Council majority leader raised, spent thousands since ’14

Past-due reports filed after Target 12 investigation

City Councilman Kevin Jackson

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The majority leader of the Providence City Council raised nearly $25,000 between October 2014 and December 2015, according to a WPRI.com review of campaign finance reports filed with the R.I. Board of Elections Friday.

Councilman Kevin Jackson, a Democrat who has represented Ward 3 on the city’s East Side since 1995, filed 12 past-due reports dating back to 2013 around noon Friday, a day after Target 12 reported that he failed to disclose raising and spending thousands of campaign dollars over the last several years.

Richard Thornton, the board’s director of campaign finance, said Jackson owed the state $30,146 in late filing penalties as of Tuesday. Jackson said he plans to ask the board to reduce the debt.

Friday’s filings reveal for the first time who funded Jackson’s tight re-election bid in 2014 and the amount he raised during his first year as the council majority leader, the No. 2 job in the city’s legislative branch.

In the weeks before Jackson narrowly defeated write-in candidate Marcus Mitchell in November 2014, records show he raised about $11,140 through dozens of campaign contributions. He reported spending about $5,500.

Notable contributors in 2014 included: then-mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci ($500); Sen. Frank Ciccone ($100); Rep. John Lombardi ($100); Rep. Joseph Almeida ($50); Aaron Regunberg, who was elected to the R.I. House of Representatives in Nov. 2014 ($100); Councilman Michael Correia ($100); Councilman Bryan Principe ($50); Councilman Nick Narducci ($50); then-Providence School Board President Keith Oliveria ($50); and former Providence Mayor Joe Paolino ($600).

The Rhode Island attorney general’s office has repeatedly said there is “an active and ongoing investigation” into Jackson, stemming from the Board of Elections’ 2013 vote to refer Jackson to law enforcement after they discovered evidence that he may have violated campaign finance law. (Jackson also entered into a previous settlement agreement with the board to pay past-due fines.)

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan

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