Dan Weeks Reports Record Small Donations And Early Fundraising In Voluntary Disclosure
Reformer-turned-candidate voluntarily limits and discloses campaign contributions, urges opponent to do the same
NH Labor News
Friday, June 8, 2016
Nashua, NH – Executive Council candidate and government reform advocate Dan Weeks announced Thursday that his campaign raised 657 individual donations totaling $107,323 from March through June, while rejecting corporate contributions and capping all donations far below the legal limit.
The report, which also showed a majority of campaign contributions were made in amounts of $50 or less and 78% in amounts of $100 or less, was delivered as a voluntary end-of-quarter disclosure to the NH Secretary of State; candidates are not required to disclose their finances until late August, just days before the September 13th primary. Both the number of donations and total amount raised are records for the first 100 days of a NH Executive Council campaign, according to past election reports filed with the Secretary of State.
Report Summary, March-June 2016 (campaign to-date)
“When I launched my campaign this spring, I asked the voters of District 5 to join me in practicing a different kind of politics, free from undue influence of big money contributors,” Weeks said. “Although we have a long way to go to transform our broken political system, I am honored that thousands of my fellow citizens have stepped forward already – as small donors, ballot petition signers, or volunteers – to make this a people-powered campaign. I believe today’s fundraising report, showing record small donations and not a dime in corporate support, is evidence that voters value democracy and want candidates who practice it in their campaigns.”
Weeks, who stepped down in March as Executive Director of the nonpartisan government watchdog group Open Democracy, has long advocated for increased transparency and campaign finance reform. Among his reform proposals, reiterated in a letter to Secretary of State Bill Gardner today, are capping contributions to state candidates at $1,000 for the primary and general elections by removing the political committee loophole (whereby candidates may accept up to $5,000 per contributor prior to filing their candidacy); prohibiting direct corporate contributions to campaigns; requiring all state candidates with receipts over $500 to file their fundraising reports online on a minimum quarterly basis; and enacting citizen funded elections via voucher or matching funds for qualifying candidates who voluntarily accept only small donations. Weeks has sought to voluntarily model these reforms in his campaign.
“Strengthening democracy and stopping big money politics has been the central focus of my professional life since attending high school here in District 5 and meeting Granny D,” Weeks said. “Although more work needs to be done at the legislative level to increase disclosure and implement citizen-funded elections, I believe that candidates can and must ‘walk the talk’ by voluntarily capping and disclosing their donations, and saying no to corporate support. That’s what I have done, and will continue to do, throughout my campaign. I urge my opponent to do the same.”