The late filing will cost Fontaine's campaign a $25 fee, but his Mayoral opponent, Rep. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt (D-Dist. 49) claims the original blank report was an intentional deceit corrected only after a GoLocalProv.com article on the Mayor's campaign finances. "Yesterday, GoLocalProv.com reported that Fontaine’s latest campaign finance report claimed that he neither raised nor spent any money from October 1st through the 21st, even though he had three paid appearances on WNRI that were advertised by the station as paid time and held a fundraiser on October 6th at a Woonsocket restaurant. Only after the story broke did Fontaine file amendments to his campaign finance report disclosing the information," Hunt wrote in a release sent to local media Thursday afternoon.
In fact, Fontaine updated the report Wednesday at 12:27 p.m., about three and a half hours before the GoLocalProv.com story posted. Fontaine filed another update to the report at 12:34 p.m. and a third update at 6:30 p.m.
Also, the GoLocalProv.com story reports Fontaine failed to disclose a $200 ad he took out in a pamphlet promoting the documentary My Old School, but Fontaine in fact had disclosed that expenditure in a previous campaign finance report.
“While I have disclosed all of my fundraising and campaign spending information in a timely way, the Mayor seems to think he doesn’t have to play by the rules,” Baldelli-Hunt stated.
In fact, Baldelli-Hunt has also failed to file finance reports on time:
- Baldelli-Hunt's July 31 finance report was filed Aug. 2
- Baldelli-Hunt's Dec. 4, 2012 post-election report was filed March 8, 2013
- Baldelli-Hunt's Oct. 30, 2012 pre-election report was filed March 8, 2013
Baldelli-Hunt has also amended her campaign finance reports. She amended her Sept. 24, 2012 report on Oct. 1, for instance.
Ric Thornton, director of campaign finance at the state Board of Elections, said there's nothing unusual about updated reports. "It's not uncommon for reports to be amended at any time," Thornton said.
In Fontaine's case, he said, they received a blank report from Fontaine by the deadline, and then the amended report the next day. Since the new report was a significant change from the blank one, he said, the official filing date was recorded as Oct. 23. That transgression earned the Fontaine campaign a $25 late fee, he said.
The next finance report due date for both candidates is Oct. 29.