Declaration Editor Files Legal Action for DNC Fundraising Records

By Declaration Staff

Updated to include filings in opposing legal action by the DNC Host Committee.

Late last night, Dustin Slaughter, our associate editor, filed a complaint in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas seeking to force the release of DNC fundraising records, stating that “it is an insult to the idea of transparency, and to the people of Philadelphia, that the DNC Host Committee is essentially holding the city hostage in their attempt to withhold records that have already been ruled public.”

Last month, the state Office of Open Records ruled that the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development must release these fundraising records. The fundraising reports ordered released are part of a $15 million “line-of-credit” deal between PAID, which is guaranteeing the credit line on behalf of taxpayers, and the DNC Host Committee.

Federal law requires that these records be released 60 days after the DNC concludes, but the Host Committee, which argued to the Office of Open Records that the records should not be released, is refusing to admit that the line of credit deal with PAID also makes them public records required to be released immediately under state law.

The Declaration believes that the release of these records before the convention is in the public interest because of both the Host Committee’s reported fundraising troubles and the questions raised by Democratic Party activists about potential conflicts of interest in party leadership.

The legal complaint filed this morning seeks an order requiring PAID and its open records officer to turn over these fundraising records. PAID itself has never claimed these records are exempt from the state Right to Know Law.

Dustin Slaughter is represented by Chapin Cimino, Associate Professor at Drexel University Kline School of Law. The DNC Host Committee is expected to file its own legal action to prevent release of the records today.

The Declaration will continue to post updates as these court cases unfold. View our editor’s initial complaint, as well as the initial filings by the DNC Host Committee in its own legal action, below:

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