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The Republican’s Accounting Mastermind

September 22, 2009

NancyWatkinsWho do Republican candidates call when their campaign falters on important accounting? Nancy Watkins.

The Florida Trend reports, Watkins is “a key behind-the-scenes player in Republican politics, serving as the treasurer for dozens of candidates and political groups throughout the state and across the nation.

Crunching numbers and depositing checks is the easy part. Treasurers of a modern-day political campaign must grasp the intricacies of federal and state election laws and develop a strategy for complying with the regulations. Precision and thoroughness is essential — the consequences of slip-ups range from public embarrassment to expensive fines or even jail time.”

From the Florida Trend:

In a U.S. senatorial campaign, for instance, the treasurer must make sure that individual contributions flowing into the campaign don’t come from a prohibited source (such as a foreign national) and that they do not exceed the federal contribution limit of $2,400 per election. Each contribution must be properly disclosed, with the name, address, occupation or employer of the contributor, and date and amount of their contribution. Every quarter, the treasurer must file a lengthy disclosure report that summarizes total spending, total receipts, cash on hand and any debt and lists every contribution and expenditure the campaign has received and made.

As Election Day approaches, the requirements become more onerous. Any contribution of $1,000 or more received within 20 days of the election must be disclosed within 48 hours of receipt. Watkins likens it to operating a decent-sized business at warp speed: “These are multimillion-dollar businesses that start up in a very short window. U.S. Senate races go from zero to $25 million in a year and a half. We know how to run a $25-million business, so we bring that expertise to them.”

This Accountant Keeps Candidates Squeaky Clean [Florida Trend]

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