Republicans and Democrats spar over spending on mailers

November 1, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Republicans are accusing the state Democratic Party of violating campaign spending caps, but the Democrats say that’s not true.

The GOP filed a complaint Thursday with the state elections board over a $100,000 in-kind contribution the Democratic Party made to Gov. Gina Raimondo’s campaign for printing mailers and postage.

State law says political party committees can give a candidate up to $25,000 for advertisements within a calendar year. The elections board told the Democratic Party in a 2014 advisory opinion that direct mail costs don’t count toward the aggregate limit because the statute applies to paid media ads.

Democratic spokeswoman Emily Samsel calls the Republican complaint “desperate.”

GOP Chairman Brandon Bell says some money was spent on mailers promoting independent Joe Trillo. He says Democrats are arrogant and desperate to win.

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