Four and half years ago, John Swallow was the Republican candidate for the Utah 2nd Congressional District, running against first term incumbent Jim Matheson. Matheson was targeted by the RNC as vulnerable and Swallow's campaign was particularly nasty. It pissed me off.
I did a little research in opensecrets.org on who was contributing to Mr. Swallow's campaign. It looked screwy -- it looked like corporations were contributing, it looked like individuals were contributing more than allowed by law, and it looked like individuals were trying to hide excess contributions by giving the money under the names of their kids.
So, I filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission.
It's been so long since I filed the complaint, I thought the matter had been dropped or my complaint ignored. It wasn't.
On Tuesday I was surprised and thrilled to get a package in the mail from the FEC consisting of five general counsel reports and four conciliation agreements -- about an inch of paper in total. It turns out that some of my suspicions were accurate. The FEC investigation uncovered several law breaking miscreants.
The election law violations were resolved via conciliation agreements. The respondents paid fines and agreed to "cease and desist from violating" the law.
One of the people who paid a fine and agreed to sin no more is Robert B. Lichfield of Toquerville, Utah. (Side note: Toquerville is a conservative suburb of LaVerkin, the Utah town that tried to outlaw the UN)
Here's a short description of Lichfield from Utah's very conservative newspaper, The Deseret Morning News(May 22, 2006):
Robert B. Lichfield is the single largest individual donor to Republicans in Utah, giving at least $212,000 to GOP politicians since 2003. He is also No. 6 on the overall list of individual Utah donors.
He is the owner of Teen Help, which operates sometimes controversial treatment facilities, schools and other programs for troubled teens.
An example of how his donations may bring influence is that in 2004, Utah House Speaker Marty Stephens blocked floor consideration of a bill opposed by Lichfield that would have brought state regulation to his boarding schools for troubled teens.
Six days after the legislative session ended, Lichfield donated $30,000 to Stephens' campaign for governor.
Lichfield is the deep pocket behind RECAF Inc., the company that contributed $250,000 to unsuccessful Maine gubernatorial candidate Chandler Woodcock. Why would a rich crackpot in rural Utah contribute to a Maine governor's race? To help fellow Latter Day Saint Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, of course. Read about that connection in this Salt Lake Tribune article: Lichfield - Romney Connections