Philly Ethics Board whacks late filers

    The Philadelphia Ethics Board told candidates running for city office this year that if they were late filing required campaign finance reports, they would be fined. Apparently, they meant it.

    So far this year, 23 candidates and committees have paid $34,500 in fines for filing reports late.

    Candidates and political committees are supposed to file regular electronic reports showing their contributions and spending with the Ethics Board.

    But they get busy campaigning, and sometimes they miss the deadlines.

    The board used to give them a two-week grace period to get their homework in, but Executive Director Shane Creamer says this year, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy.

    “Since the board’s been around for eight years now, we’ve gone through numerous election cycles, and we think at this point, we shouldn’t be having to go after these people to get them to file their reports on time,” he said.

    And, he noted, there’s a reason the law requires timely filing.

    “The problem with not filing in time is that the public doesn’t have access to complete information about contributions and expenditure information,” Creamer said. “It’s important to voters to make informed decisions about which candidates they’re going to vote for.”

    Amen. You can see which candidates were fined for late filing, and for more serious violations on the Ethics Board website.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.