IBT, approximately 560 local unions, and other affiliates places a substantial burden on the Election Officer's staff and creates additional expense. The Proposed Rerun Plan achieves the goal of preserving a neutral atmosphere with far less effort and cost.
Additionally, the Hoffa Slate opposes the publication of the special election edition of The Teamster, arguing that few members would read such an issue. This argument is without merit. The Hoffa Slate has not provided this Court with any evidence to support its assertion that few members would read the magazine. Due to the extensive media coverage of the Election Officer's decision not to certify the 1996 Election, this Court is confident that IBT members' interest in the Rerun election, and consequently the special edition of the magazine, will continue to be intense.
D. Campaign Contributions & Reporting Requirements
The Election Officer's decision to rerun the 1996 Election was based on findings of improper campaign contributions to the Carey campaign from non-members. Memorandum of Law in Support of Election Officer Application X on Proposed Rerun Election Plan ("Election Officer Mem."), at 8. Accordingly, the Proposed Rerun Plan sets forth a number of more stringent restrictions on campaign contributions and has enhanced the disclosure requirements for such contributions. The Hoffa Slate has objected to each of the Election Officer's proposals in this area.
The Proposed Rerun Plan sets forth the following restrictions on campaign contributions in addition to those that parallel the 1996 Election Rules: (1) no candidate may solicit or accept contributions from any non-member of the IBT, except as specified; (2) no candidate may contribute more than $ 5,000 to the rerun election; and (3) no member may contribute more than $ 1,000 to the rerun election. Proposed Rerun Plan, Article V, Section A.
The substance of the Hoffa Slate's objections and proposed remedies are that it wants to allow larger campaign contributions than the Election Officer has advised. The Hoffa Slate suggests that the limit on member contributions should be $ 1000 to any one candidate, and $ 5,000 in the aggregate. Hoffa Br. at 9. It argues that the $ 1,000 limit on member contributions is "vague, creates administrative nightmares for candidates, and unreasonably restricts members from contributing to the support of multiple candidates." Id. Similarly, the Hoffa Slate suggests that a candidate should be permitted to contribute up to $ 25,000 to his or her own campaign. Id. at 9-10.
The Hoffa Slate attempts to justify this proposal by alleging that the Election Officer's proposed limit will create an unfair advantage for incumbents since incumbents will be "free to schedule all kinds of meetings and rallies at time [sic] and places advantageous to [their] campaign[s]." Hoffa br. at 10. In addition, the Hoffa Slate argues that the higher contribution limits for candidates should apply to slate members who are not running for election in the rerun but were part of a slate during the 1996 Election, and also that retirees should be treated as members for purposes of campaign contributions. Id. Finally, the Hoffa Slate recommends that the higher candidate limits only apply with respect to candidates who stand for reelection, not to members who are nominated and then withdraw prior to the deadline. Id. at 10-11.
The Election Officer proposed these stricter rules based on her experience in supervising the 1996 Election and the circumstances that led to the need for a rerun. Quindel decl. P 9. She concluded that "large amounts of campaign money can corrupt the election process." Election Officer Mem. at 9. All of the Hoffa Slate's proposals in this area, except one, are directly contrary to the purpose of the Election Officer's more stringent requirements. The assertion by the Hoffa Slate that the limitation on member contributions is vague is without merit. The limitation clearly forbids any IBT member from giving more than $ 1,000 in contributions, singularly or in the aggregate. Furthermore, while the limit may cause some administrative difficulties, it is necessary to prevent the type of misconduct detailed in the Election Officer's decision in Cheatem. Similarly, the Hoffa Slate's proposals that candidates be permitted to contribute $ 25,000 to their own campaign, that the higher contribution limits for candidates apply to slate members who are not running for election in the Rerun Election but were part of a slate in the 1996 Election, and that retired members be considered members for contribution purposes are all unwise. As the Election Officer has pointed out, "the end result of this change would be to pour a substantial amount of additional money into an election process already infected by too much [money]." Election Officer Reply Mem. at 9-10. Therefore, increased restrictions on campaign contributions are reasonable in light of the circumstances that led the Election Officer to call for a rerun election, and are well within the Election Officer's discretion to promulgate rules for the supervision of the Rerun Election to ensure its fairness.
The Election Officer also proposed enhanced disclosure requirements for campaign contributions and expenditures. These reporting requirements are both broader in scope and require more frequent reporting than the requirements in the 1991 and 1996 Election Rules. The Proposed Rerun Plan eliminates the $ 100 threshold for reporting contributions in the Campaign Contribution and Expenditure Reports ("CCERs"). The proposed rule requires the inclusion in the CCERs every financial contribution regardless of amount. This includes, but is not limited to, all cash donations, donations made at fundraising events, and paraphernalia sales. Proposed Rerun Plan, Article V, Section B. Furthermore, "information as to each contribution shall include the name and Local Union number of the contributor, the amount of such contribution and the nature of the contribution." Id.
The Proposed Rerun Plan also requires the reporting of detailed information regarding every fundraising event held, including, without limitation, "campaign rallies, raffles, beer or cocktail parties, cash bars, and dinners at which cash was collected." Proposed Rerun Plan, Article V, Section B. The Hoffa Slate asks that the Proposed Rerun Plan be modified so that campaigns are not required to report individual donations of $ 50 or less. Hoffa br. at 11. It argues that the proposed rule creates an "unreasonable administrative burden" making such contributions "almost cost prohibitive." Id.
This Court is not persuaded by the Hoffa Slate's argument. There is nothing unreasonable about requiring contributors to a candidate to provide their name and local union number along with their contribution regardless of the amount. The Hoffa Slate has not presented any evidence that such a requirement would in fact be "cost prohibitive." In light of allegations that prohibited contributions were being funneled into the campaigns as non-itemized contributions or sales of paraphernalia, the more strict requirement is necessary. The Election Officer's decision to eliminate the $ 100 threshold amount and require reporting on all contributions is well within her discretion given the large amounts of non-itemized contributions by both sides. (Quindel decl. P 13).
E. Timetable for the Rerun Election
The Hoffa Slate objects to the timetable for the Rerun Election as set forth by the Election Officer. It argues that the proposed schedule will cause low voter interest because it would have the ballots mailed a week before Christmas. Alternatively, the Hoffa Slate suggests that the balloting occur at the beginning of February, 1998. This they claim would allow sufficient time for all administrative matters, avoid the holidays, and provide an adequate opportunity for candidates to reach the membership. Although this Court agrees that the balloting should not occur just prior to the holidays, this Court sees no reason to push back the balloting to February, 1998. This Court finds that an extension until February, 1998, would only serve to unnecessarily increase the campaign period. Therefore, the following schedule will govern:
Day 0 Sept. 29 Election Plan Approved by the Court.
Day 25 Oct. 24 Declaration of candidacy of previously
Day 39 Nov. 7 Supplemental nomination ballots sent
Day 53 Nov. 21 Nominating ballots to be returned and
Day 64 Dec. 2 New slate declarations due and withdrawals.
Day 74 Dec. 12 Notice of Election posted at work sites and
published in magazine;
hiatus on Union
Day 102 Jan. 9 Mailing of Rerun ballots to IBT members.
Day 130 Feb. 6 Return of ballots and begin Rerun count.
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