Campaign finance report draws complaint in local House race
Oct. 8—Republican candidate Joseph Mirzoeff of Keene has complained to the N.H. Secretary of State’s Office about discrepancies in the campaign finance report of one of his opponents, Democratic Rep. Amanda Elizabeth Toll, in the race to represent Cheshire House District 15.
Mirzoeff’s complaint involves two errors Toll made in referring to a contributor on her campaign finance report, which appears on a state website.
Karla Jurvetson, of Los Gatos, Calif., contributed $10,000 to Toll on Aug. 19, but her name was misspelled on the report as Karl and an “NH” instead of a “CA” was placed in her otherwise correct address.
Mirzoeff said these two errors make the contribution look like it was from an in-state donor, which he said could work to Toll’s benefit and could violate election codes.
“It has a beneficial purpose,” Mirzoeff said Wednesday. “It’s wrong. None of this makes sense unless it’s really intentional.”
Toll, of Keene, said the errors were an accident.
“It was absolutely not deliberate, it was a typo and an input mistake,” she said in an email. “Although I mistakenly entered “NH” I did correctly enter the CA zip code, so I’m clearly not trying to deceive by entering a zip code that doesn’t exist in the state. I have filed an amended update now that I am aware of the mistake.”
Secretary of State David Scanlan said it’s not unusual for there to be clerical mistakes when candidates file their campaign finance reports. Candidates often rectify such errors by filing an amended report.
Scanlan forwarded Mirzoeff’s complaint to the N.H. Attorney General’s Office, as is standard. The AG’s office said Thursday it is reviewing it, but had no further comment.
Mirzoeff also takes issue with large out-of-state contributions to New Hampshire campaigns.
“Why are people from California messing with our elections?” he asked.
Jurvetson, a physician and the former wife of wealthy venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, has contributed more than $32 million to campaigns over the past 20 years, usually for Democratic candidates and committees, according to FollowtheMoney.org, a nonprofit data organization.
According to the latest information from the N.H. Campaign Finance System, she has contributed $187,500 to New Hampshire state candidates and committees this election cycle, including $10,000 to Renee Monteil of Keene, another Democrat running in Cheshire House District 15.
There are two representative positions in the district, which takes in Keene Wards 1, 3, 4 and 5, as well as Chesterfield, Hinsdale, Surry, Walpole and Westmoreland.
The other Republican in the race is John Schmitt of Keene. Schmitt and Mirzoeff haven’t filed campaign reports, which aren’t required for candidates who have collected less than $1,000 in contributions.
Toll said there’s nothing wrong with Jurvetson’s contribution. That contribution accounts for most of the $11,304 in Toll’s campaign receipts, according to the campaign finance report she filed last month. Monteil’s report listed $11,208 in receipts.
“I would say that the progressive Democratic movement is one that is a national movement and has a vested interest in supporting races across the country in order to uplift these policies nationwide,” Toll said.
“Democrats come together to support one another in races that are contested or that support specific interests or movements, such as supporting reproductive rights in the aftermath of the fall of Roe,” she said, referring to the Supreme Court’s June decision that eliminated a constitutional right to abortion.
As of the last reporting period, which ended in September, New Hampshire candidates and committees had received a total of $9.4 million this election cycle, with about a third of that coming from out of state, according to the state Campaign Finance System website.
Rick Green can be reached at rgreen@keeneSentinel.com or 603-355-8567.