All Politics is Local

49th Legislative Democrats still together after deregistering with state [Updated]

Earlier this year, the 49th Legislative District Democrats made the unusual decision to deregister as a political committee with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission.

What prompted the dissolution of the committee was being sued by Glen Morgan, a conservative activist who has been criticized for using the state’s campaign finance laws to target Democrats.

But Carol Turgeon called recently to say that while the group has disbanded as a legal entity, its members are still engaged in party-building activities and supporting Democratic candidates.

“We’re more like a club,” she said.

Morgan alleged that the group failed to properly report its finances to the commission. He filed a citizen’s action complaint, a lawsuit filed by a citizen seeking to enforce state law, against the group. Turgeon denies the allegations.

She said that the group still holds meetings twice a month. She said that dues are $10 a year to pay for promotional literature, as well as coffee and donuts.

She said that if the group isn’t raising or spending money on political candidates, the PDC doesn’t require them to register and file papers.

“That’s all that’s changed,” she said.

UPDATE

After this blog ran Angela Wilkinson, the chair of the 49th Legislative District Democrats, emailed me to clarify that the group doesn’t knock on doors for candidates but as precinct committee officers to find out what issues are important to voters in the district.

“As an entity, the 49th LD does not engage in activities that financially support or oppose candidates, and this includes knocking on doors for candidates,” she wrote. “The confusion comes from the fact that PCOs can volunteer for candidate campaigns and knock on doors for candidates, but not as the 49th LD. Doing so would be a direct violation with the PDC.”

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