A former state representative candidate out of Northwest Philadelphia is now facing maximum fines at both the city and state level for failing to file campaign finance reports during the 2012 primary election season.
Malik Boyd, who ran unsuccessfully in the 198th Legislative District, owes the city $500 for not submitting a report as an individual candidate and on behalf of his political action committee. Boyd hit that total, an even split between the two documents, on May 10.
Boyd similarly owes the state $1,000, which is $500 for each report over the course of two filing cycles.
State prosecution unlikely
City officials, for their part, don’t have the jurisdiction to go after Boyd.
“Everything is in Harrisburg’s hands, whether they want to prosecute or not,” said Timothy Dowling with the City Commissioner’s Office, which oversees elections.
Ron Ruman, spokesperson for Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele, who oversees state elections as part of her duties, said it’s unlikely any action will be taken against Boyd.
The amount, he said, is just too small to warrant either turning the matter over to the state Attorney General’s Office or pursuing it in Commonwealth Court.
“For a $1,000, it would cost us more to go to court,” said Ruman. “It’s not worth pursuing it.”
Boyd, who sought to represents residents in Mount Airy, Germantown and Nicetown, did not return several calls seeking comment on the reports.
Chelten Plaza controversy revived
While the fines are not astronomical, the unfiled reports leave a big unanswered question for a number of Germantown neighbors: Did controversial developer Patrick Burns contribute to the campaign?
Patrick Burns, who heads Pulaski Partners LLC, is behind the Chelten Plaza development which drew the ire of some residents for his decision to bring in, what they deemed, low-quality tenants.
As a member of Germantown Community Connection, a nonprofit organization, Boyd had a front-row seat to what was, at times, an extremely contentious battle between members of the community and Burns.
Boyd backed the project, leading some to question whether his support stemmed from a promise of campaign dollars from Burns.
Burns confirmed Tuesday that he did contribute to Boyd’s campaign. However, he said it was not about his support for the project.
“I thought he was a good, likeable guy. We were well past the point where support for the project mattered,” Burns told NewsWorks. “I would still support him in the future.”
Asked about Burns in early April – shortly after the Democratic primary – Boyd told NewsWorks that he “couldn’t even begin to comment on stuff like that.”
“Individuals aren’t talking about campaign contributions, they’re talking about jobs,” he continued. “My campaign is community focused and has been since day one. The campaign reports will be out and have been out.”
Plans to challenge Rep. Youngblood again?
If the Germantown resident’s concession speech holds true, voters will see his name scrawled across campaign literature just two years from now.
Ruman said if Boyd doesn’t file campaign finance reports in future runs for office, state officials could become more interested in collecting as the total increases.
Boyd came in third in a three-person Democratic primary. Incumbent Rosita Youngblood took home her 10th primary win and, barring unforeseen events, will also win in November’s general election. There is no Republican challenger.