rundberg’s campaign announcement, also noting a January 1 2015 article by political reporter Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Ashby declares of Rundberg, who ran for Governor of Colorado last year, that “Rundberg has been fined $50 a day for each of the seven campaign finance reports he did not file between July 1 and the end of December.”
Yesterday morning, Jim Rundberg posted the following demand and threat as a comment to Wood’s review:
“I do not and have not ever owed thousands of dollars in fines. Print a retraction of this article or I will contact my attorney. Jim Rundberg.”
This statement certainly calls for an open examination. Let’s examine available information:
- First of all, let’s note that Jim Rundberg hasn’t shared any evidence that the claim is untrue. I’ve written back to Rundberg, soliciting any such evidence. I hope he responds.
- Second, we have Charles Ashby’s article.
- Third, we have Jim Rundberg’s campaign finance profile with the Colorado Secretary of State, complete with all documents of campaign finance filings and correspondence between Jim Rundberg and the state of Colorado. You can review it for yourself here.
Here is an image of Rundberg’s complete set of campaign filings:
As you’ll see, the last filing received was received a day late, on June 17 2014. After that point, as more information in Jim Rundberg’s campaign finance profile shows, Jim Rundberg stopped filing campaign finance reports:
That’s a lot of filings that have been due but that haven’t been filed. This means there have been a lot of penalties:
As you can see, Jim Rundberg has only requested a waiver from the penalties once, for a one-day late penalty of $50 in 2013. The text of Rundberg’s waiver request reads as follows:
Filing: JULY 15, 2013 – REPORT OF CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES
Penalty: LATE FILING
Penalty Date: 7/15/2013
Penalty Amount: $50.00
Current Amount Due: $50.00 (after all received payments are calculated in)
Waiver Request Date: 7/16/2013
Request Status: Decision Complete
Request Reason: PLEASE WAIVE THE $50 PENALTY ASSESED AGAINST ME FOR FILING A LATE REPORT. I AND MY CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE ARE JUST BECOMING FAMILIIAR WITH TRACER, AND HOW TO FILE THESE REPORTS. THERE WAS SOME TROUBLE COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR OFFICE. THANK YOU, JIM RUNDBERG, CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF COLORADO
As you can read in a letter here, the state of Colorado denied Jim Rundberg’s request for a waiver. Jim Rundberg has applied for no other waivers since, and he also hasn’t paid his initial penalty, leaving the debt to be sent to a collections agency.
Click here to read a set of letters sent to Jim Rundberg on March 24, 2015. They document a series of accumulating fines. You can check the Colorado campaign finance profile for Jim Rundberg to verify that as of today (April 16 2015) there has been no response or resolution of the situation by Jim Rundberg reported on the site.
To sum up the situation declared by the state of Colorado on March 24, 2015 in those letters, as of that day Jim Rundberg owed the following fines:
For a campaign finance report due on 7/1/2014, 266 days late * $50/day penalty = $13,300 penalty due
For a campaign finance report due on 8/1/2014, 235 days late * $50/day penalty = $11,750 penalty due
For a campaign finance report due on 9/2/2014, 203 days late * $50/day penalty = $10,150 penalty due
For a campaign finance report due on 9/15/2014, 190 days late * $50/day penalty = $9,500 penalty due
For a campaign finance report due on 9/29/2014, 176 days late * $50/day penalty = $8,800 penalty due
For a campaign finance report due on 10/14/2014, 161 days late * $50/day penalty = $8,050 penalty due
For a campaign finance report due on 10/27/2014, 148 days late * $50/day penalty = $7,400 penalty due
For a campaign finance report due on 12/4/2014, 110 days late * $50/day penalty = $5,500 penalty due
Each of those letters indicates that the fines are still accruing, since Jim Rundberg has failed to pay them, so as of April 16 2015 the total fines due are larger. But as of March 24, 2015 alone the fines appear to have totaled $74,450.
In other words, all available evidence indicates that Jim Rundberg does indeed owe tens of thousands of dollars in fines to the state of Colorado. The state of Colorado certainly seems to think so. Instead of paying the fines, Mr. Rundberg has demanded a public retraction and threatened Irregular Times with a lawyer. We don’t do threat bargains here at Irregular Times. Rather than a retraction, due attention to the facts seems in order. If Jim Rundberg would like to share some additional facts that provide additional context, I pledge to share any such facts below…
[Waiting for a response]
… and as you can see below, I’ve reached out directly to him at his active campaign Facebook page, soliciting the supposed missing facts that would show he owes nothing:
If you don’t see any response from Jim Rundberg here, you’ll know that he hasn’t written back.