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AG asked to investigate Hemingway campaign donations after complaint filed by Grantham attorney with Sununu ties

By Garry Rayno
New Hampshire Union Leader

August 22. 2014 5:13PM

CONCORD – A Grantham attorney has asked the New Hampshire Attorney General to investigate what he claims is Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway's attempt to conceal who is donating to his campaign.

Several names of donors were omitted in his contribution and expenditure report filed with the Secretary of State Wednesday.

Sheriden Brown, a one-time aid to former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu, said Hemingway's report show “willful concealment” of certain campaign donors including Aaron Day, the NH Republican Liberty Caucus chairman, and Michael Gill, a mortgage company owner whose signs have draw attention for their profanity against politicians and judges.

“Such action completely undermines the intent and spirit of our state's campaign finance law and warrants your prompt attention,” Brown wrote to Attorney General Joseph Foster Thursday.

The Hemingway campaign blamed the problem on a problem with the software and will be sending a revised version to the Secretary of State's office Friday.

“It's a silly attempt to combat an illegal tax break from Havenstein in Maryland,” said Hemingway campaign manager Alicia Preston. “Unfortunately for Walt, it has no merit even slightly.”

Maryland's Assessment and Taxation Department sent Havenstein, who is also seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination, a $9,000 tax bill saying he improperly claimed Maryland as his primary residence from 2007 to 2012, when he was not entitled to homestead tax credits because New Hampshire was his primary residence.

Havenstein told the NH Ballot Law Commission, while he claimed the credits, New Hampshire was his home and where he voted.

In his letter to the attorney general, Brown highlights four contributions to Hemingway totaling $14,000 out of the $100,245 he raised through Aug. 20.

According to Brown:

A $2,500 contribution attributed to $2500 “ARD Ventures” gives an address in Bedford that was previously owned by Day, who supports Hemingway.

Similarly, a $3,000 contribution without a donor is listed from 2 Main St., Plaistow, the address of Gill's business “The Mortgage Specialists.”

A $7,000 contribution is listed from PO Box 77492, Washington, DC, the address of the Marijuana Policy Project.

And a $1,500 contribution is listed with a Henderson, Nevada, address that is owned by a trust that includes gambling industry executive David R. Wirshing.

“By concealing the names of the aforementioned contributors, Mr. Hemingway's committee appears to have engaged in an effort to conceal politically unpalatable sources of campaign funds,” Brown writes.

Friday afternoon, the Secretary of State's Office had not received an amended report from the Hemingway campaign.


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