Former state Rep. Cy Thao last was on the ballot in 2008. The four-term St. Paul DFLer opted not to run for re-election last year.
But Thao apparently just got around to throwing a party for his campaign volunteers at Sushi Tango in Woodbury. The tab for the June gathering, according to a campaign finance report terminating his campaign committee: $2,027.58.
The expenditure may run afoul of state statutes governing campaign operations. According to the applicable rule, campaign funds can be spent to cover the “costs of a post-election party during the election year when a candidate’s name will no longer appear on a ballot or the general election is concluded, whichever occurs first.”
That would seem to indicate that the clock ran out on Thao’s campaign to pay for a party in 2010. But even if there is a violation, it’s unlikely to be pursued. That’s because the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board (which Thao ran afoul of in the past) doesn’t have jurisdiction over the statute governing campaign expenditures. A complaint could be filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings, but nobody has yet done so. The fact that Thao’s no longer in office diminishes the likelihood that anyone will bother.
It’s unclear exactly how Thao and associates ran up a $2,000 tab. Neither he or his campaign treasurer, Lee Vang, immediately returned calls from PIM seeking comment.