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Election Board to have hearing on Democrat PAC breaking election law

PLYMOUTH, Ind. — The Marshall County Election Board is having a hearing regarding the illegal activity of a local political action committee (PAC) known as the Victory Committee/St. Joseph County Victory Committee. The hearing, scheduled for October 26th, could lead to misdemeanor charges against its leadership. The hearing comes after a REAL News Michiana investigation revealed the PAC was breaking several election laws.

“The hearing is called to determine whether the committee has violated the following Indiana code 3-9-3-2.5(h).” The notice of hearing sent to Victory Committee states. “You may be represented by counsel at this hearing… Your failure to appear at the hearing described above may result in a penalty being imposed against your committee by default.”

The hearing involves advertisements that did not contain proper disclaimers regarding the State House of Representatives District 7 race between Republican Jake Teshka and his Democrat challenger, Ross Deal. District 7 covers a portion of Marshall County. Subscribers can view the complaint and notice of hearing below.

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The Indiana State Election Division has also opened an investigation into the illegal activity. Despite the investigation, The St. Joseph County Democrat Party held a fundraiser with the PAC three days after the state launched their inquiry.

STATE CAMPAIGN VIOLATIONS

RNM first discovered the PAC was committing election crimes when attempting to search for the PAC through the Indiana Secretary of State (SOS) and the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) databases. While the PAC is registered with the St. Joseph County Clerk’s Office, there is no record of the PAC with the state or federal government. This means the PAC can push out advertisements on local campaigns. However, state and federal races are off limits.

Those details didn’t stop the St. Joseph County Victory Committee from running an advertisement on Facebook against State Representative Jake Teshka and in support of his opponent, Ross Deal.

According to page transparency data on Facebook, the ad ran from September 26th-October 2nd. The PAC took the original post down after being contacted by RNM for comment on the issue.

MISDEMEANOR OFFENSE

RNM also discovered the PAC committed an actual misdemeanor offense regarding the same advertisement by explicitly telling people to “choose” Ross Deal and not providing a disclaimer about who was behind the advertisement.

According to Indiana Code 3-9-3-2.5, “A communication described in subsection (b) must contain a disclaimer that appears and is presented in a clear and conspicuous manner to give the reader or observer adequate notice of the identity of persons who paid for and, when required, who authorized the communication. A disclaimer does not comply with this section if the disclaimer is difficult to read or if the placement of the disclaimer is easily overlooked.”

And, according to Indiana Code 3-14-1-3 “An individual, an organization, or a committee that circulates or publishes material in an election without the statement required under IC 3-9-3-2.5 commits a Class A misdemeanor.”

WHO RUNS IT?

According to PAC filing documents with the St. Joseph County Clerk’s Office, the PAC is run by two men. One is Josh Levesque out of Indianapolis. Another is Ethan Horvath, the former Executive Director of the St. Joseph County Democrat Party.

Subscribers can view the PAC’s organization documents below.

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According to the St. Joseph County Democrat Party, Horvath left the area in 2015 to work on the campaign of a Democrat Mayoral candidate in Bloomington. The next year, he became the campaign manager in a failed State Senate race.

RNM reached out to Horvath three times. We left a voicemail and text message. He never returned our calls.

According to sources with the St. Joseph County GOP, criminal charges will be sought against the people involved in the illegal advertisement.

CONTINUING TREND

These revelations come as the Indiana State Police have opened two investigations into potential election crimes involving the Democrat St. Joseph County Clerk and her handling of absentee ballots.

Last month, a REAL News Michiana investigation uncovered video of Clerk Rita Glenn disposing of documents after entering the secured absentee ballot area, alone, after hours. She is seen taking a plastic bag into the ballot room, then coming out with several documents which she disposes of by shoving them down the sides of a blue trash can.

In May, RNM uncovered the Clerk’s Office was in possession of multiple keys to gain access to the secured ballot room. The room in the County-City Building, in Downtown South Bend, is secured with two different locks, one for the Republicans the other for the Democrats. In theory, a Republican and Democrat keyholder must be present to gain access to the ballots. While Republican leadership was under the impression that only one key existed for each lock, it turns out there could be up to 7 keys total, with multiple Republican keys being held by Democrats.

RNM also uncovered that the St. Joseph County Democrat Chair has been soliciting illegal absentee votes.

Want to keep seeing the news the legacy media just won’t report? REAL News Michiana relies on member subscribers to keep going. As a subscriber, you’ll get an RNM mug and invites to special events. Help us continue to expose corruption and report on the news conservatives care about by subscribing here.

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